Archive for the ‘Day of Pentecost’ Category

Good Samaritan’s Random Act of Kindness

June 6, 2015

There was a story on Fox and Friends this morning where  a stranger buys a struggling mother a car.

Watch the video at the link above for the complete story.

The stranger wanted to remain anonymous. Apparently, he had the money and was able to share it with someone who was in desperate need. The Fox website labeled this as “Good Samaritan’s random act of kindness.”

The video reveals that the woman is a Christian and that she had been praying to God for an answer to her dilemma.

I think that it was wise for the man who bought the car for her to remain anonymous. Perhaps he, himself, is also a Christian and was heeding what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Mat 6:1

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Mat 6:2

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Mat 6:3

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

Mat 6:4

“that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly

David Guzik writes:

A. Doing good to please God.

1. (1) Jesus’ warning against doing good to be seen by others.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

a. Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men: Charitable deeds is actually the word righteousness. Jesus tells us to not do righteous things for the sake of display or image (to be seen by them).

i. Jesus has just clearly shown God’s righteous standard; perhaps He anticipated the thought “Wouldn’t everybody be impressed if I was like that?” So here Jesus addressed the danger of cultivating an image of righteousness. It is almost impossible to do spiritual things in front of others without thinking what their opinion is of us as we do those things, and how they are thinking better or worse of us as we do what we do.

ii. This does not contradict His previous command to let your light so shine before men (Matthew 5:16). Although the followers of Jesus are to be seen doing good works, they must not do good works simply to be seen.

b. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven: The idea is when we do righteous deeds for the attention and applause of men, their attention and applause is our reward. It is much better to receive a reward from your Father in heaven.

I have been reading Dr. David Jeremiah’s book “A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed The World.” In chapter 3, (which describes and expands upon the Day of Pentecost and the spectacular birth of the Christian church) we read about the church opening its hands to those in need.

In the early church, “all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need” (Acts 2:44-45). The fledgling church experienced severe persecution, leaving members displaced and destitute. They formed a close-knit community to take care of one another, sharing their food, clothing, and money to meet people’s needs.

Over the years, some people have pointed to this passage to make the claim that the early church practiced Communism or socialism, but such was not the case. Communism is a compulsory sharing of goods because no one is thought to have the right to own anything. Socialism acknowledges the right of private property, but it requires individuals to give a certain percentage of what they earn to others in order to narrow the gap between socioeconomic classes.

The early church, however, shared their goods because they were generous and committed to one another. Scripture doesn’t say that the entire church sold all they had and gave everything up for the community’s welfare. It simply says that people voluntarily sold their possessions as financial concerns arose and gave the proceeds to those in need.

Today, almost every church takes care to meet the needs of members lacking food, shelter, help, or clothing. Some churches have food banks or centers offering furniture and clothing. The authentic church is a caring and generous community.

Notice that serving those in need was done by the early church without the “help” (more accurately, the interference) of the Roman government which was hell-bent on destroying these “annoying” followers of Jesus.   Both the Roman Empire and the Sanhedrin Jewish leaders thought that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary would stop the “rabble-rousers” and finally put an end to this religious movement once and for all.

However, when Jesus rose from the dead, walked the earth (again) in his resurrected body for 40 days and appeared to over 400 people over that time span, the Jesus Christ revolution had only just begun!

In the TV series of the same name, we are seeing that there was an enormous political and religious upheaval that led to the formation of the early church. Despite the brutality being done against the people of The Way (what it was called back then), the depiction of the Day of Pentecost was quite riveting!

Dr. Jeremiah shares extra information regarding the Old Testament history of that day and what it meant to believers in the New Testament.

The Feast of Pentecost
The word Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish festival Shavuot. Pentecost celebrated two coinciding events, one ancient and the other ongoing. The first marked the occasion of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, which had occurred seven weeks after the original Passover in Egypt.

The second event was the culmination of the Feast of Weeks. This feast derived its name from the seven-seek harvest of wheat and barley, which began at Passover. The day after this seven-week harvest was designated as a time of celebration and thanks to God, which the Jews expressed by bringing an offering of the first crops from their harvests to the Temple.

