Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Day 28 - Acts 9:19b-25 & Prov. 12:10-18 - Are You Prepared to Prove that Jesus is the Savior?

Today's Reading: Acts 9:19b-25; Prov. 12:10-18

But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. -  Acts 9:22, ESV

Are You Prepared to Prove that Jesus is the Savior?

Saul had not been a Christian for long before he was out in the synagogue in Damascus, proving that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah and Son of God. His conversion was so recent that the reactions of those who were listening showed deep confusion: "All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?”  - v. 21, ESV

Saul was not immediately put into a leadership position in the church, but he immediately went to work convincing others that the Jesus he was just recently persecuting was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah, the hope of Israel and the Savior of the World. Saul used his training in the Scriptures to confound the Jewish opponents of Christ. He knew the Scriptures well enough to reason and make the case and prove that Jesus was the Christ.

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Could you do the same? If someone were to ask you to prove to them from the Bible that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, the only Savior, could you? What if they did not accept the New Testament as Scripture? Could you prove that Jesus is the Messiah from the Torah (the Old Testament) alone?

If you're not sure you could, start by studying Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, then add in Isaiah 9:1-7 and then Micah 5:2-4. If you take time to study these four passages until you can clearly see and explain Jesus through them, you'll have all you need to engage anyone in conversation about Jesus. The great thing about these four passages is that, because they were written several hundred years before Jesus was born, they can be used even in conversations with those who don't accept the Bible as the Word of God.

To get started, you can find sermons on Isaiah 52-53 here. Then, you can find a sermon on Micah 5:2-4 here. For further study, you may find this site helpful here.

Every Christian has the responsibility to be able to show unbelievers from the Scripture who we believe that Jesus is the Messiah. May the Lord bless as we study toward that end.

Heavenly Father, please empower Your people with strong and clear knowledge and understanding of Your word, so we can show others that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Give us opportunities to share Jesus with others. In His name we pray, Amen.

Prayer Based on Proverbs 12:10-18:

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Lord, give us merciful hearts toward all of Your creation.

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
Father, make our hands diligent,
    that we may do the work You give us with all of our might.

Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
Lord, keep us from covetousness,
    for covetousness is an attack aginst Your goodness.
May our hearts bear good fruit for Your glory,
    fruit borne from gratitude and not grumbling.

An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
Father, we can often sin with our lips when we are not guided by Your Spirit,
    for only You can tame our tongues.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
Lord, give us teachable hearts, that we may receive wisdom from others,
    and keep us from haughtiness and stubborn pride.

The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.
Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
    but a false witness utters deceit.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Father, let us never get ruffled or upset by insults or mickery from the world,
    for the world has always mocked Your people, and they are blind to Your wisdom.
Instead, Lord, let us speak the truth from the heart,
    never bearing false witness, but giving clear evidence of Your goodness.
Let our words not be rash or hasty, hateful or selfish,
    but let us speak only what You would have us say,
        for Your glory and for the good of those who hear.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

You may find these videos from Ravi Zacharias helpful:

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