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May 20, 2021 1:00 am
God set it up like that God designed it like that, so that as we change people look at what's up with and gives us an opportunity to share the good see a lot of times we think that our progression as a Christian is just for our benefit and there is benefit and blessing in our progression of believers, but it's also for the blessing of other people around so they can look and go you know what is different about something has changed and you want to know what it is and it gives us an opportunity to tell people the good news and how we change will come to cross the bridge with David McGee.
David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina, did you know there is power in the fact that you are different you once were.
Today pastor David explains the importance of our testimony as he continues in the book of acts chapter 9 is David McKee with his teaching chains life turn with me to acts chapter.
We finished up with verse 18 last week, so we'll start with verse 19. But before we do, here's what's going on.
Saul has been persecuting the church is on the road to Damascus which is in present-day Syria and only way to persecute the church in Damascus. He's not to his knees and he sees a line and Jesus speaks to Mrs. Saul, why are you persecuting me in and sauces will who are you is on Jesus.
So then Saul is struck by and they leading into Damascus and lay Manning. Ananias is then called upon to minister to Saul to pray for them and salt receives a slight is what we see in verse 18 was picking up with restricting them immediately there fell from his eyes.
Something like scales and he received his sight at once and he arose and was baptized so many had received food, it was strengthened. Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus is as interesting as is when he received food. So what happened was he found the Lord. He had a salvation experience, and then he had food and was strengthened.
Now if you were here Thursday night looking at David and Goliath, we notice that he hit Goliath of the lock in the rock is often a picture of Jesus in the Scriptures, and then he used the sword on Goliath and the sword is often used as a symbol for the word of God.
So we see that once we come to know Jesus. We need to get in the word and we seek Saul coming of Jesus and then it says that he received food now in the King James I'm reading from the new King James. If you're in the King James it it uses the word meet uses the word meet another interesting thing here meat is often equated with the word of God food is often equated with the word of God. Why is that because it is the spiritual food that we need to feed us, and often what happens is people are teaching the word of God are not reading the word of God and not studying the word of God and they wonder what's wrong with a Christian walk.
You're starving to death. And when you started that you don't have the energy to do anything I don't I don't usually miss very many meals. I have a pretty regular and really nobody usually has to remind me pastor have you eaten all my gosh. I forgot I ain't three days ago. I just been forgetting to eat and that's not usually what happens with me. And yet, as Christians sometimes we have to be reminded the Hebrews chapter 5 verse 12 this is in the new living translation says it given Christians a long time now and you are to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures you are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. Verse 13 and the person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature and have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. I can relate to this verse. I was in the church for years and years before I really started to get to know my Bible and part of that was because I was became under the influence.
If you will, of verse by verse. Teaching is a set of the teachings I realize that you and I knew the stories like David and Goliath. I knew about no one marking those things. I really didn't know the word of God.
I found myself, like the guy in the video you not say something older that were losing their summer it which isn't very reassuring to somebody you're talking to them about your faith and so we see in this picture the milk and then the meat as a matter fact, here's your something up. I do every teaching present the gospel in a present milk and a present meet gospel milk and meat no matter what what you talking about while the gospel is the good news.
And so if somebody comes in that's an unbeliever. They're going to hear how their sins can be forgiven to the Gospels for unbelievers and you have the milk. The milk is for believers. Perhaps new believers and they need to get grounded in the word of and so we talk about stuff about praying and servant and given and stuff like that in the verse by verse contact and in the meat is for disciples.
The meat is the heavier stuff you need to quit living for yourself and begin to live for the Lord so you got the gospel the milk and the meat in this. This ties in with what were about is we want to see unbelievers become believers and then those believers become what disciples you guys rock. So we want to see unbelievers become believers in those believers become disciples. Verse 20. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues that he is the son of God, where did he preach he preached in the synagogues immediately went into the fellowship will begin teaching now. Why is that important. Please understand I am not anti-church. Okay, I'm not anti-summary of what your pastor really well sometimes I do talk about the fact that the churches, gotten off track.
