‘God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified’ (Acts 2:36).
‘Jesus is Lord’: When this message is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit’, it is still God’s way of bringing people to Himself.
Preach Christ. Pray for the Spirit’s power. Look to God for His blessing (Acts 2:41-47).
Love the Lord.
‘I love the Lord... I will call on Him as long as I live’ (Psalm 116:1-2).
Our love for God is to be a lifelong life. It is to be the love of our life.
What are we to do when our love for God grows weak? We must remember His love for us - ‘Great is His love towards us. The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever’ (Psalm 117:2).
When we find it difficult to keep on loving God, we must remember how much He loves us. When we feel like giving up on loving God, we must remember that He never gives up on loving us.
He loves us when our love for Him is strong. He loves us when our love for Him is weak. In love, He reaches out to us. He brings us out of our weakness and into His strength.
Let His strong love reach you in your weakness and give you His strength: ‘Loving Him who first loved me’ (Church Hymnary, 450).
Listen to the Lord. Look to the Lord. Learn from the Lord. Live for the Lord.
* ‘Listen’ to the Lord (Isaiah 51:1, 4).
* ‘Look’ to the Lord – ‘Look to the rock from which you were hewn … Look to Abraham … I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him … Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath …’ (Isaiah 51:1-2, 6).
* Learn from the Lord – ‘He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ (Isaiah 50:4). ‘Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation, for law will proceed from Me, and I will make My justice rest as light of the peoples’ (Isaiah 51:4).
* Live for the Lord - Before we can live for the Lord, we must listen to Him, look to Him and learn from Him.
Listening to the Lord, looking to Him and learning from Him, we will be changed by His salvation and His righteousness: ‘My righteousness is near. My salvation has gone forth’ (Isaiah 51:5).
The shaping of our life by God’s salvation and righteousness: This is the beginning of eternal life: “My salvation will be for ever, and My righteousness will not be abolished” (Isaiah 51:6).
Lead others to the Lord.
Looking to the Lord, we are ‘radiant.’ He has ‘delivered’ us. He has ‘saved’ us (Psalm 34:4-6). Rejoicing in God’s salvation, we say, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ (Psalm 34:1).
* We call upon others to worship the Lord with us - ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!’ (Psalm 34:3).
* We invite them to trust in the Lord and come to know the joy of His salvation - ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!’ (Psalm 34:8).
* We encourage them to keep on hearing the Word of the Lord so that they may learn to walk with God - ‘Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord’ (Psalm 34:11).
* We seek to lead people on to spiritual maturity. We say to them, ‘Depart from evil, and do good’, praying that they will become ‘mature’, ‘trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil’ (Psalm 34:14; Hebrews 5:14).
Where does our love for the Lord come from? - It comes from His love for us.
In our loving the Lord, listening to Him, looking to Him, learning from Him, living for Him and leading others to Him, we must never forget that we have been ‘redeemed with the precious blood of Christ’ (1 Peter 1:18-19).
We must never take pride in our obedience - ‘boasting is excluded’. All that can be said about ourselves is this: ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. What makes the difference? What is it that changes us? What is it that sets us on the pathway of holiness and love? We have received ‘the redemption which is in Christ Jesus’. Our ‘faith’ is in Him (Romans 3:27,23-25). He makes the difference. He changes us. He makes us holy. He fills us with His love.
How does our love for the Lord grow? – He leads us into the light of His love.
‘In all the Scriptures’, Jesus teaches ‘the things concerning Himself’ (Luke 24:27). Do ‘our hearts burn within us... while He opens to us the Scriptures?’ (Luke 24:32). He calls us to be His ‘witnesses’, to preach His message of salvation ‘to all nations’ (Luke 24:47-48).
Before we can preach, we must listen to Him. Before we can proclaim His resurrection, we must consider His suffering for us: ‘See my hands and my feet’ (Luke 24:39). Even after His resurrection, they still bear ‘the mark of the nails’ (John 20:25).
Listen to Christ. Consider His suffering for you. Be ‘clothed with power from on high.’ Let the Lord ‘bless’ you, strengthening your worship and filling you ‘with great joy.’ With all this going on in our lives, we will consider it not only our responsibility but our joyful privilege to be His ‘witnesses’ (Luke 24:048-53)!