Evidence Of God’s Work In Your Life
How to live so that our lives will point people to God and to Jesus Christ.
Hello radio friends, how are you? You doing okay, today? Well, I trust so. You know it cheers me up just to talk with you. I don’t know what affect my voice may have on you, I suppose it all depends upon when the broadcast arrives in what mood you’re in at the moment, but I’ll tell you this, every time I have the chance to open the Word of God and speak with you this way, by means of radio, my heart is warmed and my life is lit up with the blessing of God, I’m grateful for this opportunity. Thank you for making it possible by your prayers and by your gifts, bless your heart, it’s great.
Let’s look at the 13th chapter of Acts, Paul and Barnabas are in the island of Cyprus, and they’re in this town called Paphos. They have run up against a sorcerer who is actively opposing the Gospel and the message that Saul and Barnabas are giving. Now it says he withstood them, that means he opposed to them. This is in verse 8. He opposed them. Let’s see, interfered, I think is the word that someone else uses. He interfered. He said, “Oh, let’s not get too excited about this. And let’s not get upset about this new message. I’ll take care of everything, you’ve been close to me.” He said to the governor, “for some time. You can trust me, I’ll take care of everything.”
Oh, well, you can expect interference and you can expect opposition, but the thing that stands out in Paul’s description of elements, he says; you’re not interfering and opposing, you are carrying out a flank attack upon God’s work by seeking to pervert the right ways of the Lord. And I reminded you the last time we got together, that one of the dangers in our day is that people who are godless, Christ rejecting people are using the language of evangelicalism. They’re using the language of the classic Orthodox Christian faith, so that words like faith and love, and evangelism and salvation and fulfillment, and all these different things, all of these terms are being are being used with different meanings. This is part of the enemy’s plan to subvert a whole culture. The most popular form of rock music now is called Gospel rock, in many areas of the country, at least. I was talking with a musician who’s in the business, the other day, and he said, “You know, some of the best fellows to play rock come out of religious backgrounds. And you mentioned one pianist who is a tremendous a rock pianist.
Oh, the hard rock sounds that he can produce, and this man I was talking to, he said, I asked him one day, I said, “Where did you get all that technique?” [chuckle] He laughed, he said, “I got it out of the revival meetings.” And laughed scornfully. Now what’s happening? Even the musical idioms off the church, from old time gospel meetings are being prostituted to godlessness. And the terminology that we would ordinarily attach… To which we would ordinarily attach sacred, holy scriptural meanings, these terms are being misused misapplied, and you have to be on your guard. This is what Paul is saying, you’re trying to pervert, he said to Elymas, you’re trying to pervert the right ways of the Lord.
Remember Isaiah’s comment in Isaiah 8, I think it is Verse 20; To the law and to the testimony, for if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them. Compare always these messages that you are hearing, these terms that you are hearing used, compare them with the way the Bible uses them, so that you can keep straight on Scriptural terms.
Well, the deputy, verse 12, the deputy Sergius Paulus, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now, there was teaching, you see, because Barnabas and Saul had been called by Sergius Paulus who desired to hear the Word of God, they had been giving doctrine, right, they had been teaching him. Doctrine is teaching, alright? Now the deputy is brought to a place of committing himself to the Lord, Jesus Christ, based upon what was done. Let me remind you, that doctrine is dead until God begins to work in human lives. Doctrine is dead until God begins to work in human lives. One of the reasons for the deadness of many of so called fundamentalist church, or if you wanna use a milder term, evangelical. One of the reasons for the deadness of many a church whose doctrine is correct, is that nothing is going on but the rent. There have been no changes observable in the lives of the church members for 30 years, aside from the inevitable process of aging.
Now, if you want doctrine to come alive go through the experience of letting God do something in your life or lead some soul to Christ so that the Lord Jesus is doing something in a saving way in some other life, you’ll find the doctrine comes alive when God works in human hearts. Will you remember that those two things go together? He saw what was done, he believed, he was astonished at the teaching. It was the teaching plus the doing, the teaching plus the doing, the teaching plus God at work in people’s lives. Make this your trademark, not simply to say something, but to be something.
Now, Paul emphasizes this over in 2 Corinthians, he says, the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. Just the dry recital of certain tenets that one is supposed to believe in order to be a so called Bible believing Christian, just the mere recital of these things, can be dead, it can be deadly. But a life that is demonstrating these truths oh, that’s something else again, that is dynamic, that is life-giving, that is challenging. Now give some thought to that for yourself. Many of my listeners I know love the Lord with all your heart and you want to stay true to His Word. Would you give some thought to the effect your life, correct as it is, maybe having upon other people. Would it be perhaps that many people are left unmoved by your life simply for lack of any demonstration of God’s power in your daily life. Would you ask God to do something in your life, so that there might be evidence that the doctrine is divine? Let’s go back to the text. “The deputy,” it says, “when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”
Now, it’s interesting to me that the Holy Spirit who never misses a beat here, He says things exactly as they are, records that the deputy was astonished at the teaching of the Lord, there was no emphasis here upon what Saul had said or what Barnabas had said, there was an emphasis now upon God. The supreme test of your usefulness as a child of God, is what people say about God when you’re through. Would you give some thought to that my pastor friend? Would you give some thought to the idea that it’s what people say about your God that counts? Now, I think I’m as human as anyone else and more so probably than many, if that’s possible. And I think I’m susceptible to the kind words that people say now and again, when I finish the sermon, I think many of those kind words are entirely undeserved. But I’m susceptible to them, they’re easy to take. And so you get to thinking, well, I must have done pretty well today because people seem to be blessed, and they said so.
Now do remember with me, my friend, that the test is not whether somebody says, “Oh, that was a great sermon.” Or, “That was a great Sunday school lesson teacher.” Or, “That was a great solo or that was a great choir member.” Whatever it may be. That’s not the test of real usefulness. The test of real usefulness is this: What do people say about Jesus when you’re through? What do people say about God when the sermon is over? What do people say about the teaching of God? Does anybody go away from your Sunday school class or from your sermon or from your choir number or from your solo, and say, “Oh I never thought about it that way. I never knew God that way.” Or do they say to themselves, “Oh, I need to know God like that person knows him.” And so on. What do they say about God? Remember what it says here, the Holy Spirit never misses a note, and he says the deputy was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. Now it was the miracle power of God through Saul that implemented the teaching, doctrine becomes alive when something is done, but the net result is that God gets the glory if you’re set up right and your switchboard is plugged into the heavenly the heavenly dynamo, alright?
Now it was time to leave, when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, and this is a turning point, remember now, it was Barnabas and Saul, verse 2, Barnabas and Saul, verse 7, “But now,” Verse 13, “Paul and his company.” There was a change in leadership. I have a couple of questions here, John Mark deserted at this point, we gotta talk about him the next time we get together. But I wanna ask, do you have as big as spirit as Barnabas had, Barnabas was willing for a change in leadership when his prodigy you may say became the leader of the Gospel team. It was now Paul and his company, and after this, it’s not Barnabas and Saul, it’s Paul and Barnabas. This may indeed have been the reason why John Mark left, I don’t know, his leaving is mentioned in the same verse, with this change. But I want you to ask yourself this question: Am I big enough in spirit to see somebody whom I encouraged go beyond me? Something to think about.
Many a person spoils his usefulness by complaining when God blesses somebody else. Don’t you do that today. Alright?
Dear, Father, keep Thy hand upon us today, help us to see God at work in our lives, and the teaching of God divinely implemented to the other peoples. I ask in Jesus name, Amen. Amen. God bless you, dear friend, all the way, that’s all for now.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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