February 12, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Whatever you have learned, or received, or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice." Philippians 4:9
I have always been amazed at the things Paul said, but this verse causes me to nod my head in complete admiration. He says, "Look at all I've tried to teach you, given unto you, what you have heard me say, and the life I have lived. APPLY THESE THINGS TO YOUR LIFE!" Now that is quite a statement. I wonder if any of us could bare our life before others and say such a thing. I'm afraid not.
Throughout Paul's ministry, he was very conscious of setting an example before all the people he encountered of WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE WHOLLY UNTO THE LORD. Look at Paul's attitude. He said, "I am a bond servant to everyone. Unto the Jews, I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews. To them that are under the law, I became as under the law. To them that are without the law, I became as one without the law. I am not without the law to God and lawless toward Him, but I am especially keeping within the law and have committed to the law of Christ, so that I may win those who are without law. To the weak, I have become weak, that I may win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means [at all costs and in every way] save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ]" (1 Corinthians 9:19-22).
Paul was committed to the ministry God had entrusted to him. Even more, he was committed to God to be faithful and obedient to his calling. He wanted to live in such a way that the love of Christ would be magnified in and through his life and that his life would be a transparent testimony of his faith, consistent in his walk, sincere, and without hypocrisy. It is when people see the fruit of your faith that the witness of your faith is empowered by the Holy Spirit to penetrate the heart of an unbeliever.
The story is told of an unknown missionary laboring in the Philippines many years ago. Laboring in a predominantly Catholic country, where Protestant missionaries were not always appreciated, God laid on his heart a man by the name of Anacleto to witness of the saving grace of Christ. Anacleto, the father of eight children, was not receptive that he needed to be "born again," and shrugged off his friend time and again. But the missionary kept coming back, urging Anacleto to accept Christ as his Savior. On the eleventh visit, Anacleto told him if he came back again he would kill him.
Anacleto testified later, "When he came the twelfth time, I figured there must be something to this message, so I listened." It was then that Anacleto received Christ as his Savior. A missionary's faith was magnified by the way he lived, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and yielded eternal fruit. Today, Anacleto and his wife are in heaven, but all eight of their children are SERVING THE LORD as outstanding leaders in the Philippines and the United States. All are following in the footsteps of their father and mother and are DEVOTED TO GOD. Our responsibility is to be faithful and obedient. It is God's responsibility to bring forth the harvest. Your life may be the "only Gospel" others may ever know. LET CHRIST LIVE IN AND THROUGH YOU!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=43&date=2012-02-12
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