June 27, 2004
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Hunger For God’s Word
By Jack Northart
There are literally millions, perhaps even billions of dollars spent each year on the Christian foreign missionary work to save the “heathen” overseas. Third world countries are infiltrated with thousands of missionaries that dedicate their time, efforts, heart and love to helping people understand the things of Christ and the true God. While this is important work, so is the “missionary work” that needs to be done for our friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and those we come in contact with every day.
The command that Jesus Christ gave to his apostles prior to his ascension, was very specific.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
At that time, most of the apostle's world was centered around the Mediterranean Sea, but especially Jerusalem. This command charged them to be witnesses not just in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria, but also, “… the uttermost part of the earth.” This last statement includes our city, town, county or state in which we live. In other words, no place on earth is exempt from hearing the gospel of God preached. Certain governments may object to it being spoken, but that does not bind the Word of God.
Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Peter and the other apostles stood up to these leaders and spoke God’s Word. That took boldness and courage. They were actually obeying the command of Christ when they spoke God’s Word that day in Jerusalem. And who would be able to resist the power and witness that they gave that day? No one.
… they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
That was obeying God, rather than men. They continued to speak God’s Word, regardless of what the government had told them. As a result, many people were saved, delivered, set free. The same is true today when we speak God’s Word. Salvation, deliverance and freedom are made available to others as we rise up and make it available to them. Our responsibility is to speak it. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, then we move on. It is not our responsibility to make people believe God’s Word, but rather simply present it to them. As we are faithful in doing this, God will bring people into our path that will want to believe.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
The word filled means, “filled according to appetite.” Some folks may not be too hungry for truth. Others may be starving and can’t get enough of it when you speak it to them. Either way, we do not dictate who is hungry and thirsty, or how hungry and thirsty they are. We share it and share our lives with them and give them as much as they want.
I Corinthians 3:6
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
The church at Corinth was divided over who initially spoke the Word of God to them, as if it gave more credibility to their salvation or testimony. Paul reproved them and put it all in perspective by telling them that God was the one who gave the increase. God continues to give the increase in our day and time as well. As those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the ministry of reconciliation. That ministry is carried out as we speak the Word of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:18-20
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
It’s not a question of whether you are an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ or not; it is a question of what kind of an ambassador are you? Are we faithful to carry out this ministry of reconciliation with the Word of reconciliation? Or is too much trouble for us? Is it too inconvenient to speak for God? After all, we wouldn’t want to put anybody on the spot to where they had to make a decision, right? WRONG! That’s exactly what we want to do. We want to give them the opportunity to make a decision. If they say no, so be it. But remember, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.
I Timothy 3:3-4
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
It is not God’s will that any man should perish. His will is that all men be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. Do we have the boldness and courage to present the truth to others? Will we take the time to do what we need to do in order that others may be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth? This means faithful, consistent and accurate teaching of God’s Word to them. This means deliberately spending time with people to help them learn and know more about God’s Word.
Since God saved us by sending His only begotten Son to die so that we could be made whole, shouldn’t our logical response be to accept the responsibility and privilege to speak His Word? Yes it should. As we do, He will bring us those who hunger and thirst for His Word.
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
|Return to main page|