January 03, 2013

Believe. Trust. Proclaim.

Last night at small group, our study was about believing, trusting, and proclaiming.  I had gotten a week behind somehow (life does that sometimes:).   Anyways.  I'm going to share some of the things that stuck with me.

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We looked at Stephen's speech in Acts, right before he got stoned.  It starts in chapter 7.

{BELIEVE} Stephen knew the word of God!  In his speech, he uses so much scripture.  He believed in it which is different from knowing, but they are so similar.  For example, you can know all the Bible verses you learn in A.W.A.N.A.  But do you know Jesus Christ?  Without Christ, the verses aren't fulfilled.  Stephen deeply knew the word, but he also believed it was the holy, spoken breath of God.
Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This is only one of many places where the Bible tells us that the word of the Lord is powerful.  If somebody asked you to explain what you believe and why, would you be prepared?


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{TRUST} We all know what the wind is.  But do we trust it?  On a windy day, have you ever surrendered yourself to gravity trusting that the wind will support you?  That wind has a purpose: to hold you up.  Unlike lazy wind that blows leaves around, this wind is strong and powerful.  The Holy Spirit and the Bible can be compared to the wind in our lives.  We submit to God and speaks to us through His Wind and His Word.  The Spirit sustains us.  We can lean against the Bible.  It tells us who God is.  It is the building block of belief!  Will you lean into the Wind?

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{PROCLAIM} First of all, you need to believe and trust to proclaim truthfully.  What if you were asked to recommend someone for a babysitting job?  You would need to believe that they could do the job & trust that they would have the best interest of the children in mind. Knowledge becomes belief.  Belief becomes trust.  Trust becomes love.  And when you love  someone with a faith-filled love, you want to share the Gospel with them.  You will be overflowing the Light of Jesus for all to see!!  As Christians, we need to be bold.  My pastor once said, "We need to populate heaven and de-populate hell."  Stephen was indeed bold in proclaiming the Lord...  He paid with his life.

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{CONCLUSION} Stephen shows us that through the Lord, humility & submission are transformed into belief, trust, and proclamation.  I summarized the three in my own words:

BELIEVE in the truth of the Gospel.  Know that God is love.  Understand & know His Word.

TRUST by leaning into the wind of the Holy Spirit and the Word.  Let it guide you & hold you up.  Give Jesus your life and heart.

PROCLAIM the truth in love.  Know what God says & share it.  Remember how it felt to be lost & what it is like to be found.  Be bold.  Be a light.

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