Since that was the fiftieth day after Passover, it was called Pentecost, meaning “fifty days.”

Recall that the risen Jesus remained on earth for forty days, and then he ascended into heaven ten days before the Jewish observance of Pentecost (Shavuot). On the morning of Pentecost, 120 disciples and the 12 apostles (Judas had been replaced by Matthias) were in the upper room, still waiting for the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit.

Then it happened!

There was a deafening roar that startled everyone and it was like the sound of a rushing wind. It filled not only the house they were in but people heading to the Temple to celebrate Shavuot were shocked by it too! Scripture describes what the disciples experienced. There were bright streaks of light resembling flaming tongues that flashed above them as the Holy Spirit entered into them! At that moment, the power that Jesus promised them had arrived, and they were able to speak in tongues so that the hearers could hear their own languages! This was a miracle! (see Acts 2:1-6).

These men were changed forever! And Peter gave the sermon that birthed the church (Acts 2). The disciples and apostles were no longer confused about their mission. They finally realized that the kind of Kingdom Jesus was establishing was not merely to save Israel from the Romans, but to save the world from Satan.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

He (Jesus) was not merely the Messiah to the Jews; he was the Messiah to people in all nations around the globe. He was the rightful King not of just the Jews but of the whole world, which since the time of Adam and Eve had been “enemy-occupied territory.” The task of these disciples was to lead people out from under the tyranny of a demonic usurper and rally them around the flag of a resistance movement led by Jesus Christ, their true King.

The power Jesus had promised was infinitely better than anything they could have anticipated. It filled them with more joy and love and courage than they had ever imagined possible.

In today’s world, the persecution of Christians has increased exponentially. The Bible tells us that the closer we get to the end times, this will be the case. Therefore, we need to speak out boldly, as we should, and share the gospel of Christ!

As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world – now.

Hat tips:
Fox News

Dr. Jeremiah.org

 

So Great is His Love for Those Who Fear Him

April 27, 2015

This is one of the most loved Bible verses from the Old Testament.  I see it all the time on the blogs of Christian writers.

Skeptics might view that verse in a totally different way from how believers in Christ see it.  They may think, “why would anyone think that the God of the Bible is a God of love because we are to “fear” Him?”  It is a good question, actually, and one that I will attempt to answer in this post.

When you look up the term “fear” as it is used in Psalm 103:11, we learn that the root Hebrew word [yare’]means both “to frighten – affright, be (make) afraid, dread” as well as “fear (be had) in reverence.”

When we look up the term “reverence” in the dictionary and view the word origin and history, we find:

Word Origin and History for rev-er-ence

n.

late 13c., from Old French reverence “respect, awe,” from Latin reverentia “awe, respect,” from revereri “to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere,” from re-, intensive prefix (see re- ), + vereri “stand in awe of, fear,” from PIE *wer- “to be or become aware of, perceive, watch out for” (cf. Old English wær “aware, cautious;” see wary ).
v.

late 14c., “treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence (n.). Related: Reverenced ; reverencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid (or, at least tried to hide) themselves from God because they now feared Him (the “frightened,” “dreaded” kind of fear).

Prior to The Fall, the relationship between God and the first man and woman was one of “treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence.”

Today, we have the free-will choice to either remain “afraid of God,” or to “treat [Him] with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence.”

God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the bridge between sinful man and Holy God.

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and proceeded to indwell the apostles.

Recall that most of them ran away (except John, Mary M. and Mary the mother of Jesus)  out of fear for their earthly lives  when Christ was crucified!  Thomas doubted that Christ had been risen and wanted proof by seeing Him, and putting his fingers into the nail scars on Jesus’ hands and at his side.

So what changed them so drastically that they feared no more and steadfastly spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to 3,000 in one day?

Answer:  The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit – promised by Jesus Christ!

Read the account about the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

Dreaded fear became the more positive reverent fear in the name of Jesus Christ!

And this happens to this very day when we repent of our sins and accept Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives; thus inviting Him into our hearts through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit!

Where do YOU stand with God?

In Christ’s service,

Christine

*******

How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


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