MINISTRY IN MADISONVILLE
November 1999 -- This past Sunday I had the pleasure of presenting three Bible lessons to the North Madison Church of Christ in Madisonville, Texas, located about halfway between Houston and Dallas on Interstate 45. Lanier Stevens has ministered to the congregation for many years, while making a living as a postal carrier. He knows and loves most of the people in his county, who also know and love him in return. Lanier is also a member of the "Sounds of Glory" gospel quartet, which has touched the lives of many in person and via tapes around the world.
My three sermons had a single theme -- "Some ways that God guides his children." We began by noting biblical promises that God will guide those who reverence, trust and obey him (Psalm 23:2-4, 25:4-5, 8-10, 12; 32:8-9; Prov. 3:5-6; Isa. 30:19-21; John 10:4, 13, 16, 27; Rom. 8:14). We stressed that most often and most generally God guides through the Scriptures, and that he never guides contrary to or inconsistent with the teachings found there. The Bible is our "canon" -- a Greek word meaning the measuring-stick by which all else is to be tested. Every believer should immerse himself or herself in the Word of God in order to know God's "story," to know God himself, and to know God's "ways." There are no shortcuts; knowing God personally is the essence of eternal life (John 17:3).
We then explored the Book of Acts to learn how God guides his people in daily life and ministry. According to the Bible, God sometimes leads his faithful people by revelatory insight from words of a particular Scripture suited to the occasion (Acts 1:20-26); by a unity of hearts of those seeking his will (Acts 15:1-29); by a word of prophecy, which has nothing to do with writing Scripture but is local, specific and occasional in nature (Acts 2:16-18; 11:28-30; 15:32; 21:4, 11); by the voice of God (Acts 8:29; 10:19; 13:2); by dreams and visions (Acts 2:16-17; 10:1-6, 9-19; 16:9-10); and by circumstances providentially arranged (Acts 1-28). We related modern examples of each of these methods of divine guidance.
Those in attendance (including gracEmail subscribers from several towns and Christian fellowships) were encouraged to draw near to God and to seek his daily guidance in order to better serve Christ and to bless others.
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