God’s Mission

Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

Acts 8:29

Missions is God finding those whose hearts are right with Him and placing them where they can make a difference for His kingdom. Some of the great missionaries in history did not live long lives, but their lives dramatically affected eternity. God had access to Philip, and the Book of Acts gives the exciting account of how God used Philip’s life to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Philip was preaching powerfully in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:5). 

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How God Forgives

Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.

2 Samuel 12:10

What is required for God to forgive sin? Repentance. But even repentance does not ensure the removal of the consequences of sin. The consequences often remain as a reminder of the terrible, destructive nature of sin. David was forgiven for his grievous sins of lust, adultery, robbery, and murder. God forgave him and removed his sin from him completely (Ps. 103:12). God did not, however, remove the pain that David would endure as a result of his transgressions. 

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A Noticeable Difference

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:13

There is no mistaking a life transformed by God! The disciples had been vain and fearful when Jesus enlisted them. James and John sought to outmaneuver their fellow disciples in order to gain the places of greatest honor next to Jesus (Mark 10:37). Over and over the disciples’ actions showed that they did not truly understand who Jesus was (John 6:7–9; Mark 6:49). Even after three years with Jesus, Peter was afraid to confess Christ before a young servant girl (Matt. 26:69–75). 

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Step By Step

“Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

Genesis 22:2

Our difficulty is not that we don’t know God’s will. Our discomfort comes from the fact that we do know His will, but we do not want to do it! When God first spoke to Abraham, His commands were straightforward. “Go to a land I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). Then God led Abraham through a number of tests over the years. Abraham learned patience as he waited on God’s promise of a son, which took twenty-five years to be fulfilled. 

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Adjustments

Oh that my head were waters, And my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

Jeremiah 9:1

Jeremiah was invited by God to be a weeping prophet. His call came during turbulent, agonizing times as his society suffered from pervasive moral and spiritual decay. The nation of Judah had turned so far from God that it was soon to face His fierce judgment. This was not a time for merrymaking but for weeping. God looked for someone He could mold into the kind of prophet needed for such a bleak time. He found Jeremiah. 

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