You may have notice I often conclude our service or our prayer circle with the comment, “North Valley Christian Church now leaves the building.” I do that to affirm Jesus’ desire for us, his followers, to take His gospel to the community we live that is in need of good news. As Christ’s church may we not just hear the Word of God, and understand it, but may we also understand the seriousness of what Jesus charges us to do with that word. Jesus puts on his followers the obligation to share His Word with others.
As followers of Christ we must not just hear the Word, but we must receive into ourselves and grow it. We must not just hear the Word, but we must obey what Jesus taught, and apply it to our lives. We must not just hear the word, but we must share the light of Jesus to those in darkness around us. We must not just hear the word, but we must preserve it. Thus everyone who receives His Word becomes a sower, everyone becomes a lamp on a table, and everyone becomes salt. We are to become the sower, the lamp, and salt to the community that we reside in.
It is a solemn thing to hear God’s Word, for with hearing comes the responsibility of receiving, sharing, obeying, and preserving, for in so doing we produce fruit, not for ourselves, but for the glory of our King – Jesus Christ.
You Should Tell Someone,
Amos said, “The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine through the land … a famine of hearing the words of the Lord, (8:11). The prophet described an unusual famine, not one of food, water, or sword, but one of the Word of the Lord. If you read the next verse you learn the result of this famine is a great restlessness in people living in the land.
What is the condition of a place in such a famine? A place without the Word of God is a place when no message from the unseen is recognized as truth. A place where God does not speak to the depths of a person’s life. A place where the people have hardened their hearts, and whose minds are unconscious of God’s presence. It is a place where God’s word still lingers, and is still powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword, yet it fails to affect. Think for a moment, is that what describes our world today? Are people today not hearing God? Is there not a great restlessness about us? Yes!
We today are in a famine similar to the one described by Amos. God is still speaking, but many are no longer listening, and there is a great uneasiness about us. As ones who were once living in that famine, it is time to take the Word of God to those around us who are starved, and end the famine.
Ending the famine,
In response to Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus knows there is more to a person than physical needs; there is the spiritual too.
One of our responsibilities is to recognize the mysteries and yearnings of our life. The Greek philosopher agreed for he said, “Man, know thyself first.” Once a person knows the mysteries and yearnings of their life, what then? I would say it is their responsibility to yield to the ruler-ship of Him to whom life was conquered by – Jesus.
The 139th Psalm begins, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar,” (1-2). Now look how that Psalm ends, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” (23-24). The Psalmist asked God to search him. Make that the first, supreme, and essential business of your life to acquaint yourself with Jesus, and so be at His peace, and so find the meaning of life.
Before Jesus began his public ministry he fasted in the wilderness for forty days. At the end of his fast, when Jesus was his weakest, Satan came and tempted Jesus three times: You want followers? Show the people you can turn stones into bread, and they will follow you. You want success? Leap from the pinnacle of the temple and land unharmed, and people will flock to you. You want a kingdom? Worship me and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world.
Satan’s temptation was: Strike a bargain with me and I will give you results. Just compromise with evil a little, don’t be so unbending in your demands, give in to the world, and you will be the most popular figure the world has ever known. Jesus essentially said in his replies, “No, right is right and wrong is wrong and there cannot be a compromise. I must do it God’s way.”
Satan usually works in the shadows, but, knowing Jesus was weak, he exposed himself for the tempter and liar that he is. What defeated Satan? Jesus supreme passion that God’s name should be glorified.