In some ways churches in general. I read a thing that yesterday a study that found that 3.5% of all churches are effective in evangelism 3.5%.
Now does that mean there's something wrong with the design of the church, absolutely not mean that something is wrong in the church but God is the one that instituted the church he's going to put it in place is one that led them to me and all these things leaning understand that so it's where most people get say is where most people get discipled is within the body of Christ.
The fellowship in the gallery is a perfect absolutely not. Absolutely not. But it is God ordained now what it's all preach preach Christ that he is the son of God. If you're in the new King James use either he preach Christ in the synagogues that he H is the son of God, was he in capital H because it refers back to Christ, so he is the son of God were probably maybe 40 A.D. something just get somewhere between 30 probably 35, 42, but 80 but polyurethane Jesus is the son of God was important because there are some quacks that came later.
That said, Jesus never said he was a son of God and the disciples never said he was the son of God had a church meeting 300 A.D. where they all decided that suddenly, mystically, Jesus became the son of God, but here we have Saul teach and around 40 A.D. that Jesus is the son of God, so you're talking to somebody that doesn't believe that some way that teaches this nonsense about Jesus not be in the sun got great verse.
The reference great verse.
The reference was to all who heard were amazed and said is this not he who destroyed those who call on this name in Jerusalem and has come here for that purpose so that he might bring them down to the chief priest to the begin to notice that Saul's life was changing. Verse 22, but Saul increased all the more in strengths and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ that will explain couple about couple things about it, since Jews, Saul was a Jew.
So when it uses the term Jews. A lot of times as those used who had not begun to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. So understand that that Saul was Jewish and that word is kind of been use now to point out those who are not believed in Jesus that is proving that this Jesus is the Christ up if you're unfamiliar with the Bible you're going will waive his name. His name is Jesus Christ with me. Jesus is the Christ, while Jesus it's kind of the name we use for going back to his Hebrew name. It's got Shula is actually his given name because there's no J in the Hebrew which you know we can know from that that God's name in the Hebrew Scriptures was not Jehovah. Now our English word for that Hebrew word yet Shula is Joshua Joshua that's why at the close of the service you hear me praying and I say in the name yet Shula and just so semi-doesn't think were cold or weird also always say Jesus just so they can refer back to who I'm talking about, but says Jesus is the Christ, maybe… Christ was his last night will know Christ was in his last name.
It was his title was his title see this word Christ in the Greek is Christos just add an OS Christos and what that meant was the anointed one, not an anointed one, the anointed one, pointing to the fact that Jesus was what the Hebrew word the machine, the Messiah would Messiah goes back to the Hebrew word for Shiite so that Jesus is the anointed one. Jesus is the Messiah is what Saul was teaching them again.
At this point are freaking out.
You can see the freaking out. They think this is the guy that came here to persecute the church now also needs telling us about Jesus that Jesus is the Christ and so here's the first life lessons. There is power in the fact that you are different than you once were. There is power in the fact that you are different than you once were. The fact that you're here this morning is probably different than perhaps how you used to be. You may even depending on the radical transformation you may have people that are freaking out that you come to church on Sunday morning when you go to church because you know my life started to change and then begin to serve, I will boot something is wrong with you something is right with you then begin to notice the changes. They begin to notice those changes.
God set it up like that God designed it like that, so that as we change people look at the change and go hey what's up with and gives us an opportunity to share the good news see a lot of times we think that our progression as a Christian is just for our benefit and there is benefit and blessing in our progression as believers. But it's also for the blessing of other people around us so they can look and go you know what sums different about something has changed and you want to know what it is and it gives us an opportunity to tell people the good news and how we change your listing to Pastor David McGee on cross the bridge will be right back with more just a moment, but I want to remind you of the free resources available to you on cross the bridge.com there's a team of hundreds of people that will pray for somebody to be saved. You have a loved one that needs to know Jesus as Savior. You need people to pray for them.
You need someone to present God's word to them every day were present in God's virtual here on cross the bridge with Pastor David McGee. We can pray for them as well.
