“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Acts 2:21. We have the benefit of hindsight to read of Jesus being crucified and resurrected with all meaning revealed to us, and in doing so, we can appreciate more of what God was unfolding in the greatest triumph of love for mankind and a gospel that had been planned since the foundation of the world. It is what the prophets of old wrote about as they were moved by the Holy Spirit and yet did not understand as they longed to look into it. What the Son must have endured and the Father must have felt as no one yet understood what it all meant. But, through the Spirit, Peter revealed God’s gospel to an astonished crowd on Pentecost and, quoting Joel 2, declares salvation open to everyone who would call upon the Name of the Lord. It would take faith for someone to do this, we find out as more of the story comes together, and the place to call upon the Lord’s Name or power, or authority is in the water of baptism (Acts 22:16) as our sins are washed away. But we no longer need to guess or assign meaning to this gospel that God never intended. Have you obeyed the gospel like in Acts 2?
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? …” Malachi 1:6. What good parent has not said, “I don’t know whose kid you are, but you can’t be mine because no kid of mine would act that way!” The child is not reflecting the values or training the parent has put forth, and so the kid’s parentage is called into question. Jesus did this to “the Jews who had believed him” when they insisted on being Abraham’s children in John 8 but did not love Him. He told them that their father was the one they were emulating—the devil! Their ancestors four centuries before had not learned from the discipline of captivity and were bringing imperfect sacrifices to the rebuilt temple to “honor” their heavenly Father, but God would not have it. And neither will He take less than our best that we offer in our daily worship as a living sacrifice or when we assemble for worship as His Son’s body. This means we in whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and walk as He did. In this way we will emulate our true Father in heaven and can sing, “Father, we love you ….” Do you live like His Son to glorify His Name?
“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent” Psalm 4:4.
It’s so good to know that it’s possible to be angry and not sin. This would be a righteous anger, an anger that comes from an injustice that’s being done not a lashing out to hurt someone. Even Jesus was angry in the temple when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers. But, He took the time to make a whip, and He did not hurt anyone in the process. He who was without sin (Hebrews 4:15), dealt only with the turning of His Father’s house into a den of thieves. So, what are we to do with these feelings of anger? Cain was told to master them before they mastered him. We are to go to God in prayer with them. Rather than stewing and being unable to sleep, we should turn them over to our Father as we lie in our beds at night. We can pray that He will let us know what to do with our anger. David, whose Psalm this is, often expressed how he truly felt in situations to God, and yet he was a man after God’s heart. Trust God, though, and don’t make suggestions in your anger about how He could best help you.
Are you silent to let God work on your situation and your heart?
“Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see’” John 1:46.
Jesus then told Nathanael that he would see even greater things. What he would see as he followed the “son of God,” the “King of Israel,” was a Savior who preached good news and one who went around doing good (Acts 10:38). By this Nathanael—and all of Jesus’ followers—know how to pattern our lives. But, how did Nathanael know to find Jesus? It took a good friend to hear of Him first and tell Nathanael all about the One who was the Messiah. How much did Philip really know about Jesus after spending just one day with Him? We don’t know, but Philip didn’t use an excuse to not bring Nathanael to Jesus. Every event and interaction is an opportunity to do good, yes, but we seek to bring people to Jesus. It shouldn’t be “come and see” our facility or great programs. We are not inviting folks to attend a class, event, or worship service. The same as Philip did, we are inviting the Nathanaels to “come and see Jesus living in the way we talk and live and in the message they’ll hear.
What do others see in you when they are invited to come and see Jesus?
“Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked” Psalm 3:7. When he listened to God’s voice, Elijah had the boldness to take on Jezebel’s prophets of Baal and Asherah … and God was with him. With just an uttered prayer, God sent fire from heav-en to incinerate the sacrifice, altar, and water in the trench that he’d dug around it all. The false prophets were killed, but Elijah’s enemy was not silenced. A death threat from Jezebel sent God’s prophet discouraged and fleeing for his life. The voice of the world is loud and brash. We who are living faithfully in Christ regularly hear our enemy’s death threats that would leave us discouraged and withdrawing from the world in hopes that our lives would be spared. When David fled from his son, Absolom, he had no idea even who his friends or enem-ies were. There were plenty who told him that “there is no salvation for him in God.” Yet, it was to God alone that David turned because “salvation belongs to the Lord.” To whom else could he turn? He, like Elijah, like we need to cut through all the world’s chaos to hear God’s gentle whisper. Do you put your trust in the Lord?