Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY JAN. 21, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” Luke 1.1-4

Something To Consider:
Luke was a physician and attended missionary endeavors alongside the apostle Paul, probably until Paul’s death. Luke wrote his gospel as a history lesson based on the life of Jesus. Luke may have been the first to fully recognize that history was “His Story,” the story of Jesus. Luke wrote to a man named Theophilus, probably an early believer in Jesus. Names in bible times were extremely important, and along with the giving of names was the hope of future identity and character. The name Theophilus means friend of God.

The apostle John in his gospel in John 15.13-16, recorded the words of Jesus; “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

We, as was John the Baptist, John the apostle, and Luke the disciple and gospel scribe, have been chosen by God and appointed by God to bear fruit and that our fruit should remain. Are we passing the fruit taste test?

Something Else To Consider:
Luke, a one-time leader in training, wrote his gospel narrative from the gathering of eyewitness accounts. These same eyewitness accounts are again mentioned by John in his first epistle. In 1 John 1.1-4 John declared; “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life [Jesus], the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us, that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

Because of the eyewitness accounts preserved for generations, we can be confident in the certainty of the Word of God. We can also be confident that through our believing and receiving eyewitness instruction, our joy in Jesus Christ may be full. And it is a naturally proven fact that all leaders in training need instruction! But we must be careful in what instruction we receive. We must be diligent in knowing where it is that a particular instruction will eventually lead us. We must also be mindful to know where the instruction we are instructing others with will lead them.

In the book of the prophet Jeremiah, God brought an indictment against the leaders of Israel in verse 6 of chapter 50, by stating; “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds [leaders] have led them astray…” As leaders and or leaders in training, we need to give careful consideration and much prayerful thought to the certainty of things instructed, lest we find ourselves being accused by God of leading His people astray. There is much more at stake than just this present life here on planet earth.

Something More To Consider:
Jesus in Matthew 7 in His Sermon on the Mount warned all who have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is speaking to the true church of these last days. Jesus cautioned us to beware of those who would seek to lead His people astray, by explaining in verses 15-20; “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing [playing the part of a Christian], but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them [false prophets].”

Ravenous spiritual wolves come to steal, kill, and to destroy our friendship and fellowship with Christ. Ravenous spiritual wolves come to separate us from the certainty of the things we have been instructed from the Word of God. According to Jesus, we will know false prophets by their spiritual fruit and or their lack of fruit. In other words, does an apple tree bear peaches? Does a pear tree bear prunes? According to Jesus, “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Rest assured, a man’s sins will present themselves in either his actions and or his attitudes. Numbers 32.23 affirms; “And be sure your sin will find you out.”

If we will study the Word of God and especially all the teachings of Jesus, we will learn the vast differences between the truth and a lie. If we study to show ourselves approved unto God we will know how to discern between true prophets and false prophets. This is a must learn lesson of a lifetime in these last days if we are going to rightly discern between the true biblically based messages of God and the false misleading end time deceptive messages of the many wolf-like leaders in sheep’s clothing!

And yet, this spiritual gift of discernment appears to be very much lacking within this 21st century end time church leadership. But why is that the case of Christianity in this possible end time generation? Could it be that the enemies of all that is godly are working overtime to create evil doctrines of men and demons so as to infiltrate the organized institutionalized end time church? Remember the warning of Jesus, “Take heed [beware] that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many [not some, not a few, but will deceive many].”

A Few Final Words:
Have we become eyewitnesses of the work and power of the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ? And if we have, what are we doing to continue the process in the lives of ourselves and others? Are we being of assistance in the maintaining the certainty of things instructed within the pages of sacred Scripture? Are we, as possible end time believers, striving for that perfect understanding that Luke boasted of in the introduction of his gospel?

Are we ready, willing, and able to lay down our lives for another? Are we ready, willing, and able to lay down our lives for the gospel’s sake? Before our answering too hastily let us be reminded that God’s grace is sufficient in our time of need. If you are like me, may we hope together that we will have the courage and faith to not only answer yes to these questions if and when the time comes, but that our actions will exemplify Jesus’ actions He so courageously took for us!

It is a certainty, that everyone is a leader to someone. Therefore, wise leaders instruct others by their actions and examples, not by words alone. Therefore have we become spiritual eyewitnesses of the Word of God, and if so, are we convinced of the certainty of things instructed? And if so, are we involved in the enlarging of the kingdom of end time believers? Are we participating in the spiritual battle taking place behind enemy lines, and if so, how goes the battle?

What example are we leaving for others who are looking on at our lives? What example are our words, actions, and attitudes creating in the minds and hearts of those closest to us on a daily basis? The irony of this lesson of a lifetime is that others in and around our lives actually become eyewitnesses of our lives and our example we portray every day of our existence here on planet earth.

Yes, when we sin or fall short there is made available the forgiveness of that sin, but the example portrayed will be remembered by the certainty of things we have instructed whether willingly or by accident. That is why we should desire every day to become made more into the express image of Jesus Christ for our benefit and for the eternal benefit of others looking on!

Our Father in heaven, may the light of Your truth instruct us to be faithful witnesses of You and what we can become in Christ. In Him Always, Amen!

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