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November 30, 2021 7:05 am
Sometimes when we feel motivated to talk to others about Jesus, we tend to default to collateral subjects such as our church great programs available to the community today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll reminds us that skirting the issue rarely advances the cause of Christ.
This is just one of the practical applications coming our study in acts chapter 1 about the power of the gospel in our role in spreading the good news today. Chuck titled today's message kickstarting a plan to reach the world. We begin with. Thank you father for the truth that is unfolded and recorded for us in language, we can understand in a book we can carry in the verses we can read. Thank you for the whole there is knowing just as you kept your promise before you will keep it again and we need that promise that you will return in the person of your son he will come for us just as sure as he left the earth while the disciples stood and stared into heaven because of that hope we can go on.
Even though these days are horrendous and evil. We thank you father for the mission that is ours. Thanks to the mandate that was given when Jesus left this earth that we are to go to our Jerusalem, our Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth. And then we go in your strength, fueled by the Holy Spirit with a passion to reach those who have never heard thank you, dear father, for the Lord Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us now. Would you join me in the repeating of the Lord's prayer our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, I will be done on earth as it is.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us as we forgive those trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, and everyone's to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.or/studies. Another message from Chuck titled kickstarting a plan to reach the world now acts chapter 1. Jesus is not yet let the earth he's about to leave, and when we get to verse nine, that's exactly what occurred but until then, he has a few last words to say to his men, who are now beginning to fill the role of apostle you will read the word three or four times right here in this first chapter and you will read it frequently as you read through the book of acts not observed verse six so when the apostles were with Jesus. They kept asking him Lord has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom.
They are still hung up on that kingdom rule of Christ. You know why because they wanted to reign with him. They want to be a part of his leadership.
They will be in the future when he returns the desert but not now, and in fact the Lord is going to tell them.
Would you please get past the concern about the time of the kingdom. What he says the father on November 7. The father alone has the authority to set those dates and times and they are not for you to know sit not making it up.
It's right there at the end of verse seven. Acts one. Please hear my warning if you are under the teaching of an individual who sets dates your under a false teacher. If you are reading books by those who are setting dates and telling you that you write in which Christ will return you are reading the book written by a false teacher. He will never tell you that she will never tell you that but they are because Jesus says it's not for you to know it's always been remarkable to me that we get so interested in the very things Jesus tells us is none of our business that amazing.
It's not for you know today thinking he's coming at any moment. Every morning when I wake and I think not everybody most I think today's the day. Today's the day and it drives me it motivates me. I never have it far from my mind that Jesus said he would return as were going to renew moment and easily keep his word, he will.
I believe he is going to return just as he said and I think we are to be careful here. I am not sure how close but were close and every evil day that passes were getting close because he said in the last days, savage times will come in men and women. We are in savage times. We are witnessing savages at work in our world. People who will cut off heads. If you name the name of Christ, people who will wipe out communities if they find out your Christian so were living in times like this, but it is not for us to know the date the hour for those things Nellis personal but he says by way of contrast, see the first word of verse eight, but you're not to know those things. So don't spend your time trying to find them out. Here's what you can look forward to. You will receive power. The word is doing the best we deliver dynamite from it has nothing to do with dynamite but due to miss in this case means functioning with my strength and capability you will receive the ability to function with my strength and capability. You will have the capacity to understand truth and declare it, because I'm going to give you the secret of that. Who is the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when when the Holy Spirit comes upon you see is not yet come.
Remember acts is in transition. So it begins before the Holy Spirit comes in acts chapter 2. As we will see next time. The spirit came and filled those who were awaiting his arrival will get to that later but you will receive power. Please observe what else would happen. I've marked it in my Bible, you will be my witnesses to see it, you will receive power, verse eight, and you will be my witnesses. The word is Mark Torres we got the word martyr from it. It has in mind to confirm to attest to something on the basis of personal knowledge are believed to affect firm in a supportive manner testified favorably. That's what the word means. So you will do all of the above you will make my name known you will declare my message cannot clarify that even better, you will be my mouthpiece you will be my throat. My tongue my voice you're going to receive the Holy Spirit, who will empower you with capacities you do not normally possess capabilities you have never exercised before. Phenomenal things will be done not by you, but you there's a difference through you. And when that occurs in your mouth will open and I will bless the declaration of the truth through your lips, tongue, throat, is the message of salvation goes out you will be my witnesses. You will tell people about me notice my witnesses. That's important. Every word is important. You will witness of Christ telling people everywhere about way back in 1961 I was in the middle of my seminary years and thanks be to God. I was chosen to be an intern out in Palo Alto, California to learn from a man named Ray Stedman who pastored Peninsula Bible church in that city.
