Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Are We Excited About Our Jesus?

Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

profileI went to my first baseball game when I was very young.  It was a Senator’s game.  I went with my father.  I remember Frank Howard and how big he was and the painted seats in the stands where his homers had landed.  I remember the excitement of the fans – how they roared and seemed to be having a great time.  I believe it was in the mid to late 60’s and I would have been a pre-teen or just into my teenage years.  It made an impression on me.  I was an Orioles’ fan by this time but dad got tickets to the Senator’s game so we went.

I attend as many games as I can at Camden Yards each summer.  My wife and I use to attend games at Memorial Stadium when we were first married.  We would sit in the general admission seats (tight budget in those days) and freeze during the early season games.  We went because of the atmosphere.  We could easily watch the games from home – in the warmth of our own TV room – but the atmosphere of the games is what draws us to the stadium.

People are excited to be at the ballpark.  They talk about going to games and they genuinely sound like they enjoy it and can’t wait to go back the next time.  There is something special about being with other fans – even if some of them are cheering for the other team.  They are excited about their team – about being there – about the effort it took to attend the game (some travel from other states to attend a game).  And fans talk about their team – even between games that they attend.  The radio station I listen to the most (after my Christian music stations) is a sports talk radio station – 24/7 they talk about my favorite teams.

Now please don’t take what I’m about to say as a perfect comparison – but – when people attend your church’s worship service – do they see people – Christians – enjoying themselves coming together to worship God?  When we talk about going to church – do we sound like it is something we look forward to or do we sound like it is a burden or a task?  Do we talk with our children – our co-workers – our neighbors – friends – about our experience in worship and how we think they ought to attend the next opportunity with us?

In Bible study this morning we talked about this a little and the general consensus is that we often don’t express our faith to others.  We don’t – in general – talk about our walk with Jesus the way we should.  Do you?  If people knew you – would they know that you love Jesus?  Would it take long to know where you worship and how you look forward to it each week?  Would they get a sense that your love for Jesus is real and a very important part of your life?

Today’s passage is at the end of chapter 13 of the book of Acts – Acts 13:52 – And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.  Let’s read it in partial context.  Acts 13:44-52 – 44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Almost the whole town turned out for worship!  I believe it was because the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.  I believe – if those of us who have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit – more people would come to worship with us each week and during the week as well.  Think about it!  Are we excited about our relationship with Jesus?  Do we talk about it – almost without end – to those around us?  Excitement is contagious – right?  For those who have children who no longer attend worship?  Can you put a finger on why?  Could it be that our commitment or joy toward or for Jesus wasn’t contagious?  Do we talk about Jesus more than we talk about whatever else we appreciate?

I see a lot of comments on Facebook about Downtown Abbey (never seen it) or about the latest episode of The Walking Dead (again I have never seen it).  I wonder what would happen if we began to quote Scriptures more or talk about our church – our faith – our walk with Jesus more?  What if we were as excited about our faith as we are about things that really mean NOTHING when seen in the broader picture!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 11, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , ,

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