There’s a guy out there that’s pretty famous. He’s been all over the place saying and doing things that are anti-Christian. Now, he says he has become a follower of Jesus. He claims to be rejecting his former way of life. A lot of people are now saying it’s a trick…it isn’t authentic…it’s a publicity stunt. Some of those most objecting to his “new found” faith are top leaders of The Church. How should we respond?
The guy?… His name is not Kanye…it’s Paul–or better yet, Saul. He claims he met Jesus on a road and his life was radically changed. However, the Word says “When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.” (Acts 9:26 NAS) One man though, not an apostle, Barnabas “…took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus” (v.28 NAS).
Now, I know Kanye is not an apostle…nor is he claiming to be. But shouldn’t The Church be rejoicing that one has come to know Christ and is beginning his walk with Jesus? Should we not embrace him – encourage him – disciple him, and celebrate God’s great saving power?
To those who believe him to be a fake, or that this is a publicity stunt…maybe. It’s just not up for me to determine. We will know him by his fruit. In fact, you might say the same about me…is he a fake? Watch for the fruit, but be very careful how you call out one who claims to have received God’s salvation. Gamaliel stated it pretty well in Scripture when he told the Pharisees concerning Peter and the apostles, “if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39 NAS).
I have plenty in my own life to want God to change. I don’t need to fix everybody else. And by the way, Kanye, if you’re reading this (and I know you are), you are welcome at my table anytime, and you are welcome to worship Jesus with me every time!
I’m always excited when our Worship Ministry presents a new musical or worship event. My excitement has grown with the evening we have been preparing for Sunday night, August 29. I first heard this music as First Baptist Woodstock, GA premiered it in late April/early May. The songs so moved me as I sat and worshipped, that I was speechless and often tear-filled. The lyrics so moved me to remind me (1) how much He loves me, (2) how powerful He is in my life, (3) how He completely forgives, (4) how He demands my all, (5) and what a fortress He is in my life.
Psalm 27 states,
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
Cliff Duren has written a wonderful song based on this Psalm, and the Celebration Choir does a magnificent job of singing it as they worship. Along with this, there are 12 other songs of equal magnitude and encouragement.
Last night at our final dress rehearsal, I asked the choir to share what song had ministered the most to them, and I received answers that included almost every song. What a great time of testimony, worship, and prayer we had. I know the same will be true for you if you join us Sunday night, August 29, at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Mableton, GA. Trust me, any schedule conflict and any driving distance will be worth it to you when God speaks to you to show you the love, power, and encouragement He has for you. I hope you’ll come, and know that for many weeks now, I have been praying that God would attract many to be here for His glory. Is He calling you?
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