Dear family of St Paul’s
Greetings in Jesus’ name on this Third Easter Sunday!
Good morning people of St St Paul’s.
Let us pray.
Father God, thank you for the opportunity to share and receive your word. Open our ears, open our hearts, open our minds,that we might be deified and you glorified. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our risen Lord and Saviour.
I greet you in the name of Jesus our Lord an Saviour.
The story of the healing of a lame man, reminded me of a song we used to sing about it, back in the day. Let me sing it for you.
Peter and John went to pray
They met a lame man on the way
He held out his palms
And asked for alms
And this is what Peter did say.
Silver and gold have I none
But what i have give i unto you
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazerath
Rise up and walk.
He went walking and leaping
And praising God
Walking and leaping
And praising God
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazerath
Rise up and walk.
Last year’s lockdown – level 5, gave Christians the opportunity to get closer to God by studying His word. I wonder how many Christians did that. Many of us are sloppy about delving into God’s word and growing spirituality. But I am not going to speak That right now, rather I would like to speak on an issue in which we are equally if not more sloppy about. It’s about telling people about Jesus and your faith in Him.
In the third chapter of Acts ,we have an account of how Peter and John were used by God to heal a lame beggar. The event caused quite a stir among the people, that crowds started gathering around them. Peter seeing this, seized the opportunity to address them.
He said to them do not stare at us as though it was by our power that the man was made to walk. It was by faith in the name of Jesus, that you see this man, walking about in perfect health.
The man had looked intently at them with open palms, begging for alms, expecting something. What did he receive, he recieved legs. He asked for alms and received legs. The ability to walk. The ability to be mobile. This man had been lame,all his life.
Peter then accuses the Hebrew nation of killing the Holy and Righteous One in these words and I quote, Acts 3: 15
“You killed the one who leads to life, but God raised Him from death and we are witnesses to this.
I can remember an accident in Wentworth where I live, some years ago. Walking on the main road, I heard a screech of tyres and a loud scream.
A woman was hit by a bus, and she was laying half under the bus. The roads in Wentworth are narrow, with a pavement, at that time, on only one side of the road. The woman was walking in the road opposite the pavement, in line with a taxi that had stopped, to allow a passenger to alight. The bus was overtaking the taxi at speed, and hit this woman, who was walking on the opposite side of the pavement. Fortunately she was not seriously injured. We learnt later that she had an arm fractured in two places but within minutes, a crowd had assembled a d they were threatening the driver with physical violence or worse.
The point I want to make is that something dramatic had happened. We saw the bus, we saw the woman, we saw the driver. The evidence was there right in front of us. There were witnesses who could not and would not remain silent about what had happened, even if they were asked to.
At the end of Luke’s gospel, Jesus tells His disciples, after He had opened their minds to understand the scriptures. ” You are witnesses of these things that I have done.
Peter, when he addressed the crowd after the healing of the lame man said, ” God raised Jesus from death and we are witnesses to this.
Everyone who counts themselves as Christians should be witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ. In this past year, with so many deaths around us, we have many opportunities to to comfort people and tell them about the love of God in Jesus our Lord.
In this highly technical digital age, it is easy to send someone an inspirational message or encouragement, but this lacks that personal touch, the human touch.
What does it mean to witness in practical terms for the ordinary person who has no theological training. It means two things.
- A) We must know the facts about What He did. What He said and what He taught. And we get that information by reading and studying scripture. It is not enough to church and being an island by ourselves, in the sea on the congregation. We have to get serious with the Lord and inter act with other Christians, bearing in mind the times we live in, observing Covid protocols. We have to ask questions about the faith so that we k ow the facts about Jesus and the faith we profess to hold.
- B) It is not enough to know ABOUT Jesus, we must also KNOW Jesus, and know Him intimately. In this world there millions of people who never actually saw Jesus in the flesh, yet have learned to know him, far better than many, who have witnessed his life and miracles.
There is knowledge by faith as well as by sight
It is by faith that we know him and it is by having an intimate personal relationship with him, that we can come to trust him, and we know that he is near even though we cannot see him with the naked eye.
I was at first shy and very reluctant to talk to anyone about Jesus and what he had done for me. I felt that it was a very personal thing. But it was pointed out to me that I would not grow as a Christian, the way God expected me to grow. If I did not share my faith, I would remain a spiritual baby, that would be constantly fed on spiritual milk, and it on solids that grow you up to maturity in Jesus.
Witnessing is necessary for spiritual growth.
A witness is not only a person who knows. That person must be prepared to SAY that he knows. In the book of Acts1: 8, Jesus tells us the church that we will be witnesses for him in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. A witness is a person who makes it clear what side that person is on, even if it means trouble for himself.
In this terrible pandemic, that has gripped the world this past year, we have many people who have died, but there are many many more, who have recovered from this dreadful disease. We live in an era where information is available at the touch of a button. We see on TV events that are happening in real time.
We see court cases. The Zondo Commission here in South Africa. The Geoff Floyd court case in America,where a young man was killed after a police officer placed his knee on his neck for over nine minutes. Everyone has a phone camera that can record crimes that can be used as evidence
In this pandemic, don’t be concerned about how and where you can witness. If you are serious about growing in grace, ask God, and He will give you the opportunity, and the people, or person to witness to. It can e any where. In your home, at work, social events in the streets anywhere.
In conclusion we the people of St. Paul’s church,,will never grow spirituality if we keep what we have received from the Lord for ourselves. In this post Easter period make a conscious effort to study your bible.
It’s always helpful to pray a prayer similar to this one, when you do your own bible study.
Say, Lord, by your Spirit you inspired people to write the scriptures. By your Spirit Lord, inspire me to understand them. By your Spirit Lord, decifer your word for me.
May God add blessing to His word. Amen
During this difficult time of the global pandemic, you are invited to make a contribution to the ministry and mission of our church by making a donation to the following account:
Account Name: St Paul’s Church
Account Number: 50854628623
Bank: First National Bank (FNB)
Branch Code: 221426