Just by simple going to cross the bridge.com and click on the pray for the lost button. All you need to do is put in the first names of the people you love that needs know Jesus as Savior.
Click on submit and immediately hundreds of people begin praying for your lost loved ones. What an awesome way to bring love once to Jesus, here's a word from associate pastor DA Brown. We want to take just a minute to pray for some cities in our listening audience specifically read support Roseburg Seaside Selma Sprague River in the Dallas and Oregon and also Hammett in Pennsylvania.
Father, we thank you for the cities. We thank you for the people living in them. We pray that your Holy Spirit would pour out and draw many people until personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Father we pray that many people would be healed, who perhaps have had bad experiences in the past God that they would receive forgiveness and forgive those in their lives who have offended when we pray that you draw people in the Bible teaching church is that you get the pastor's wisdom and discernment father to love the flock to serve them well over pray for all the city leaders that we would honor the respect that you will give them wisdom and discernment, father, or that it might go peaceable with us will we love you we pray that you would bless the people living in the cities. In Jesus name, amen, amen. Thank you brother and now get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse, verse 23. Now, after many days are past the Jews plotted to kill her now again point out Saul himself was a Jew and all reminders we go through this so we don't get some cut aunt somatic thing going on and that's happened so they are probably killing now in this timeline we throw this in here.
Galatians chapter 1 verse 15 through 18 says and this is Paul speaking to the church at Galatia and he says, but when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through his grace, to reveal his son in me that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went to Arabia and returned again to Damascus, then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and remain within 15 day to this add something to the timeline because as you read this you can almost get the impression that was when it wasn't boom boom boom. Saul went to the desert for three years. What was he doing he was studying the word of God.
He was looking in the Bible and seeing Jesus on every page of the Hebrew Scriptures then he was powered he was anointed and he had wisdom concerning the word of God to share with others that let me point out something Arabia is in the desert. Saul after his salvation had if you will a desert experience know why my saying that well because I think a lot of times. As believers we can have desert experiences and we immediately assume something is wrong with and such is not always the case.
If you're in the middle of the desert experience this morning. You should ask yourself some questions and in fellowship about really pour my life out to God, do really know God, am I really say, but sometimes you get to the end of that list of questions and you're still in the desert. Don't despair is seen those times in the desert their time, but it's usually there that you grow more than any other time.
I don't look back on those desert experiences in my life and go hip hip hooray hope one starts again tomorrow but at the same time I looked I grew through those desert experiences and persevere. If you're in the middle that desert experience persevere. God don't give up, press through the end and you see clearly what God was doing on the other side. Verse 24, but their plot became known. The song he wants the gates day and night, the killing, then the disciples to combine night let them down through the wall and a large basket.
There's a couple things here. First of all, they're trying to kill you know which you know is I read this and as I study this it makes me feel a little bit of better about people just being mad at me you never send in emails or phone call because nobody yet has tried to kill me. I got that to look forward to. I guess, but they were trying to kill Saul. He thinks all shot absolutely not. You think he cared a lot about that. No he didn't. We don't see problem they're trying to kill me. I'm done. I quit. He had resisted he had persecution. He had tribulation and capital don't ever quit friend as you get persecuted you get opposition lifetimes that opposition will come because you're doing what you're supposed to be doing any member in life.
You're sailing through and there's absolutely no opposition. Be careful because Jesus said opposition you're going to have tribulation and Paul said second Timothy 312 said yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. You're gonna be persecuted and having somebody going to try to kill you. Probably not, but that doesn't mean people talk about people say ugly things about people will not approve of whatever and that's just part of the deal.
That's part of being a believer is that you will have some persecution. I have persecution I have people I pour into an email in one minute I'm like a hero in their life and in like two weeks later there mad at me. They left the church. I'm a zero and they're talking about and you want me just on personal life that always bothers me that always bothers me, and you may think would get used to it to me with all these people is not in man never get used to make my heart never become so calloused when that happens, that it always counters always want because I don't want to calloused because of my heart with callous guess what's can happen. I will start talk about them. I wanted to. I'm not going to do seat and I read this will close conical people begin to speak ill of you, take heart, because it could be worse. You could be them.
