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The Intermission

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
March 27, 2022 1:50 am

The Intermission

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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March 27, 2022 1:50 am

As we dive into this new Easter series with Major Ruth Prieto New; she begins by discussing the “intermission” we are currently living in between Jesus’ ascension and second coming. She then asks, how should we be interacting with the world around us in this time?

 

Series: God’s Long-Term Plan

https://salvationarmysoundcast.org/wordsoflife

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Love doesn't discriminate.

It doesn't pick and choose. When there's so much to fight against, love fights for. When others flee, love runs to ward.

And when darkness prevails, love remembers its strength. For 156 years, the Salvation Army has loved all who feel lost. With your help, we'll never stop.

We hope you enjoyed this series we just finished last week. We believe was an 11-week series studying the doctrines of the Salvation Army, their statements of faith, and that was brought to us by Lieutenant Colonel Dan Sterrett. If you missed any of those episodes, be sure to go to SalvationArmySoundcast.org to get caught up. And Cheryl, I don't know if you remember this, but a little group that we produced here in Atlanta called Transmission did an album all the way back in 2014 called We Believe. It's great, and I still listen to it today.

Eleven songs, each one of them. Number one is for Doctrine 1 and number 11 is for Doctrine 11. It's a great way to get excited about what it is that we believe, and not just as Salvation Army people, but as Christian people. We believe that the Word of God is true, and we want you to be encouraged by it. Well, Bernie, this week we're launching our five-week Easter series with Major Ruth Prieto Nu. And not only is she an incredible speaker and preacher of the word, but also being bilingual, she is doing the same series in Spanish for Words of Life's Spanish counterpart, Palabras de Vida.

Very cool. We hope our Spanish listeners will check that out. Be sure not only to listen to this series yourself, but share Palabras de Vida with your friends and family as well. Visit SalvationArmySoundcast.org to learn more and listen. Hello, my name is Ruth Prieto Nu.

I'm a major in the Salvation Army, currently working with the Adult Rehabilitation Center programs. It is an honor and pleasure to be able to share with you the Word of God, as I did with Palabras de Vida. So this same series we'll be doing for Easter is also found in Spanish in our podcast, like I said, Palabras de Vida, Words of Life. If you have been to the theater to see a play or an opera or a ballet, sometimes in the middle of the program, the curtains close and the lights come on. The on-track or intermission has arrived, in which attendees rush to the bathroom or take the opportunity to drink a soda and perhaps eat a snack. This short time between the show's two acts gives the audience a chance to take a breather and emotionally prepare for the story's conclusion, which often ends in tragedy. Initially, directors used this time to show a musical number that had nothing to do with the work itself, or the orchestra played a melody composed precisely for this pause. However, a couple of 18th century French art critics saw the intermission as a period in which the action of the play did not stop, but continued offstage.

The interval, they said, is a break for the spectators, not for the action. So when we look closer to the last week of Christ, the events between his triumphal entry and his death on the cross seem like kind of an interlude. Let's read a couple of passages.

In the Gospel of John chapter 13 verses 3 to 5, we read, Then in John 13 verses 12 to 17. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. Do you understand what I have done for you?

He asked them. You call me teacher and Lord and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master. Notice a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. And finally, the passage from Matthew 26 verses 36 to 46. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, Sit here while I go over there and pray. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.

Yet not as I will, but as you will. Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Couldn't you men keep watch with me for an hour? He asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away a second time and prayed, My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. When he came back, he again found them sleeping because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go.

Here comes my betrayer. If we compare these events to an intermission, we can say that the Church of Christ is also in a kind of interlude between the first coming and the second coming of Jesus. We all Christians are waiting anxiously and sometimes fearfully for his second appearance. How then should we conduct ourselves as we await the conclusion of God's perfect plan?

These passages have the answer. So while we wait, we serve with love. When Jesus finished watching the feet of the disciples, he said to them, If I, your Lord and Master, have watched your feet, you also should watch one another's feet.

I have set an example for you so that you do the same as I have done with you. Christians, while we await the return of Christ, we must serve one another. Sometimes as church members, we forget that this is our supreme duty to serve God and others in love. In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren writes, The last thing many believers need is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they're putting into practice. What they need is serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.

I totally agree. Listen to what Jesus said. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. How much more should we, who owe our salvation to his act of humility, serve others? While we wait, we pray without ceasing. In the passage from Matthew, we see how in the middle of a crisis, when Jesus' enemies were on the way, he decided to pray, and he prayed and he prayed some more.

Let's expand on this a bit. At the end of the Passover meal, Jesus left the city with his disciples through the Essene Gate, which in Jesus' time was also called the Eye of the Needle. He crossed the Kidron Valley and arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane, right at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Crossing the valley, we can imagine the scene best described by author William Barclay. He writes, The number of lambs sacrificed for the Passover was immense. From the altar, there was a channel that went down to the Kidron Brook, and through that channel ran the blood of the Passover lambs. By the time Jesus crossed the brook, it would still be red with the blood of the lambs that had been sacrificed, and as he did so, the thought of his own sacrifice surely would have been vivid in his mind. Let us imagine Jesus then, his mind and heart filled with the anguish of the events that were to take place. Knowing of his suffering, culminating in death, and the burden of all our sins upon him.

Enduring all that stress and agony, he decides to pray. What tremendous examples Jesus always gives us of how to behave as children of God, serve and pray. Pray without ceasing, as the Apostle Paul would write years later in his first letter to the Thessalonians. It's found in chapter 5 verse 16.

Perhaps instead of running to the latest self-help book, looking at the horoscope or asking the wrong person for advice, let us run to the throne of God, where grace, comfort, help and strength await us. And finally, while we wait, we watch in attention. Finally, the Lord advises us that we be alert while we wait for his return.

He asked his friends to stay awake three times, and three times they let their guard down. But Peter learned his lesson. In one of his letters, he writes to the churches, Be alert and of sober mind, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. That is found in 1 Peter 5.8. And Paul also warns his listeners, Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. That is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 16 verse 13. As Christians, we sometimes forget that we are at the center of the battle against sin.

And as in any war, there can be losses if we are not alert to the enemy's attacks. We must remember that, as Paul writes, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. But God's Word assures us that, with the power of prayer on our side and the armor of God, after you have done everything, we'll be able to stand.

Ephesians 6, 12 and 13. So how about you? How are you waiting here on earth? Have you dedicated your life to the service of God and others, or do you live your life only for yourself? Do you turn to God in prayer amid difficulties? Are you alert and watch over your salvation with fear and trembling? My prayer is that the Lord will show you service opportunities, and that you will have the courage to come to Him day and night for peace and strength.

May God fill you with blessings today and always. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support, and we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radioatuss.salvationarmy.org, call 1-800-229-9965, or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store, and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Music
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-15 03:18:23 / 2023-05-15 03:23:33 / 5

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