Passage: “Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the Word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:4-8)
Thoughts: Due to the persecution of the Church by Saul, the Church was scattered. The Apostles stayed in Jerusalem and Philip could have stayed, may be and yet Luke tells us that he went to Samaria. Do you think he chose to leave or did he run? Based on the way Luke presents the actions of Philip, I believe he went. Luke tells us, “Philip went down… and proclaimed the Messiah to them.” This indicates that he went with purpose and determination to share the Good News of Christ Jesus! What do you think?
Prayer: “Sending God, thank you for not allowing Your Church to get stuck in Jerusalem, limited to one location or bound to one era. Instead, Your Church fits and functions in any and every context, spread across the world and yet joined in heart and will, united in one and the same Spirit. Thank you that I am part of this amazing community of faith. Amen.” (Belgic Confession 27)
Blessing: “May the grace off the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Blessings, Pastor Robert
I am the Lead Pastor for the Keswick Chapel ministry of Charlottesville First Church of the Nazarene (CFCN) in Keswick, VA. This is the announcement for the third message in a series called “5 Characteristics of a Christian,” preached by Rev. Norman Shaw for our ministry in the month of May.
His message this week is “Humility.” Rev. Shaw considers this message the cornerstone of the series. You will not want to miss this message! All of his messages for the Keswick Chapel are available on the Facebook page for CFCN at: https://www.facebook.com/cvillenaz/ or on our YouTube channel by searching for Keswick Chapel. Select “Keswick Chapel a Ministry of CFCN”
We release these messages every Saturday morning at 9 am.
Can we make the move from living in the natural, to moving in the supernatural, and know that this doesn’t make us “weird?” Can we dare to live in a realm that depends upon really having the eyes, mind, and heart of Christ? ~Pastor O
A devotional by Pastor O, shared by permission.
I am becoming more and more disturbed by comments and statements made by well meaning, and perhaps some not so well meaning brothers and sisters. Statements that are so dogmatic in their content that they will tolerate no disagreement from any quarter. As someone said, it is imperative that we belong to the “right club” within the church. We in that club are right, and everyone else is wrong. My sense of it all is we are depending far more upon our own intellectual understanding of His Word and teaching than we do upon the direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. We must have correct doctrine and theology on the essentials of the faith, and especially the final authority of scripture, but most of our conflict, even warfare, is a result of arguing about non-essentials. And we can be extremely unloving in our disagreements, resulting in labeling, and even name calling. All the while, I believe Jesus weeps, and, I think, feels no small amount of anger. I think it is time, past time, for the Church, you and me, to hear Him speak a new “nevertheless” to us.
When Jesus spoke the above scripture to His disciples, He was telling them that He was leaving them. They didn’t understand any of His reasoning and were brokenhearted. They saw and sensed only the appearance of it all. He would be gone….they thought. They could not see or understand what He was following that statement with; that He would be sending them the Comforter, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who would not only be with them, but in them. He was promising them an even greater companion than His physical presence, but they couldn’t see it. They lacked discernment and understanding. That would not come until they were baptized in the fullness of His Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It will not come to us until we experience it as well. When we do, we will no longer live by appearances and our own understanding. We will not live by the power of our intellect, but by the power of His Spirit. We will not live with information about Him, but revelation from Him. We’ll discover that truth and reality are not based upon what appears to be, but on what He has spoken and revealed…..and continues to speak and reveal. We discover that His Word is alive and not static. Growing and unfolding within us in ever deeper ways. Never making itself void, but always taking us beyond our intellectual limits. It’s a mystical and supernatural experience, and our staid, western intellects struggle with that. So we live by our senses and our natural reasoning. Knowing what He has said, in our minds if not our hearts, but not what He is saying now. We’re leaning upon our own understanding, but we never seem to realize it.
Can it become less important for us to be “right” in all these debates, and most important that we know and hear Him? Can we believe that there may be areas of life, doctrine and theology, where we may be at least in part, wrong? Can we make the move from living in the natural, to moving in the supernatural, and know that this doesn’t make us “weird?” Can we dare to live in a realm that depends upon really having the eyes, mind, and heart of Christ? This is frightening to the flesh, but very welcoming to Christ. Will we live in the place where our flesh is most at home, or where His Holy Spirit is? What’s our answer as concerns our lives, homes, and fellowships? Do we live by appearances, or by His appearing and speaking to us through them?