People who love birds know how to attract hummingbirds.
Acts 8:8 – And there was great joy in that city.
Is there joy in your city? I didn’t ask about your home or your church. I asked about your city. While considering that question, take a moment to read Acts 8:5-8. Let’s examine what we see there. Philip went down to Samaria and preached Christ. When he preached Christ, several things happened.
- The people, with one accord, gave heed to what Philip preached
- They heard what Philip said
- They saw the miracles Philip did
- Many demon-possessed people were delivered
- Many palsied and lame were healed
While I am NOT saying that this example of the ministry of Philip is all that is necessary for the joy of the Lord to clearly reside over a city, I AM SAYING that this example is a critical part of the work to achieve such a thing. I am not speaking to an individual minister in my writing. I am speaking to the body of Christ in the cities in which we (the body of Christ) reside. We may not have the entire city for an audience, be we all have an audience. What are you preaching to them? If you’re NOT preaching, it’s time to step up to the plate and fulfill your responsibility. If you ARE preaching, WHAT are you preaching? Are you preaching Christ? DON’T STOP – NEVER STOP! If you’re preaching something other than Christ, change you message, or be quiet. The events that followed Philip’s preaching of Christ in Samaria should give clear indication that my words are right. Here are some questions for you.
Are people giving heed to what you are preaching?
Are people clearly hearing what you are preaching?
Are people seeing miracles (signs and wonders) flowing from what you’re preaching?
Are people being delivered by the power of what you’re preaching?
Are people being healed (of anything) by the power of what you’re preaching?
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” an atmosphere in which joy can reign is being formed. If the answer is “no,” an atmosphere for grief, bitterness, and worry is being nourished. Of course, the bottom line of all our discussion is JESUS. If Jesus is key in the mix, there is light, life, and love that make all things possible. If Jesus is NOT key in the mix, no matter how often He may be mentioned peripherally, the light, life, and love are pushed aside from being truly influential. Allow me to use a phrase from two or three decades ago. It speaks clearly for itself, and it is absolutely true. KNOW GOD, KNOW PEACE. NO GOD, NO PEACE. The same can be said concerning the matter of joy. KNOW GOD, KNOW JOY. NO GOD, NO JOY. Let it be spoken loudly and critical. JESUS MUST BE AT THE CENTER THINGS. As a songwriter has penned, “Jesus, You’re the center of my joy.”
Manna for Today – Acts 8:1-8; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; John 14:12-14