The further from the cross you are, the more difficult it is the see any compassion at Calvary. In fact, if you want to see compassion at the cross, you have to make your way through the cheering, the chaos, and the condemning crowd. Once you have made it through and past the crowd, you will come to the cross, and there you will see the compassion of the Son toward His mother, the compassion of a mother toward her son, the compassion of a disciple to his Master, and the compassion of the Savior to the world that crucified Him. If I want to see the compassion at Calvary, I can’t just stand with the crowd, I have to leave the crowd and go to the cross.
In Acts 10 we are told of the thrilling conversion of a man named Cornelius. He is described as a devout man that feared God, gave liberally to poor people and prayed always. One might wonder why a man with these characteristics needed to be converted. We know why! He had not obeyed the gospel of Jesus. He had not had his past sins forgiven through the blood of Christ.
But there are other things about this man that stands out boldly:
First, he was ready to do all the will of God (10:33). “. . . we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded by God.”
Second, he cared for others (10:24). “…And Cornelius waited for them and called together his kinsmen and near friends.”
What a difference it would make if we who are enlightened, having obeyed the gospel and become a child of God, would show to the world the attitude of Cornelius toward our kinsmen and near friends. We do care for them, do we not? Maybe just not enough to bring them into the presence of sound preaching or teaching of the word of God which is able to bring them, through instruction, to the precious blood of Christ, which is able to save their souls. COPIED
IT IS WITHIN OUR POWER
The feeling of being in control of a situation can be enormously satisfying experience. To have something to accomplish that you know is with your power is confidence building. Every Christian should be filled with a sense of confidence as they live the Christian life from day to day. Why? Because it is within our power to lift up Christ before the world.
Christians are failing on many battle fronts today because they are not lifting up Christ to the world. In speaking of his death, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all man unto me.” (John 12:32). There is, however, another sense by which Christ can be lifted up and this lifting up is completely within our power. Christ needs to be lifted up and exalted in our present times. Jesus declared that he would draw all men unto him, and his death would be the means of accomplishing this objective. Because Christ was lifted up upon the cross of Calvary and died for our sins, we have the privilege of lifting Him up before the world today as the source of redemption from sin.
We also can be lifted up? How? James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the eyers of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” Each Christian struggles with the problem of humility in this wealthy, self-centered, and pride filled world of ours. Can’t we see that much of our growth numerically and spiritually has been hindered by our failure to lift up the Christ? Many of our ills that plague our great brotherhood would vanish if we began to lift up Christ?
The world is looking for Christ. Many may not be aware of their search, their yearning, their longing, but it is there within each man. What man will not tell you that he deserves more out of life than he has? Even faithful Christians have yearnings as we are restless souls from here to eternity. We shall not filly rest until we rest in Him.
We must not fail to see our opportunities and to use them fully. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9) to save those who looked upon it, so also, we must lift up Christ that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. No, we must never lift up Christ to crucify him afresh, but rather lift him up as the crucified. Christ is light, life and liberty to those entrapped by the snare of Satan and we as Christians must not fail to lift him up. IT IS WITHIN OUR POWER! We have control of the situation and need to act confidently in daily Christian living. Let each of us lift him up in our speech, in our morals, in our attitudes and in our actions. Let us live in such a way that all will know what Christ has meant to our lives. We can and must lift him up so that others will not doubt our love.
LIFT HIM UP!
Demar Elam, Forest Park Newsletter 4 13 1983
An unusual story is found in 2 Kings 7. Shortly after 850 BC in the days of the prophet Elisha the capital city of the Northern Kingdom, Samaria, was under siege by the Syrians. The people of the city were being starved out by the northern enemy. Outside the city walls four lepers were trying to decide whether to enter Samaria where they would die of starvation or remain outside where they would also die at the hands of the Syrians. They finally decided to go to the Syrian camp and hope for mercy. To their surprise the camp was deserted. The Syrians had fled the camp when the Lord caused them to hear the sounds of chariots and horses, thinking the Israelites had hired the Egyptians to attack them. The Syrians had left all of their possessions behind. The lepers entered the camp, ate and drank all they wanted, then carried away and hid silver, gold and clothing. But they stopped to THINK ABOUT THEIR ACTIONS, and began to speak to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news . . .let us go and tell the kings’ household. (v 9).
Could it be that you are I are like those lepers? We live in a land of freedom and great wealth. Many of us have a lengthy association with Christianity. We have had every advantage to receive the precious gift of God’s grace. Yet more than half the people of the world live in darkness and spiritual hunger, never having heard the story of Jesus. Shouldn’t we join with the lepers and say, “We are not doing right? Let’s allow the spirit of the Lord to prick our consciences. Let’s transform our thinking and see ourselves as ambassadors of the Lord. Let’s get serious about our commission to evangelize the whole world with the good news of salvation.
It begins with the individual. Before the nation can be converted by the gospel, we have to work with one state. Then one city, one block, one subdivision, one family, the individual members of the family. This is where it starts. One on one, you with someone else sharing the good news. Each of us have that responsibility. Will we accept it?
Brad Blair East Brainerd Rd church of Christ 3 6 1986
I know I have been running a lot of these articles about evangelism to remind all of us that that we all have a stake in teaching the lost. The world is in a mess because we have lost our focus on God and Jesus. And I confess that even preachers get bogged down in minutiae and problems so that we don’t do what we are supposed to do. “Please forgive us, O Lord, and help us to renew our commitment to you and to the lost in trying to teach the gospel.” THE LORD IS OUR ONLY HOPE!
And make plans to attend our EVANGELISM WORKSHOP WITH ROB WHITACRE, April 18-21, 2021
Please be praying about this, and making plans to be here to learn how we might be better personal evangelists for the Lord.