Internet Archive bookmarks for: despond

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Gospel Thrives In Persecution and Opposition - Acts 14

Here is the recording for Acts 14  taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.






Here some applications from this passage not in audio:

1. Every disciple of Christ is part of the church of Christ no matter where they reside.

2. We are all called to boldly proclaim the good news of the Gospel. We are all missionaries.

3. Proclaiming the Gospel will bring results.

There will be opposition and even persecution from unbelievers. It will bring others to faith. Matthew 10:34

4. Every church must have elders to shepherd and lead the flock of God.

5. Every believer must expect suffering and persecution. We must remain faithful to our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a quote from A.W. Tozer:

‘Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in his name. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster. He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords. He calls them to self-abegnation and death; we call them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate zodiac. He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers. . . . We can afford to suffer now; we’ll have a long eternity to enjoy ourselves. And our enjoyment will be valid and pure, for it will come in the right way in the right time.17 Remember that the clear teaching about the inevitability of suffering comes in a section that describes the follow-through care of the new converts. This leads us to the conclusion that teaching on suffering should be considered part of the basic follow-through training given to new converts.” - Quoted in Acts The NIV Application Commentary by Ajith Fernando





Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Love of The Father to The Son

I wrote this letter to my son in his first year of college. Much has happened since then. He has graduated, works full time, and is engaged to a wonderful Christian girl named Alex. But my love for him is still the same. I am grateful to have a godly son. This letter also was written before two little beings were adopted into the family. My little girl is 4 and my little boy is 10. I am grateful for them as well.

As imperfect my love is for them, I strive to be like my Father in Heaven. I am a long way from that, but He gives me His grace. Abundant grace.

The Love of The Father to The Son

Dear Misael,

I have been thinking about the love God has given us as fathers toward our sons, how it relates to Him and the Lord Jesus Christ and to us as his children. Now that you have been away for almost eight months, and even though we have seen you almost every two or three months, your presence is conspicuous. But more than this I have realize how great is my love for you. I find myself praying for you every morning as I go to work and then when I am on my daily runs. I thank God for giving us a great son like you. My understanding of the love of a father has become more deep and personal. It is something very hard to explain until you have a son. Some day, Lord willing, you will have a son.You will understand how great is the love that one can have for a son. It is beyond explanation and sentiment. It is also especially meaningful when you know that your son is so much like you, like you are, for better or worse. Undeniably, you are my son. My first-born. As I continue to see you grow and mature as a man, I am so thankful for having you and for the profound love that I have for you. So I asked myself, “Where does this come from?” The obvious answer is that it is from God. God is love the Bible says. He created us, not out of necessity but out of love. When he created us he gave us apart of himself that we call the image of God (Imago Dei). The ability to love is a characteristic of God. That bond that exists between father and son, you and me, was given by Him. It is inexpressible and incomprehensible. But as I continue to ponder upon it I think of the love of God towards his Son Jesus Christ. Given that this relationship is also quite incomprehensible (because it is part of the Trinity) and hard to understand Ican only glimpse the surface. I think of what God felt when he released his son to us. It is no wonder the very first words uttered by God when Jesus is publicly presented as Messiah are “This is my son, in whom I am very well pleased.” This shows the great love of God towards his son. God loved The Son more than we can comprehend. Yet, their relationship was interrupted by our own sins. When Jesus was hanging on the cross he called out, “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani,”“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” (Matthew 27:45-46) Jesus experienced a separation from God. I can’t quite explain what it means but I am certain it hurt The Father even more. Nothing hurts us fathers than to see our sons suffer. I hope I never have to experience this. The separation that I now experience from youis nothing compared to what Jesus and God experienced at the cross. But thiswas necessary for us. He loved us. His love is beyond all measure. God’s love for us is even greater than the love we have for our sons. Not only does God love us but our Lord Jesus Christ loves us with the same love. Isn’t this amazing?

Yet, I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to experience and to comprehend what it means to have the love of a father. I can never come close to loving you the way The Father loves but I share a part of Him. Some day you might also experience this as well. But even while you are growing and becoming a man on your own, you not only know of my love for you, but also of the love of The Father towards you. It is an amazing love.

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen can ever tell.

It goes beyond the highest star

And reaches to the lowest hell.

The guilty pair, bowed down with care,

God gave His Son to win;

His erring child He reconciled

And pardoned from his sin.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made;

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the oceandry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

- Frederick Lehman, 1917

I love you my son,

Daddy!