Monday, February 16, 2009

The Believer's True Riches

True Riches “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes” (Jeremiah 5:31)? Let’s contrast the false religion prorogated by the false priests of Jeremiah’s day to the true faith God’s children found in the book of Acts. The Christians in the book of Acts weren’t rich, perfect, or even culturally acceptable, but they exhibited a vitality of faith that stirs my heart. Please note four characteristics of their faith. First, they were preoccupied with Jesus. He had ascended to heaven, after which He returned to empower them, John 16:7. His presence was real enough to take them through anything. Remember how real God’s presence was when you first surrendered your life to Him. He only wanted it to get better from there. Second, their community had reality. Unity and heartfelt love was the earmark of the early church. They sacrificed for each other’s needs. Someone’s weakness became an opportunity for someone else to serve, not judge or gossip. What a contrast to the backbiting and political infighting found in some churches today. Third, their ministry had power. I Corinthians 2:4, 5. Christianity was God active in His creation to redeem people. The early church healed the sick and liberated people held captive by the enemy. Today we comfort the sick, and bereaved and argue about the existence of demons. Fourth, they were willing to sacrifice. They followed Jesus because He is Lord. They understood the abundant life was not about temporal comfort but a living in the fullness of Jesus’ presence. What God has offered us is better than some of us are living. We can know the same reality of the resurrected Jesus, the closeness of brotherly love, the power of supernatural ministry, and a joy far deeper than the lures of this life. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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