Acts 8: Becoming what we behold. A lesson in effective evangelism. Dangers of pride for a believer.

Acts 8

Do we become what we behold?

Beholding darkness and we are transformed into darkness… Beholding light and we are transformed into light.

  • Steven kept focused on Jesus and his face shown in the glory of the Lord.
  • Peter focused on Jesus and was able to walk on water for as long as he kept his focus on Jesus.
  • Paul focused on persecution and death and became a persecutor of the light.

There are two kingdoms:

  • light / darkness,
  • blessings / curses,
  • life / death,
  • of God / devil.

One is either for or against the other, no middle ground? The two kingdoms are opposed and against each other. Everyone has to make a choice. Not making a choice is also a choice as the default seems to be darkness because we are all born into sin…. Because of Adam.

Is Paul’s case one of. .. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7 )?

The danger of knowingly or unknowingly ( consciously or unconsciously) coming into agreement with sin of any kind, however subtle. A bit of leaven spreads to the whole bread. Agreement with sin will eventually seek to take over ones whole life?

That seems to be one of the devil’s main strategies , especially now. Having people compromise with the truth just a little with things such as political correctness ( abortion called women’s rights, adultery called slight indiscretion, homosexuality called freedom of choice…). Once the devil gets us to behold sin and come into agreement with it, he knows that he has put his foot in the door of our lives and will keep on pushing to take more ground. As the man thinketh in his heart, so shall he eventually be.

God can work anything for good for those that love Him and are pursuing His purposes (Rom 8:28 ). What the enemy meant for evil was an opportunity for spreading the Gospel as the believers were scattered through out the regions due to persecution of the church.

# Lord Jesus help me not to compromise with the truth and to always keep my focus on You. As I behold You Lord, transform me into Your Image and Likeness from glory to glory. I repent for my murmurings and complaints when things don’t seem to be going my way or when I suffer persecutions for my faith… I stand on Your faithful Word that indeed You are working all things together for my good.

Philip got an opportunity to evangelise in Samaria.

What draws people – a lesson in evangelism?  Crowds listening intently because :

  • >> Told the people about Jesus the Messiah, The Word. The Word is living and powerful, shaper than…. (Heb 4:12 )
  • >> Validation of the Word by accompanying miracles, signs and wonders. Even greater things shall you do… (John 14:12 ).

Are our Churches today preaching Jesus? Seems that is is all other things but Jesus.

Is there validation of the power of Christ in our Churches through miracle, signs and wonders?

Like with the days of Simon the sorcerer, people are still mesmerized with magic ( dark powers that perform signs and wonders). There is a proliferation of the magic shows on TV. Unknowingly, what one beholds one becomes!?? Is it another subtle strategy of the devil to entrap those who innocently watch them??… Drawing even others to seek powers so that they can have influence or wealth….

Evangelism, witnessing… It’s all about pointing people to Jesus and having them to… Taste and see that the Lord is good… (Psalm 34:8)… That indeed Jesus is way way better than all others.

Simon the sorcerer got the message — Jesus is far more amazing than anything that the powers of darkness can offer. Just with the ‘simple’ Word preached with validation of its power through signs and wonders transforming people instantly – other theatrics aside, must have simply amazed Simon the sorcerer. The problem now – it is taking attention off me, Simon may have thought, or may have been prompted to by the devil.

As servants of the Lord, It should always be all about Jesus and nothing about us or bitter jealousy and being captive to sin will result – ask Lucifer / Satan / the devil – once serving as an angel of light closest to the heart of the Lord and he lost focus on Who it is All about – the Lord, and started to think of himself — the danger of self focus – Pride. Bitter jealousy and being captive to sin has now characterised and consumes all of the devil.

Where the Holy Spirit is operating, there is always fruit – there was great joy in that city.

Most churches don’t seem to have deliverance from evil spirits, healing of the sick and the lame, something seeming common in the days of Acts in the early church. Are we missing something??

Receiving the Holy Spirit… Another seemingly important aspect of a believer that I don’t hear much about!

Seems what we are missing is being filled with the Holy Spirit and His fruits (such as gift of healings and miracles) in the Body of Christ…

I think we need to get back to the original as the early church and I am sure the body of Christ would be living a victorious life. Are we perishing for simple lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6 )!?

Power and authority from the Lord

  • – given for service of others and not for personal gain.
  • – It is a free gift >> undeserved and unearned favour…. Grace??
  • – To be used with the right intentions – a clean heart

 

The Ethiopian eunuch.

  • Those who diligently seek the Lord shall be found by Him.
  • Going to church and reading scripture not enough to get saved / access heaven.
  • Having worldly power and wealth also contributes nothing to our salvation.
  • We need a true encounter with Jesus – believing in our heart and confessing with our mouth. (Romans 10:9-10)
  • Salvation is by grace through faith, without any self effort … (Ephesians 2:8 )
  • We need Holy Spirit revelation of scripture… The author would know best!
  • A revelation of the Good News of the Gospel gets one to repent ( water baptism). One can’t fail to get amazed with the Amazing Grace offered to us by the Lord Jesus.
  • An encounter with the Spirit of the Lord leaves fruit – the eunuch went away rejoicing.
  • Time travel is nothing new?
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