Sunday service, Arno Stegen, 17 April 2016
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
“Lord abide with us”, was the topic of the Ministers’ conference overseas.
The Bible warns that in the end times there will be many new doctrines to deceive many. There will be wolves in sheep clothing, who are dressed as Christians but deep inside their only aim is to destroy the work of God. They will twist things ever so slightly that if you’re not careful you will be taken with their deceit. They will praise you and want to add things to the Gospel. They target especially those who are weak and tell them what they want to hear.
People are warned not to go hear God’s Word. And it’s not by people who have a blessed ministry winning souls for Christ, but they are simply bitter because their in own lives they haven’t experienced the power of the resurrection. And then they make it their mission in life to take as many away from the kingdom of heaven and warn others not to attend where the word of God is preached. Pray that God will break down these barriers, but first and foremost that God would keep you.
In our text we read that they were traveling together with Jesus and then He indicated that He would go further. But they pleaded with Him to stay with them. How desperate are you for the Lord’s presence? They knew that they needed Him, and so He stayed with them. They would have missed so much if they didn’t asked Him to stay with them. And the Lord met their heart’s desire.
Do you have such a heart?
We also desperately need the Lord to abide with us. In their case it was towards evening, and in our case it’s as if it’s evening already. Even on an intellectual level the world is trying to reason God out of all aspects of society, by trying to convince you that God is only in your imagination.
We need to work while it is day, the night comes when no one can work (John 9:4). If we don’t work while it is day, how will we stand when the night has come?
At the Conference there was also a builder who built a replica of the Ark of Noah to reach many with the Gospel. It wasn’t long and the newspaper reporters came and that gave him the opportunity to share the Gospel with millions (see http://arkofnoah.org/). This man wasn’t a preacher, but he used the talent God had given him and is reaching many for Christ.
There was also an Indian man who shared how God had revealed Himself to him in His holiness, and as he shared it, it was as if he had grown up in our midst.
One hears a lot of preaching nowadays about more life, or love is needed, etc., but more holiness is not something that is often preached about. In many cases the Gospel becomes the means to get money.
John the Baptist is an example to us. When people told him that everyone was going to Jesus, he replied without envy, “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). Jesus wasn’t a competitor to him. His work was to prepare the way and that’s what he did faithfully. What was his message? Repent and turn from your evil ways (Matthew 3:1).
That’s how you prepare the way for God to come, where you realise that sin is not tolerated, and that you stay at the foot of the cross, repenting of your sin. When the Lord comes into your life things become straight, even in the way you speak. You no longer speak in a crooked, roundabout way, but in a way that’s honest and straight. The valleys are filled and the mountains brought low. Your Christian life becomes level and no longer an up and down life from day to day.
With God in your life there must be consistency, not that you constantly have to ask for forgiveness, being a Christian one day, and a heathen the next day. No, you remain faithful to Him on a consistent basis.
Later we read that John’s disciples became the disciples of the Lord Jesus. If you’re a preacher, your duty is to teach people to be disciples of Jesus, not your own disciples. Those people God had put in your care, are you able to lead them to Christ or is it just about yourself? The children God had entrusted to you, are you able to bring them into a relationship with the Lord Jesus, that they might hear God’s voice and be lead by Him? Unless you have John’s attitude you will fail. He must increase and you must decrease.
It’s not enough to ask Him to be with you, but you must make it possible for Him to abide with you by preparing the way as John the Baptist did.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
We need Him in everything we do, even when we go out to preach.
Choirs: KwaSizabantu Choir
Make a joyful noise to God
Juig voor die Here
Are you ready?
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