Summary: This morning we are going to look at what we can expect in our service for the Lord.
GOD’S FROZEN PEOPLE!
’In spite of being blessed with tons of resources for witness and service, God’s chosen people are often God’s ‘frozen people.’ Now I am not sure what the spirit of that comment is – but I want to look at being God’s ‘frozen’ people because we simply don’t know what to do or expect! We don’t understand the dynamics of Christian service or it’s resources.
This morning we are going to look at what we can expect in our service for the Lord. But the first question we need to address is this - should we in fact be in service? Does God want us to serve Him?
And by using the word ‘us’ I’m referring to those who have turned from trying to run their own lives – Those who have recognised their own sinfulness (What’s ‘sinfulness’?) and received forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ - Those who have placed their trust in Jesus and Him alone!
Should those who know the Lord, serve Him? Why?
Listen to Deuteronomy 10:12
(Josh 24:15).’As for me and my household’, says Joshua, ’we will serve the Lord’. As people of God, we are meant to serve Him wherever we find ourselves.
And in serving Him we need to understand that it is in His strength – not ours. The following is from a well known Christian magazine, ‘My brother and I were preparing to leave the bank with his 5-year-old daughter, Melissa. She ran ahead to open the heavy door. She huffed, puffed, and pushed; she stepped back and started again.
Finally she pushed with all the might her little body could muster--and the door opened!
She was unaware that her father’s hand, high above her head, had actually pushed the door open for her. I laughed at my niece, but then realized God does the same for me every day.’
Listen to the words of Joni Eareckson Tada a quadriplegic, ‘I relive each moment of my visit with Corrie ten Boom (paralysed by a stroke). I recall how our eyes met as we were fed our cucumber sandwiches. Helpless and for the most part dependent, I felt our mutual weakness. Yet I am certain neither of us had ever felt stronger.
It makes me think of the Cross of Christ--a symbol of weakness and humiliation, yet at the same time, a symbol of victory and strength. ...
For a wheelchair may confine a body that is wasting away. But no wheelchair can confine the soul, ... the soul that is inwardly renewed day by day. For paralysed people can walk with the Lord. Speechless people can talk with the Almighty. Sightless people can see Jesus. Deaf people can hear the Word of God. And those like … Corrie, their minds shadowy and obscure, can have the very mind of Christ.’
Corrie and Joni have been mightily used by God – not because of their strength but because of their weakness. And the Lord used a physically blind man to open my eyes!
Laura and Daniel are going to read to us a passage from Acts. In that passage we will find some of what to expect in true Christian service. We will discover truths that will help us operate as God’s chosen people rather than His ‘frozen’ people. Let’s listen carefully to His Word.
Laura read Acts 5:17-26 and Daniel follow on with verses 27-39.
Let’s begin by looking at verses 17-18. What truth do we find there?
Yes, we need to take the heat-bead of understanding that -
1. Sometimes In Service The Going Gets Tough
You see we can be turned off working for the Lord, frozen in our service for Him, because it all seems too hard! We misinterpret events and believe that God is against us in this.
The first heat-bead we read about in this passage, with regard to being faithful to the Lord in service, is this – don’t ‘freeze’ if hardship comes your way as you serve your Lord.
In this case, hardship came from persecution by the Sadducees.
Who were the Sadducees?
The Sadducees were the aristocrats. They were the party of the rich and the high priestly families. They were in charge of the Temple and its services. They only accepted the first five books of Scripture. They were politically oriented, supporters of ruling powers. They wanted nothing to threaten their position and wealth, so they strongly opposed Jesus.
Hardship, persecution and suffering are not alien to the Christian walk – in fact sometimes they are essential to Christian growth & the spread of the gospel. And this suffering for our Lord can bring an inexplicable joy!
Listen to Acts 5:41
And we need to realise that if God is working, look out for Satan! The more determined you are to pray, to witness and to glorify God, the more active Satan will be trying to frustrate your endeavours. So, don’t be dismayed if the Devil is giving you a hard time as you seek to serve the Lord.