The Bible shows us that the holy obsession of God’s servants is to please the Lord. It’s about giving not getting, committing not relaxing, sacrificing because the Lord Himself sacrificed His life for us and we’ll receive our reward in heaven. Those who seek treasures on earth will be disappointed in the end.
It appears that some love to claim from God the BENEFIT of royal sonship while conveniently ignoring the COST of radical discipleship! We cannot only see God as loving Father, He is also Master and Ruler. “Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.” (Hudson Taylor)
There is a catchy and inspiring song that echoes, “I am who You say I am”. So what does the Bible say that we are? 3 things come to mind: Beloved CHILDREN, faithful SERVANTS and spiritual WARRIORS. Do you know that you’re a child of God called to humble service and to fight spiritual battles?
by Rev Joel Yong
And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will. And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old. Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.
It was a hot topic. One whereby different interpretations and opinions existed.
I note how the leaders spoke with conviction and authority. They took turns and quoted not just from a certain section of Scripture but showed they knew all of the Scripture and did not have just a fragmented perspective of it.
Secondly they looked at present day events – the coming of the Spirit upon the Gentiles and found it fulfilled Scripture from old (See what James said).
That, is good spiritual discussion and a good church leadership meeting.
It had leaders who looked at and knew all of Scripture and not just a section of it.
It had leaders who were discerning and could see how present day events fulfilled Scripture.
As such, they could discern why God had allowed the Spirit to descend upon the Gentiles.