Revelation 1; In Jesus’ Hands

I am writing today from the Beautiful Tampa Bay area.

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.  Revelation 1:20

How comforting it is to know that Jesus holds the gospel minister in His hands! And as far as Jesus is concerned, all who are united in His effort of saving the lost are ministers or priests. See verse 6. Angels in the Bible are messengers, either celestial or terrestrial. As Jesus dictates His letters to the seven churches we see that the angels John is writing to are those who minister in the churches. Isn’t it wonderful to know that if you are a sincere worker for Christ, that you are in His hand and not in the hands of the enemy?

  God’s ministers are symbolized by the seven stars, which He who is the first and the last has under His special care and protection. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with these ministers of God, who are to represent the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under God’s control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. 

     It is to the honor of Christ that He makes His ministers a greater blessing to the church, through the working of the Holy Spirit, than are the stars to the world. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to His Father, they will do His works. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world.  {Gospel Workers, p 13- 14}

Acts 8;The Gospel in Samaria

Christina who was 15 at the time of this picture last Summer, was one of several young people who made presentations in our evangelism seminars at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our evangelism force goes way beyond the pastors and Bible Worker. Many of our members are active in soul winning, like Christina who went on to preach two regular Sabbath sermons at Tampa First. She has gone on to preach at other churches as well. She, like the other members here, loves Jesus with all her heart and does not let the pastor and Bible Worker do all the work. Christina is sharing Jesus at home and school during the week and at church on Sabbaths.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 11

This chapter is based on Acts 8.

The unselfish labor of Christians in the past should be to us an object lesson and an inspiration. The members of God’s church are to be zealous of good works, separating from worldly ambition and walking in the footsteps of Him
who went about doing good. With hearts filled with sympathy and compassion, they are to minister to those in need of help, bringing to sinners a knowledge of the Saviour’s love. Such work calls for laborious effort, but it brings a rich reward. Those who engage in it with sincerity of purpose will see souls won to the Saviour, for the influence that attends the practical carrying out of the divine commission is irresistible.  {AA 109.4} 
     Not upon the ordained minister only rests the responsibility of going forth to fulfill this commission. Everyone who has received Christ is called to work for the salvation of his fellow men. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.” Revelation 22:17. The charge to give this invitation includes the entire church. Everyone who has heard the invitation is to echo the message from hill and valley, saying, “Come.”  {AA 110.1} 
     It is fatal mistake to suppose that the work of soul-saving depends alone upon the ministry. The humble, consecrated believer upon whom the Master of the vineyard places a burden for souls is to be given encouragement by the men upon whom the Lord has laid larger responsibilities. Those who stand as leaders in the church of God are to realize that the Saviour’s commission is given to all who believe in His name. God will send forth into His vineyard many who have not been dedicated to the ministry by the laying on of hands.  {AA 110.2} 
     Hundreds, yea, thousands, who have heard the message of salvation are still idlers in the market place, when they might be engaged in some line of active service. To these Christ is saying, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” and He adds, “Go ye also into the vineyard.” Matthew 20:6, 7. Why is it that many more do not respond to the call? Is it because they think themselves excused in that they do not stand in the pulpit? Let them understand that there is a large work to be done outside the pulpit by thousands of consecrated lay members.  {AA 110.3} 
     Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14.  {AA 111.1} 

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light Of The Cross.