You could be them cutting and who him down the wall in the basket. The disciples he was trying to kill the disciples before he was in the disciples are helping him escape. Now yeah they are pretty cool is forgiveness. That's forgiveness you think I guarantee, as they were stand around and they said in their in a group and the meeting was always a tall they want to kill you. I guarantee at least one person that crowd thought you is so I bet you if not all of the minute you go tell them where he is so they can get this exclusion on the right. But they say you know what let you down the wall look after will take care of Paul done any Saul's were still going so that's all done any great things for God as of yet not not really. He was talking about Jesus as he recognizes the great apostle to the Gentiles. Not but they said you know what will help you will look after there was such grace and forgiveness and that move you can just redo that person. You can miss that. But there such grace and mercy. These are the very people that he had wounded some of them may have lost family members. Because of this persecution and this it will let you down the wall, saw something verse 26 and when someone come to Jerusalem. He tried to join the disciples but they were all afraid of, and did not believe that he was a disciple Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road and that he had spoken to him and how he had preached boldly at Damascus, in the name of Jesus.
God will always have the right man at the right place at the right time there was Barnabas. They were getting ready to reject Saul's command change in the world in the name of Jesus and to the blessing of many people and Barnabas is there Barnabas is son of encouragement is what his name we know that you don't have to know Greek or Hebrew work.
We were given a translation back in acts chapter 4 verse 36 and it says and José, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles which is translated son of encouragement, a Levite of the country of Cyprus. Barnabas was there for what purpose to encourage Saul to encourage Saul. The next life lesson we should encourage one another in our faith. There are people in this fellowship who I believe have the gift of encouragement and at such a jewel late to talk to it because it always seems like they're trying to be a blessing to somebody and appreciate you not talk about the nasty emails I really appreciate that the encouraging emails of people sent by I got several this past week about what God is doing in the lives of people here so encouraging that you can't live on that is now a cuckoo is no good email about going in the it's not. You can't, you know, be careful and good. You can't but you can be in encourager some countries allowed to snuggle the boys encouragement when you encouraging right because here's the cool thing. Many of you know this, you step out to encourage somebody new happens you get encourage you get in courage filled with courage when you bless somebody else and fill them with her shallow thing works.
Now what happens if you don't you'll get encourage, they don't get encourage whole thing breaks now let me encourage you to walk in this gift of encouragement encourage other people don't know look at them. I believe been dancing you couple we don't know me doing good St. praise God here so glad you're here. This unit that doesn't somebody's heart now easy. That is, friend. You know for sure that your sins been forgiven.
You can know right now only Legion a short simple prayer simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him.
God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now.
Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven and I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life not done wrong things I have sent and I'm sorry.
Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you. All of my days in Jesus name, amen it friend of you prayed that prayer according to the Bible.
You've been forgiven you've been born again, so congratulations for you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you, if you prayed that prayer with David for the first time we'd love to hear from you visit, cross the bridge.com and click on God's plan for new life to receive our first steps packaged with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. God wants to bless you and encourage your relationships today. Whether you are married, considering marriage or engaged to be married. We have a resource for you pastor David wants to send you his four part video series allies stay friends. Allow God to minister to your marriage through his word today. This was an unforgettable weekend that encouraged many marriages and you and your spouse can be encouraged to allies stay friends is our thanks for your generous gift today to help more people hear God's truth on this station and beyond, so they can cross the bridge from death to life. Please visit cross the bridge.com today to give a gift of any amount and get your copy of allies stay friends ODA before we go.
What are some ways that we can bless our listeners some days you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor Dave to the word of God with his email devotional life lessons. Consider daily reading plan enough thought to meditate on throughout your day in the heart, but David McGee those are terrific and it's easy and it's free so folks sign up email@example.com.
Thanks again for listening and join us next time.
As David McGee continued verse by verse through the book of acts