Do The Work!

Friday, June 14, 2013, 6:30 a.m. – the song “Jesus Paid it All” was playing in my mind as I awoke this morning. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Acts 13 (NIV):

Jesus Paid It All / Elvina M. Hall / John T. Grape

… your sins… they shall be as white as snow… Isaiah 1:18

I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.”

For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Set Apart

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

The word “holy” means “dedicated or set apart for; devoted to the service of God” (Encarta); “having a divine quality; sacred; perfect in goodness and righteousness” (; and “belonging to, derived from, or associated with divine power” (

We are all called to be holy (see Ep. 1:4, 18; 2:21; 5:26-27; 2 Ti. 1:9; 1 Pt. 1:15; 2:5-9; He. 12:14), and we are all set apart for the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Co. 9:13; Ph. 1:27). We are Christ’s witnesses of his salvation to the whole world, and Christ Jesus commanded us to make disciples (followers) of Christ of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all that Christ commanded us. As well, the Holy Spirit of God has gifted us with specific gifts to be used for the strengthening and edification of the body of Christ, and he has assigned each one of us a specific task (a part within the body) – see 1 Co. 12; Ro. 12 and Ep. 4. So, we should all be encouraged to do the work for which we have all been set apart, both collectively and individually, and to not be slack.

Please Speak!

After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

Another word for exhortation is encouragement. We are all instructed in scripture to encourage one another (see 2 Co. 13:11; 1 Th. 4:18; 5:11-14; Heb. 3:13; 1 Co. 14:12; Ep. 4:16, 29). So, we all have words of exhortation and encouragement for the building up of the body of Christ that the Lord Jesus would have us speak (1 Co. 2:13; 14:3; 2 Co. 4:13-14; Ep. 4:15, 25; 5:19; 6:19; 1 Th. 2:4; 1 Pt. 4:11). And, I believe the Lord Jesus is saying to my heart this morning, and hopefully to yours, too, that we have all been given words of encouragement, hope, counsel, exhortation, truth, and light, so we should speak those words to others for their hope, encouragement, salvation and healing in the Lord, and we should not be complacent, apathetic or fearful, but we should obey the Lord in this.

After God’s Own Heart

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

If we will not obey the Lord Jesus in doing the work he has called us to do, in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in speaking his words of encouragement to the body of Christ for their strengthening, then he will find others who will do it, but we will miss out on the blessings of obedience, and the blessings that come from impacting other people’s lives for Jesus Christ.

David was a man after God’s own heart, who did what God wanted him to do. Now, he was not perfect, and there was a time when he failed God greatly, sinning greatly against God and his fellow human beings, yet he repented of his sins, and God restored him and used him again. Amen! I know that grace from God, too, and that healing and restoration that comes when we pour out our hearts to God in confession and repentance, and his love and kindness towards us heals us, renews our faith, and restores us to his service once again. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart, who does everything he wants me to do!

A Light

Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us:

“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

Not everyone will receive with joy the words we speak for their encouragement, though. Some will reject the words of hope given them, yet that does not change our obligation and privilege to continue sharing the good news of salvation, for we are all given the charge to be lights for the gospel to the world around us (see Mt. 5:14-16; Lu. 8:16; 11:33; Jn. 8:12). I love the way Jesus said it to Saul/Paul in Acts 26:16-18:

‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Forgiveness of Sins

“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin…”

This is at the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ, i.e. this is the very reason for which Christ Jesus went to the cross, died, and took upon himself the sins of the entire world. He crucified our sins with him, and he rose from the dead conquering death, hell, Satan and sin so that we could go free from slavery to sin (day-to-day), so we would be free of eternal punishment in hell, and so we could be free to love, honor, worship, obey and serve our Lord Jesus Christ all our days.

If we continue in sin (in sinful lifestyles) once we have received the knowledge of the truth, and yet we claim to know Christ and to walk in fellowship with him, then we are liars, and we do not live by the truth (see 1 Jn.). Jesus didn’t die a horrible death and take upon himself all our sins just so we could go to heaven one day, as wonderful as that will be. He died to set us free from sin daily (see Lu. 9:23-25), and so we could walk in his righteousness and in his truth, following him in obedience to all he has taught us.

Great is The Lord! / An Original Work / June 12, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures – Ps. 57:10; 89:1; 145:3; Jer. 32:19;
La. 3:22-24; Da. 9:4; Lu. 21:27; Ep. 1:19; Tit. 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:1 (NIV ’84)

Great is the Lord!
He has done wondrous things.
Great is His love
Reaching up to the heav’ns.
His faithfulness reaches
Up to the skies.
Of His great love,
I will sing evermore.

Great is the Lord
And most worthy of praise!
Truly His greatness
No one comprehends.
Great are His purposes;
Mighty His deeds.
His eyes are open
To the ways of man.

Great is the Lord!
His compassions ne’er fail.
Great is His faithfulness.
I’ll wait for Him.
He keeps His covenant
Of His great love
With all who love Him
And do what He says.

Great is the Lord!
He is coming in pow’r.
His saints will wait for Him;
Their hope secure.
How great His love
He has lavished on us,
That we should be called
The children of God.
'Jesus paid it all': "It is finished", some excellent, soul humbling sermons from the last words of the Lord Jesus on the Cross.