It’s Not Too Late

Acts 3.11-26

In this Peter’s second sermon, he once again implicates the Jews for killing their Messiah. But if they will repent and return, forgiveness is available. Only then will they realize the promises that God made to their fathers. If not, they stand condemned.

Jesus is the answer the Jews had been waiting for, but they missed it. Even though they were wrong about Him, they were convinced they were right. Unfortunately I think we often believe the lie that the answer we’re looking for…whatever it is we think will give our life meaning…can be found in the pursuit of self and the things of this world…relationships, careers/jobs, etc. Even though we may think we’re right, we’re dead wrong. That’s not life, but death. So if you are looking for the right answer in the wrong place, it’s not too late. Jesus is the answer for you too.

Jesus came to bless us…I think it’s such a beautiful picture. Though we were His enemies and our only thought was to put to death the Author of life, yet He willingly gave His life so that we could experience life. Real life. Life with Him in His kingdom. He came to bless us by turning us from our wicked ways. By believing in Him you can be saved.

So how is repentance taking root in your life? We have been called to repent time and time again throughout this series…there’s that first act of repentance when we trusted in Him initially, but then there’s the ongoing repentance…the turning back again. Are we actually doing it? Are we learning to live and love like Jesus?

I love the boldness of Peter to stand up and proclaim Jesus, even when it wasn’t easy. I wonder if we are willing to do the same. Why not start with your impact list? Who is the one you are praying for…that you are inviting to come with you for Easter? Maybe you can share your story with them this week…

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our Acts series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Good News of Great Joy

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;” Luke 2:10 NASB

Having finished 1&2 Peter last week, we now turn our attention to Luke/Acts and the writings of Paul.

Luke was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys as well as being referred to as the beloved physician (Colossians 4:14). We know Luke to be a scholar and historian and the only Gentile (non-Jew) Gospel writer.

As we work our way through this section of the reading plan, from now until the end of the summer, we will see how the ministry to the Gentiles developed in the early church.

Luke wrote his Gospel so that his readers would understand that the gospel is for all, both Jews and Gentiles alike.

Luke helps us to see Jesus as the Son of Man, His mission to seek and save the lost, and His rejection by Israel. The priority of Jesus’s mission was to share the heart of the Father and the message of the kingdom.

Because of this rejection, Jesus also preached to Gentiles so that they could know the plan of salvation – Jesus is the promised one of God as prophesied in the OT and as attested through God’s saving activity in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

A running theme in Luke’s gospel is Jesus’ compassion for Gentiles, Samaritans, women, children, tax collectors, sinners, and others often regarded as outcasts in Israel.

Luke retells the stories, parables and other teachings of Jesus in a way that consistently emphasizes that the gospel is a matter of the heart, the inner person, not mere external religion.

The religious leaders of the day had missed this point – Jesus would constantly challenge them to look inside themselves to see their need for a savior. The leaders had sought the favor of men over the favor of God.

Luke serves as a reminder that Jesus constantly reveals the heart motivations behind our actions and pushes us toward opening our hearts in humility toward God.

As a result, the gospel in Luke is often presented as a call to reevaluate everything in the world according to God’s perspective, not ours.

This means valuing humility over prestige, mercy over justice, favor with God over favor with people, and — especially challenging to us — valuing a rich relationship with God over the power of money.

Luke teaches us that the gospel includes the message of peace, the offer of forgiveness of sins through repentance, the promise of inheriting eternal life, the invitation to enter the kingdom of God, and the joy of being with Jesus as a disciple.

Read Luke with an eye on your own heart.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to you as Luke tells the story of Jesus.

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

Excerpts for this blog were taken from: ESV Study Bible and The Gospel Transformation Bible