…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
On a visit to Beijing, China, we went to church with a friend who teaches English and four of her university students. These four young men were all new Christians with lots of energy. As the pastor of the large church preached, I noticed that he was very old, and spoke softly. His Mandarin sermon was unintelligible to us, but we observed the young men as they sat captivated by his words.
After the service, we all went out to lunch together, and I asked the four new young Christians,
“Your pastor: is he a good preacher?”
I was thinking more of his oratory, his stories and his exegesis.
The young men all nodded and one of them replied,
“Oh yes! He is a very good preacher.
He suffered in prison for many years for the gospel.”
To them, the quality of the pastor’s message was based on the credibility of
his life of obedience, and the fact that he took up the cross of Christ daily.
The technique and content of the sermon was secondary.
When we engage with people from the Majority World church,
many of whose lives are characterized by hardship and suffering,
they ask us, not unlike Thomas asked of Jesus,
“Show us your scars, and then we’ll believe
that you understand the same gospel
that we’ve embraced.”
… They follow the ‘suffering Servant’ who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame’ (Hebrews 12:2)
… For the Western academic, the stories of the Bible might or might not have happened in history.
For the Christian in the non-Western world, the stories of the Bible are happening now!
Source: Paul Borthwick, Western Christians in Global Missions, IVP Press, 2012, pg 162, 163, 164
Satan could quote the Bible as well as anyone else,
but his trouble is that he doesn’t live it
– Marion E Wade
Its not a word message we communicate,
but a life message.
When God wanted to communicate with us,
he wrapped His message in a person.”
– Howard Hendricks
An excerpt of A.W. Tozer’s written prayer upon his ordination by the Christian and Missionary Alliance on August 18, 1920:
... Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet.
Forbid that I should be come a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering.
Help me to remember that I am a prophet – not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house.
Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. …
Here’s what one minister shared about a fellow minister, after listening to his message,
“I remember, years ago, sitting at a conference and being amazed and a bit jealous as speakers impressed me with their knowledge and charisma. Then Pastor Cymbala stepped on stage.
He was every bit as captivating as the others,
but he spoke in such a way that I forgot all about him.
He made me focus on Jesus.
At the end of the sermon, I was in awe of God.
I was focused on His word, not his.“
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.
4 They risked their lives for me.
Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
Romans 16:3,4 (NIV)
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.
29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy,
and honor people like him, 30 because
he almost died for the work of Christ.
He risked his life
to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
Philippians 2:25, 29,30 (NIV)
Truth is forged in the crucible of life experience,
as character is built and strengthened,
hearts tempered with compassion and empathy by God’s comfort,
purified in persevering faith, joyful hope and faithful love
as we experience Christ even more clearly, daily.
Teaching, preaching, discipling:
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
39 He also told them this parable:
“Can the blind lead the blind?
Will they not both fall into a pit?
40 The student is not above the teacher,
but everyone who is fully trained
will be like their teacher.
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.
People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.
45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For the mouth speaks
what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:39,40, 43-45 (NIV)
24 A dispute also arose among them as to
which of them was considered to be greatest.
25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them;
and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.
26 But you are not to be like that.
Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest,
and the one who rules
like the one who serves.
27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table
or the one who serves?
Is it not the one who is at the table?
But I am among you
as one who serves.
Luke 22:24-27 (NIV)
13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that
they were uneducated and untrained men,
they were amazed, and began to recognize them as
having been with Jesus.
14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them,
they had nothing to say in reply.
Acts 4:13, 14 (NASB)
3 Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men
of good reputation,
full of the Spirit and of wisdom,
whom we may put in charge of this task. ( to serve tables.)
5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen,
a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.
8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.
10… they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit
with which he was speaking.
Acts 6:3, 5, 6, 8 (NASB)
Trials, Tribulations –> Character, Ministry, persevering Faith, Hope, Love :
and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only this,
but we also exult in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character;
and proven character,
5 and hope
does not disappoint,
because the love of God
has been poured out within our hearts
through the Holy Spirit
who was given to us.
Romans 5:2-5 (NASB)
2 Grace to you and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us
in all our affliction
so that we will be able
to comfort those
who are in any affliction
with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance,
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren,
of our affliction which came to us in Asia,
that we were burdened excessively,
beyond our strength,
so that we despaired even of life;
we had the sentence of death within ourselves
we would not trust in ourselves,
but in God
who raises the dead;
10 who delivered us
from so great a peril of death,
and will deliver us,
He on whom we have set our hope.
And He will yet deliver us,
1 Corinthians 1:2-5 (NASB)
6 In all this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while
you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith
—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire
—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6,7 (NIV)
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.
33 For He does not afflict willingly
Or grieve the sons of men.
Lamentations 3:32, 33 (NASB)
“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb
“Only those that have traveled the road know where the holes are deep.”
– Chinese Proverb
Majority World — the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
December 1, 2016
Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
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