I was there among his very first interns to give Martin was with us now deceased Dave Loper was with us as well. He stayed on the staff but we want to be with Ray and to learn from grade. Ray was one of those unique vessels. But God was using in in in wonderful ways and I thought what a privilege to learn from him so I went as a disciple to to sit in his presence and to watch them study to learn how we did it and pick up some techniques on leadership and on developing your church and I certainly did that Cynthia was carrying our first child who, and she was getting close to term of the time we left, which is another story. Anyway, we we were there wit with great anticipation about to begin a family we been married six years and looking forward to what ministry God might have had no idea what it would be so IIII learned to trust rate because I was with him personally hours on end, I came across a book of the book of acts volume that Ray Rutan unit. I found these words quote Christians are not sales men and women going out to paddle. Nor are we recruiters going around trying to get people to join our religious club.
One of the marks of a false church is that it loves to talk about itself. These early Christians never witness about the church at all. They witnessed about the Lord what he could do, how he would work. What a fantastic person he wants" run on page 1 of his book on acts know what he says is true because the church never change anybody's life.
Christ else a church building is where we meet when we gather together. We are the church, the body of Christ, but you and I can't change anyone.
Christ does the changing through the impact power and influence of the Holy Spirit. So we share Christ with others we witness of him. Five. A chance tomorrow afternoon when I'm at the grocery store and I am going to the line pick up a conversation with a fellow shopper and I've since the time is is right in the moment is good and I sense interest in that moment in spiritual things. I may pause and push aside the shopping cart. Leno one of the counters talk to that person.
Not about the church healer here. She will never know are represented church. I'll talk about Jesus talk only about Jesus because he is the one that can change a life.
I talked about how it's changed my life and what a difference is made and how we can make a difference in that life and all that but the grace of God. All they have to do is trust in him believing, which is always surprising the people they think they have to to do something or pay something or earn something, but the gift of salvation. This is a free gift. You are going to be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere, but it doesn't stop there versus wonderful in that it gives an outline of the book of acts you will testify of me you will be my witnesses first in Jerusalem. That's where they were right here in the city. Start where you are great principle of evangelism you want to go to the mission field to begin to be an evangelist start right where you are right in the very city where you live very town or village stored in Jerusalem and then look at the next. Then you take the message to Judea. It was in those days of Providence we would call the county.
Jerusalem is located in the greater Judea Providence goes down the bear she bought way down south includes an Getty Dead Sea places along the Judean wilderness and goes up above it a little until you get to Galilee is another Providence med area, but the Judea Providence of the like accounting and then look you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Now the harridan stuck up on the back of your neck is your Gentiles and magenta, and this is the first century and we were raised to be prejudiced against the Samaritans, but let me tell you if you admitted you in the first century few people you hated more than Samaritans hated them. You don't talk to them. You don't go through their country. He will get the justice Samaria on your sandals. You don't spend any time with the Samaritan and look at this mandate, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria.
