Take Time With God #100 – Tragedies
On this 100th edition of Take Time With God, Ray will share a compilation by Nancy Brown on the subject of tragedies.
Compiled and written by by Nancy Brown with a written testimony from Wycliffe Bible Translators
SCRIPTURE: 1 Timothy 1:8-17 (RSV)
8 Now we know that the law is good, if anyone uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God
with which I have been entrusted.
12 I thank him who has given me strength for this, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful by appointing me to his service, 13 though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners; 16 but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The apostle Paul, also known as Saul of Tarsus, was a Pharisee of Pharisees, zealous for the traditions of the Jews blameless concerning the religious practice of the day. It was his zeal that brought him to stand by guarding the cloaks of those who stoned to death Stephen, our first martyr. It was that zeal for the law that sent him out in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria rounding up Christians for imprisonment and death. Saul continued his rampage as far as Damascus,
But, an amazing thing happened to Saul on the way to Damascus. This man, who seemed to think the only good Christian was a dead Christian, as he was drawing near to Damascus with his soldiers, was blinded by a bright light and fell to the ground. Then he heard a Voice. The Voice asked Saul why he was persecuting Him. Saul did not know who it was and asked. The Voice replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” Jesus told him to get up and go into Damascus and he would be told what to do.
Three days he waited. I expect those were some of the longest days of Saul’s life. Three days he fasted and prayed. Saul was a man who was a scholar of the scriptures. I have no doubt he knew them thoroughly. , I expect he was also examining the scripture he held dear to his heart, comparing them to what Jesus said of himself, examining Jesus’ teaching and miracles, and examining what the disciples taught. I expect he had also heard Jesus teaching in the temple. Maybe he was even one who went specifically to try to trap Jesus in His words. Then, after Jesus’ death, he had heard the disciples teaching in the streets, even in the temple. They had great authority in their teaching. They also had power only God could give. In Damascus, during those three days of fasting, prayer, and examination, he was filled with guilt and shame, but his guilt and shame turned to joy. He came to understand and believe Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, the Son of God who was to come. He believed the glorious gospel of the blessed God. And was forgiven of all he did against Jesus.
On the third day, God sent Ananias to Saul so Saul could regain his sight and be baptized with the Holy Spirit. “The grace of our Lord overflowed for him with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:14) Saul’s life made a 180 degree turn. Immediately he began preaching the gospel, proclaiming Jesus. He confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving through the scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews couldn’t dispute him, so they made plans to kill him. Saul escaped with the help of other believers.
That became the pattern of Saul’s life. The church at Antioch sent Saul, who became known as Paul, with Barnabas to preach the good news of forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus and start churches throughout the Mediterranean. The change in the lives of the new believers brought change in the religious and economic life of communities. Religious Jews were contending with a dramatically different understanding of the Messiah in scripture. They were looking for the reign of the Messiah over the earth, (which is still to happen) not a suffering Messiah. The Messiah, Jesus, whom Paul preached, suffered for the sins of the world, paying the penalty Himself for their and our unfaithfulness to the God. He died and rose again bringing forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe. The scriptures proclaimed it, but, the Jewish leaders were jealous of the grace and power of the disciples. In addition, businesses dependent upon selling religious paraphernalia were threatened by the loss of sales caused by the conversion of so many to Christ. These religious and business people combined in their efforts to kill the bearers of the message. Paul and Barnabas were forced to flee from one city to another.
But God, in His wisdom and power used persecution to spread the gospel far and wide throughout the world. God used Paul who had been a persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ, a man who had Christian men and women imprisoned and executed, a man who, though forgiven, could never forget what he had done. God used him to reach out to the world, displaying His patience and mercy in Paul’s life in order to bring many to Christ. Paul without much doubt has been the most influential of the apostles. He established churches throughout the Mediterranean and wrote almost half of the New Testament to churches then and down through the ages to us. And the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which Paul was entrusted and the grace of our Lord, continues to overflowed for us with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
The following testimony is from Wycliffe associates website.
James is a national translator. He is translating the Bible into his own language for the people of his home community. He works with organization founded by the local churches just off the coast of Papua New Guinea. James’ heart was filled for years with bitter anger at the murder of his young son. God healed James’ broken heart and James is bringing God’s healing Word to his community.
In a video, He said, “Before I received Christ in my life I was a very bad person. I was stubborn. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. I rejected Christ is every way.
Later in my life a very tragic thing happened. My son went into town and was attacked by a group of evil men. They struck him many times until they killed him. Why would they kill my only child? This brought anger in me that only got worse. Later in life, I gave my life to Christ and in 2010 it looked as if the Lord wanted me to do the work of translation. As I studied and translated God’s word, the anger at my son’s death started to disappear. The Lord provided a miracle. The burden I carried for so long became the Lord’s to carry. It was no longer mine. God just took it away.
To translate His word and truth into my very own language what a blessing and honor. As I continue to translate His word people aren’t clear about the work I’m doing. This gives me the opportunity to share my personal story of how the Lord saved my life. I was able to share with them the words of hope that God offers in their very own language. It was like a light turned on in their lives, the darkness disappeared and they recognized what the Lord was saying to them. He is a God of true miracles. It is an honor to be serving my God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” (http://www.wycliffeassociates.org/James-Bible-Translator-Video, James, Bible Translator for the God of True Miracles)
Paul wrote to Timothy, “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)
The gospel of the blessed God is still glorious. “The grace of our Lord still overflows for us with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:14) It comes to us in trusting the death of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins, believing he rose from the dead receiving eternal life, and submitting with joy to Jesus’ Lordship of our lives.
Have you trusted Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection? Is Jesus Lord of your life? If not, please don’t wait, now is the acceptable time. Today is the day of salvation.
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So until the next newscast this is Ray Mossholder, praying for you my friend. Have a miraculous day!
Take Time With God #100 – Tragedies