Monthly Archives: June 2010

Fixing our heart first

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, he also created Adam and Eve. They were sinless in their initial state. But when God gave them a command not to eat a given fruit, through temptation and choice they both rebelled against God’s command and sin and it’s penalty of death entered the world through the one man Adam. Every descendant of his is tainted not only with original sin but with personal sin as well; and thus every descendant of Adam needs salvation which they cannot make on their own. But God being rich in mercy sent his only Son to take on humanity and to live a perfect life, so that he might be a substitute. Jesus the Son of God died upon a cross without sin, but he paid the death penalty, not only in his flesh but in his spiritual separation from God so that we who have sinned could gain his righteousness. God has so decreed that if anyone believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him, our sins are forgiven and our death sentence is paid. I believe in Jesus Christ and have come to Him as my savior and my Lord.

This is a simple gospel, it is the very power of God to save souls when they believe. It is also a simple task to witness to this gospel – though we are sinfully reluctant to do so.

A year or two ago, I gave you a card and asked you to write down at least three to five names of people whom you either did not know if they knew Jesus Christ or you wanted to Know if they did or you had reason to suspect they did not. The goal was that we would both pray for them and share Christ with them.

Luke 1:5-7 When God Breaks the Silence I

Read the final words of Malachi and then pause for as long as you can before reading beginning with Luke 1:5-25.  There is roughly a 400 year gap between the close of Malachi and the announcement of John the Baptist’s birth.  (I was going to be silent for 6 and ½ minutes, one second for every year but I didn’t think you could stand it.  I know I couldn’t stand it any longer.)  

For some 400 years since the last words of Malachi were penned – most Jews believed that since there had been no prophets, that God had been silent.  History bears out that God had indeed been active – even as 2000 years of History since Christ have demonstrated God working, but there have been no writing prophets bringing us a new word from God.  The canon of scripture is closed.  But many people today still believe that God is silent.  But something happens when we begin the actual story of Luke with verse 5.  God breaks the silence.  

This morning I want to begin talking about what happens when you feel like God isn’t speaking and more importantly what happens when God breaks the silence.

When God breaks the silence

The theological truth is that God is not silent.  He never is.  But the experience of our lives is that often our prayers sometimes go on and on without obvious answer, and still we keep praying; hoping with faith that God will somehow break the silence and send down an angel to proclaim his favor to us. Sometimes as Christians we despise those stretches of time when God is not putting burning bushes in our paths, but the truth is that while he will never leave us or forsake us, still he grows us and matures us by causing our faith to be faith.  

Luke 1:1-4 Questions for Personal Review and Reflection

  1. Do little research to see what each of the four gospels were written for. Summarize what you find.
  2. Which of the four gospels do you prefer and why?
  3. Where did Luke get his information?
  4. Is there anything about Luke’s methods that you would like to learn more about?
  5. If Luke’s purpose is to assure you of what you have been taught concerning Jesus, than it must surely also teach you about Jesus. What are you hoping most to gain from the gospel of Luke?