Mark 6; Fruit of the Spirit, Lesson 3

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Mark 6 tells the same story that Matthew 14 tells. Here is a blog I already wrote a while back on Matthew 14.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].  Psalms 126:5-6

As we look at Joy in this week’s SS lesson lets be reminded the greatest joy is in sharing Jesus with others. This is something we all can do. We may feel like we are not good enough for the job but please prayerfully consider the story of Jesus feeding the multitude:

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.  And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. Matthew 14:14-17

 

Okay, what just happened here? The disciples knew the crowd was hungry but felt that they could not get the job done so they tell Jesus to send the crowd to the village markets where people were trained and better prepared to feed such a crowd. You know, professionals, people who are trained and do this sort of thing for a living.

Jesus tells the disciples to do it themselves. The disciples remind Jesus that they do not have adequate provisions. This is why they need to go to the professionals.

He said, Bring them hither to me.  Matthew 14:18

Okay what just happened? Jesus asked the disciples to do it and by George they are going to do it. Has God ever asked you to share the bread of life with a friend or neighbor but you decided to just leave it with the professionals instead? After all there are people who are trained and get paid by the church to do this kind of stuff. But Jesus asked you!

And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to [his] disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.  Matthew 14:19

Okay what just happened? Jesus gave the bread to the disciples so that they would now have plenty to share with the crowd. Likewise when Jesus asks you to share the bread of life with others, He first wants you to receive the bread of life from Him, and then you will have something to share with the crowd. The crowd did not need to go to the villagers. The disciples just needed to go to Jesus.

And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.  Matthew 14:20

Okay what just happened? Even with just five loaves and two small fishes the disciples accomplished everything the pros in the village markets could have done, by just doing what Jesus asked, and receiving from Him first what they needed to share with others.

God has big plans for our church this year. A crowded city is hungry for the bread of life. If you are a disciple of Christ then He is asking you to feed them. Don’t just send them to the “preofessionals”.  You can feed them! In 2010 everyone can take the bread of life from Jesus and share it with others. Everyone can give a Bible study this year. It’s so easy even I can do it! But first we must receive from Jesus and then share it with the multitude. Are you in with us on this?

Jesus trained the disciples by giving them the bread first to share with others. They needed training but they did not need to send the people somewhere else to get better service. This year our church will be offering training so that you can share the bread of life with others, so that they will not need to go somewhere else for better service. I am looking forward to working with you this year as you share the bread of life with others!

“It is not the Lord’s purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the Master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their friends and neighbors, they could do a great work for the Master. God is no respecter of persons. He will use humble, devoted Christians, even if they have not received so thorough an education as some others. Let such ones engage in service for Him by doing house-to-house work. Sitting by the fireside, they can– if humble, discreet, and godly–do more to meet the real needs of families than could an ordained minister.” {Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7: 21.2}

You can find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.

Acts of the Apostles-The Gift of The Spirit

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 5

Here are some of my favorite passages of this chapter, reminding us how the Holy Spirit empowers us to be like Christ so that we can win souls for Christ.

 What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. As the disciples proclaimed the message of redeeming grace, hearts yielded to the power of this message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Backsliders were reconverted. Sinners united with believers in seeking the pearl of great price. Some who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions. The prophecy was fulfilled, “He that is feeble . . . shall be as David; and the house of David . . . as the angel of the Lord.” Zechariah 12:8. Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.  {AA 48.1}

The promise of the Holy Spirit is not limited to any age or to any race. Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. From the Day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service. To all who have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit has come as a counselor, sanctifier, guide, and witness. The more closely believers have walked with God, the more clearly and powerfully have they testified of their Redeemer’s love and of His saving grace. The men and women who through the long centuries of persecution and trial enjoyed a large measure of the presence of the Spirit in their lives, have stood as signs and wonders in the world. Before angels and men they have revealed the transforming power of redeeming love.  {AA 49.2} 

Under the Holy Spirit’s working even the weakest, by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers and to become sanctified, refined, and ennobled. As in humility they submitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they received of the fullness of the Godhead and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine.  {AA 49.3} 

 It is not a conclusive evidence that a man is a Christian because he manifests spiritual ecstasy under extraordinary circumstances. Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love.  {AA 51.2} 

 Having brought conviction of sin, and presented before the mind the standard of righteousness, the Holy Spirit 
 withdraws the affections from the things of this earth and fills the soul with a desire for holiness. {AA 52.4}

  Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth’s harvest. Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be “laborers together with God.”  {AA 56.2} 

This calls to mind one of my favorite passages, Ephesians 3:14-21: “

 14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

 

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