Newsletter #374 - December 2009 - By Shepherds Chapel - http://www.shepherdschapel.com/
We all strive to be a servant of God. Jesus set the example for us as to what it means to be a servant of God. A servant of God does the will of God. Let's begin our study in the Book of Acts. The apostles had just healed a 40 year old man that had been paralyzed his whole life. This certainly gives credentials to the apostles. The church had grown from 120 to 5,000 in a very short period of time. What thanks did Peter and the others receive? They arrested them.
Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?"
This is an important question for us today. We had better realize the power in the name of Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, "Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
Annas, Caiphas, and the other church leaders weren't appointed by God, nor elected to office by Israel. They were appointed by the Romans.
Acts 4:9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole.
There were a number of Sadducees among these rulers. They didn't believe in life after death. Peter's statement was about to "light their wicks".
Acts 4:11 This is the Stone Which was set at nought of you builders, Which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
These rulers considered Christ worthless. They crucified Him. And now His name Jesus Christ, is the power that brings about salvation.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
The apostles were unlearned and ignorant of the traditions of men. They possessed a much higher knowledge. The knowledge was from God, not men.
Acts 4:14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
How could they dispute the power that healed a man that had been paralyzed 40 years? They couldn't.
Acts 4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying, "What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
The people of Jerusalem witnessed the miracle. What would these Roman appoint leaders do about this?
Acts 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name."
There is nothing new under the sun. They are trying to take God's name out of our schools. They don't want to pledge allegiance to "one nation under God". They want to remove God's name from our coins. Do you think the apostles will stop speaking in the name of Jesus? Will we stop speaking in the name of Jesus, today? No way!
Acts 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Do you think the apostles thought it more important to listen to God or men? I ask the same question of you. A servant of God always listens to God.
Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
The apostles were going to speak the truth regardless of what the fake church rulers thought about them doing so. We, as servants of God, should the same, today.
Acts 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
The church leaders feared the people would rebel against them, after they witnessed a miracle they knew was of God.
Acts 4:22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. 23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, "Lord, Thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Not only was the 40 year old man rejoicing, all who knew of the miracle were rejoicing and worshiping God.
Acts 4:25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, 'Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.'
Do you think the actions of the rulers shook God up? David wrote this prophecy in Psalms 2. The apostles knew this prophecy was being fulfilled. The heathen were raging. No, God wasn't shook up. Make a note of Psalm 2:4, "He That sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall have them in derision." That day is coming."
Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
God's plan always has and always will come to pass. It is written. Have you read? Have you absorbed?
Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy word, 30 By stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy holy Child Jesus."
As a servant of God, you can boldly speak God's Word. You can plug into the power of Jesus Christ for healings, signs and wonders. As it was at the beginning of Christianity, so it is at this time.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Be a servant of God as Christ, our example, i a servant of God. Speak His Word boldly. Turn with me to the Book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 42:1 Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
The prime of the Hebrew word for "Servant" is "abad" (aw-bad'). It means to work. A servant of God works for God. He doesn't sit in a pew for an hour on Sunday.
Isaiah 42:2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
The most important thing you can do, beloved, is stay in truth. Truth will set you free.
Isaiah 42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.
Man likes to think he can make his own laws. There comes a day when we will have God's law and that is all.
Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, He That created the heavens, and stretched them out; He That spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He That giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
God gives you your spirit, and He also gives the Holy Spirit to those who are willing to receive Him.
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. He gives us truth and leadership. He shows us how to be servants of God. He sets us free from the prison of deception.
Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. 9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
Don't overlook this promise from God. We see prophecy being fulfilled. God saw it, it will happen. Stay in His Word, and you will know to serve God. In conclusion, turn with me to the book of Philippians.
Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Don't be an odd ball. Servant of God should be of one mind. Doing the will of God should be our priority. If you are causing problems among the brethren, your priority isn't doing the will of God.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Be humble. I don't care how good you are, you fall short at times. We all do. Repent and be forgiven.
Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Be considerate of others. Don't only be concerned about yourself. Christians are all of one body.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
A virgin shall conceive, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). "Immanuel" means "God with us".
Philippians 2:7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Christ didn't place Himself above everyone else in the 1st advent. He served all by defeating death on the cross. He did that for you and I. Humble yourself. He did.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus was completely innocent, but He suffered a criminals death for us. That is love.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
Humble yourself and be exalted, or exalt yourself and be abased (Matt. 23:13). Be a servant of the living God. Work to accomplish His will.
In His service,