Friday, September 01, 2006

Acts 26:16-18 “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this PURPOSE, to make you a MINISTER AND A WITNESS both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

I can almost see Paul the Apostle as he stood before King Agrippa and began to give his powerful testimony of coming face-to-face with the blinding presence of the Lord Jesus Christ as he journeyed on the road to Damascus that day. A man in possession of a great mind, impeccable credentials, wealth and authority—suddenly found himself prone on the ground and hearing the voice of the King of Kings speaking directly to him in the midday.

With all of his plans, and with all of his ideologies and with all of his successes—he could not deny the voice of the one who spoke and formed both the heavens and the earth. This man of unequaled religious training, who was driven by a purpose that seemed both noble and of great benefit to his people had now been seized by something that would far transcend anything that he could have ever imagined.

Wherein he had once been driven by a sense of duty, personal ambition and misplaced motivation– he was now being given one solitary purpose to take the Glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Nations of the Word! In this day and age the adage “driven” has been adopted by every facet of society—including the church! It is said of a person who is totally devoted to his career and the financial rewards that accompany it: He is driven!

The woman who is in pursuit of a romantic relationship with a particular man is said it be “driven.” To be driven to or by something is to be moved and motivated by what you are doing or hope to accomplish, but when you are given to something or to someone—the pressure to perform is removed and you can just simply be who you have been called to be!

I have said many times in regards to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ that it is not what we do, but rather who we are! When you have given yourself to something, or in this case someone (Jesus) that which follows is merely the product of what and who you have become through the regeneration of the blood of Jesus! Being driven by something (regardless of how moral or noble it may be) can inadvertently lead to developing a works mentality in relationship to being obedient to the call and commission of Christ Jesus to reach the world with the Good News of Salvation.

When you are given to something—doing and being-are just a natural extension of your Born Again Self. Consider this text of scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”

To be bought speaks of surrendering title, deed, and ownership of something to the purchaser. Once bought the owner can exercise any decision relative to his property. If it be piece of land; he builds what he desires. If it be a vehicle; he drives it to his choice of destinations.

Acts 20:28 speaking of the “the church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood.”
When ownership is transferred through the free will of a person and the exercise of faith towards God—then the rights of ownership are acquired by the purchasing party who then has all rights to determine how and what this acquisition will be utilized. While we are not under bondage to any law—Jesus has established the one true reason or purpose in offering up the ultimate price for you and I.
So if we have established that we have transferred ownership of our lives to Jesus Christ and as a result of this spiritual transfer we are then instructed on how we should live—–then what is the purpose that we have been given to? Our text reveals the answer: “to make you a minister and a witness” Why? “in order to turn them from darkness to light.”

Just because that was the purpose in which Paul was given to, does that mean we have been given the same purpose? There is a good way to find out! Let’s look in the Bible! In 1 Corinthians 11:1 he makes the statement, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Another translation reads, “Imitate me as I imitate Jesus Christ.”

The American Heritage Dictionary offers up these definitions of the word imitate: to use or follow as a model, to copy the actions, mannerisms, or speech of, to copy exactly; to reproduce.

That last one sure hits home! Seeing that we were created in His image and likeness and are His offspring created or reproduced by His Spirit. We are then told by Paul to “be a copy of Him” in the way that he was given to be a “copy of Jesus.” What was it that Jesus was given for then?
Jesus Himself answered that question for us when He said in:

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus certainly made it easy to see the reason that He came or for what purpose in which He was given: To Preach the Gospel! That is the Purpose Given to Him and by extension—the same purpose given to all who would be followers of Christ. Now THAT is as simple as it gets.

Related Texts:

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

The words of Jesus in these verses and the testimony of Paul before King Agrippa are an echo of one another and our lives and purpose should be the continuation of that exact same echo. “The Spirit of the Lord” was upon Jesus to anoint Him to preach the Gospel. Now consider this:

Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Does the same Spirit that indwells Jesus dwell in you? If it does then you have been anointed and given to one purpose according to the Word of God—to bring people into His Kingdom through the sharing of the Word of God with them.

I gave a man a car one time and a few months later he called to see if I would mind him giving it to someone else. I said, “I gave it to you to do whatever you want to do with it. Its yours.”
Why is it that we “give Jesus our lives” and then spend the remainder of our years telling Him what He needs to do with His property! I think the problem is that too few actually have signed over their lives to him and embraced the purpose given to us. We’ve instead loaned it to Him with the hope that He would carry the insurance and somehow accept responsibility without authority.

I John 4:1 declares, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many religious imposters have gone out into the world.”

There are mimics and there are imposters. There are the purpose driven and there are the purpose given. Which one will you be?


RAVEN Deb said...

Pastor Troy, thanks for the Bible teachings you put out every month. They really help me to go deeper in His word and equip me to win souls each time i go out on the street. They take the chinks out of my armor, Amen, and keep me pointed toward God and His Son, which keeps me strong in Him. God bless you..your sis Deb

Raven Midwest said...

Brother, that is some good teaching!! Let's see the book!!!!