Acts 3:1-8, Acts 4:1-21, Culture--Versus--Truth, Ephesians 4:15, Ezra 3:10-11, Hush Money Or Truth?, Jesus IS Our Hope, John 14:6, John 15:5, John 8:32, Know Truth--Jesus, Philippians 4;13, Psalm 25:4-5, Psalm 33:4-5, Revelation 12:11, Romans 12:1-3, Romans 8:28-29
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 03 Hush Money Or True Hope???
We talked last week about ‘DIY’ and I’d like to take off on that idea and look from another side of the issue. We are living in a culture that is so full of an “it’s all about me” ideology, and even when we speak truth, we are seen as ‘haters’! I hope that we can let scripture reveal true hope, not placating people with ‘hush’ money, so to speak, by our silence, rather than helping them see Jesus as we speak and share truth!
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way,
and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.” John 14:6
Jesus IS truth, and without Him, we have no hope, no truth, no opportunity to reach a lost and dying world. Yet when we follow HIM, we can see great things accomplished in His kingdom (even though the world may disregard what we call great ‘in Him’!)
“I can do all
things through Christ
which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
In the way of the world, unless we have ‘riches’ we don’t have anything to offer; but God does things in ways that are so far beyond the ‘worldly’ way, that we can truly come to have hope and confidence in our Lord and HIS ways—and we aren’t to be ‘quiet’ about it, Jesus said the rocks would ‘cry out’ if men didn’t!
“And when the builders laid the foundation
of the temple of the LORD,
they set the priests in their apparel
and the Levites the sons of Asaph
to praise the LORD,
after the ordinance of David
king of Israel.
11 And they sang together by course
and giving thanks
unto the LORD;
because he is good,
for his mercy endureth for ever
And all the people shouted with a great shout,
when they praised the LORD,
because the foundation
of the house of the LORD
was laid.” Ezra 3:10-11
When we see God at work, we can truly learn to trust His hand as well as His heart toward us. Here we have the children of Israel returning to Jerusalem and they are rejoicing that the temple is rebuilt. And if you read the entire account, you see that some of the elders of the people wept for the remembrance of the original Temple of Solomon, yet God has restored them by His ‘outstretched arm’, and shown Himself faithful to a people (who much like us) had not been faithful to HIM! They had suffered the judgment of God, and had truly reaped the ‘whirlwind’, yet God wasn’t finished with them! His faithfulness is so much more than we can even fathom! God had spoken truth through His prophets, yet they had listened to the false prophets, and ‘hushed’ up the men of God by ignoring them, persecuting them, and even putting many of them to death. How sad that we are living in a very similar day. Will we sell out to the purveyors of “hush money” or will we stand and speak God’s truth?
“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth
shall make you free.” John 8:32
Notice that He will “make you free” not ‘set’ you free—when Jesus saves us, He delivers us—especially from ourselves; and we are to give ourselves to Him, His way and His truth—all the way!
“And they overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives
unto the death.” Revelation 12:11
Jesus doesn’t simply issue a “get out of hell free” card; rather He saves and transforms lives to “be conformed” to HIS image.
“And we know
that all things work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate
to be conformed
to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29
Jesus is ever at work conforming us into HIS image; but we have a part in that work as well, we are to yield to His Holy Spirit’s work in our heart and life, remembering that it’s ALL about Jesus. It’s not about ‘pride’ but humbly learning from HIM, following HIM, and touching the world as HE gives us opportunity.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed
to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me,
to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself more highly
than he ought to think;
but to think soberly,
according as God
hath dealt to every man
the measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3
We can trust to HIS care, remembering what Jesus said!
“I am the vine,
ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
We must keep our eyes on Jesus, as we feast on His Word.
“Shew me thy ways,
teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth,
and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait
all the day.” Psalm 25::4-5
“For the word of the LORD is right;
and all his works are done
5 He loveth righteousness
the earth is full
of the goodness of the LORD.” Psalm 33:4-5
And to bring all of our thoughts together today, I’d like us to consider an encounter that Peter and John had, taking heart from these who had little in the world’s eyes, but who had JESUS, and they knew HE IS TRUTH—and they took no “hush” money!
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb
whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple
which is called Beautiful,
to ask alms of them that entered
into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John
about to go into the temple
asked an alms.
4 And Peter,
fastening his eyes upon him with John, said,
Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them,
expecting to receive something
6 Then Peter said,
Silver and gold have I none;
but such as I have
give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand,
and lifted him up:
and immediately his feet and ankle bones
8 And he leaping up stood,
and entered with them into the temple,
and praising God.” Acts 3:1-8
Peter and John gave of what they had (who they possessed, and who possessed them), and yet they were tempted to cave! And for time and space we’ll just jump to the response from the rulers. (You can read chapters 3 and 4 for the whole picture!). They proclaimed Jesus at each turn, and when threatened they stood firm—and weren’t “hushed” up by threats; they were trusting to HIS care! Remember not everyone is happy with God’s working in the lives of men, women, boys and girls!
“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
2 Being grieved that they taught the people,
and preached through Jesus
the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they laid hands on them,
and put them in hold unto the next day:
for it was now eventide…
….16 Saying, What shall we do to these men?
for that indeed a notable miracle
hath been done
is manifest to all them
that dwell in Jerusalem;
and we cannot deny it.
17 But that it spread no further among the people,
let us straitly threaten them,
that they speak henceforth to no man
in this name.
18 And they called them,
and commanded them
not to speak at all nor teach
in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them,
Whether it be right in the sight of God
to hearken unto you
more than unto God,
20 For we cannot but speak the things
which we have seen
21 So when they had further threatened them,
they let them go,
finding nothing how they might punish them,
because of the people:
for all men glorified God
for that which was done.” Portions of Acts 4:1-21
So my challenge for us today is a call to be faithful to our Lord; to grow in His Word, to be bold—but not arrogant, to be confident—but not prideful, to be ready to follow HIM in all—no matter where HE leads us, or what the cost may be. We won’t let the enemy ‘hush’ us up, but we will “stand fast in the evil day”! We never know how God will use our willingness to obey!
“But speaking the truth in love,
may grow up into him
in all things,
which is the head,
even Christ:” Ephesians 4:15.
Amen and Amen!