Thursday, February 13, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Acts 11:19-26(NASB)
19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. 23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. 25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Messiah people. Christ-ians. We're so used to the term that we forget what the word truly signifies. Maybe because we pronounce the word with the softer i. It's not about being a good citizen or being polite or helping the poor, for people of many other religions do that as well. Are we Messiah people? Are we Jesusians? Are we following that member of the Godhead that came to earth, died for use, then rose again? We have forgiveness for our sins. That's something most other religions don't try to offer, for the other religions don't have a sacrifice to end all sacrifices, for Jesus is both the Good Shephard and the sacrificial Lamb of God. As a kid, I looked upon that Lamb image as a meek, mild, tender critter, like the baby in Silent Night or Away in a Manger. The true meaning of the Lamb was to be a sacrifice. That's what we have to offer the world, both Jew and Gentile, not the ongoing guilt-trip Satan loves to send us on, but a message of freedom from guilt (not to say we won't feel sorrow for our sins and want to do a 180) that was paid for at Golgotha. God's perfect, we're not, and that Lamb came and died to bridge that gap.

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