You can hear it, but down inside some of the men who were listening with. I was speaking several years ago to a large group of people at a friendship banquet for dollar seminary and I was talking about God's working in various places in. I got on acts 18 was illustrating you about how to make this geographically understood because nobody was at the banquet with her Bible and a map and so I said let me tell you it's like you're in Texas and you want to get to Kansas in order to get to Galilee you gotta go through Oklahoma to get Chantix right elbow, right and say okay Samaria would be like old all well what you know when the little gathering was over I was cornered by the offense of line of the University of Oklahoma football team. 6 feet 867 320 pounds of whatever looking down on me saying it should lose what you know they know Samaritans of mobile home okay relax. Just think of your own prejudice. Suddenly, nobody is laughing because were all raised to be prejudice against someone everyone of us. Unless you are very unusual so you had to learn to deal with your prejudice. I hope you have few things are worse than the bitterness of a prejudiced heart. These men needed to learn that a part of God's heart breaks over the people of Samaria just as it does over the Judeans and the Galileans and the Indonesians and the people of Lebanon and all around them that over into Egypt and I could name them all his heart is on the world my witnesses in every part of the world even look at the book at the last mile of this, even to the in of the earth as True that I did see the word is Esca toss means last we get outward eschatology from it. The study of last things, but this means in English to the last part of the earth to the end of the earth, ever been to a place in your travels when you felt like he would reach the end of the world.
You said you felt like you could see it from there. I had a friend who went to the very very very base of the continent of Africa and he stood with his his feet getting wet on the on the waters of the washed up on the shores and he said I realized I'd never ever been so far from home. In all my life, and he wrote it was like being at the end of the to him that would be there to someone else. It would be in the in the depth of a country that's jar or remote island whose name you can hardly pronounce the earth, meaning message everywhere.
Everywhere listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll and this is insight for living, Chuck titled his message kickstarting a plan to reach the world and to learn more about the ministry of insight for living. Please visit us firstname.lastname@example.org now before your closing illustration from Chuck will take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all those who support insight for living through prayer and generous gifts. We couldn't possibly accomplish our mission without the partnership are friends like you.
So thanks for standing with us in an all-out effort to carry God's message of grace to 195 countries of the world and your generosity is made a huge impact during a season of isolation for many people sequestered from friends and colleagues due to the pandemic we've experienced a surge of interest from those who want to learn more about the Bible and Chuck over the past year. You've often reminded us about the power of God's grace in our study of Matthew's gospel.
You also showed us the antithesis of grace and that's legalism over and over again.
The Pharisees and other religious extremists provided a living example of the damage caused by graceless living well just a few years ago a fresh wind of God's grace is swept through an unlikely setting it happen in the courtroom near your home in Dallas Texas. Those who saw the news clips would agree it was an amazing expression of grace yes it was Dave. Let me summarize what happened.
The defendant testified that after returning from her shift as a Dallas police officer. She mistakenly went to the wrong floor of her apartment building and she entered what she assumed was her place of residence. According to her testimony she opened the door so the apartments rightful resident believed he was an intruder and shot and killed in the jury later found her guilty of murder before she was ushered off in handcuffs. The victim's 18-year-old brother took the stand face-to-face with the woman who took his brothers life.
This courageous young man told the former officer that he loved her and he forgave her and he didn't even want her to go to jail that he wanted the best for her that the best would be for her to give her life to Christ and that God would forgive her if she went to him. When the young man finished his words. He asked the judge if he could hug his brothers killer. The judge said yes. The former officer ran into the young man's embrace. With tears streaming down her face while I'll tell you.
That was a demonstration of grace God's amazing grace is our overarching theme every day on insight for living. In fact, it's quite possible that God has used our daily program to extend his grace to you and I know is your Bible teacher, I have been a grace recipient as well. Now it's time to respond in these final days of the year would you join me in helping one more soul unwrapped God's priceless gift of grace. These sacred moments of discovery or orchestrated by God's spirit and brought about through the generosity of people like you are world is filled with broken hearted people who were burdened by guilt and confusion and shame, I can think of a better way to celebrate our Savior's birth.
They did give generously so others might hear about God's grace and run into his forgiving embrace. Thank you for being generous with your gift today and by responding today. You can be the one who delivers this gift of grace to a listener in the please start on this contact information and get in touch today might be quickest to give email@example.com/donate or call us if you listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 again this 1-800-772-8888 once again, if you prefer to send your year-end gift today you can go online insight.site for living. The preceding message kickstarting a plan to reach the world and the sound recording were copyrighted in 2018 by Charles R.
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