Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Acts 20 -- a famous saying of Jesus

One of the most famous things Jesus said is not recorded in any of the gospels, but in this chapter.
Act 20:34 Siz de bilirsiniz ki, bu eller hem benim, hem de benimle birlikte olanların gereksinmelerini karşılamak için hizmet etmiştir.
Act 20:35 Yaptığım her işte sizlere, böyle emek vererek güçsüzlere yardım etmemiz ve Rab İsa'nın, 'Vermek, almaktan daha büyük mutluluktur' diyen sözünü unutmamamız gerektiğini gösterdim."
Paul is having one final conversation with the leaders of the church at Efese. He reminds them of how much effort and passion he put into teaching their people, both publicly (in the school of Tyrannus, for example) and house to house. He urges them to stay faithful. And, he gives them a saying of Jesus as a motivating watchword:
  • Vermek -- to give
  • almaktan -- to receive than
  • daha -- more
  • büyük -- large
  • mutluluktur -- a blessing is.
I was speaking the other day with a gentleman who spent 15 years in Indonesia, ministering to the Dayak tribespeople -- a culture that had, until recently, been defined by its practice of head hunting. He confessed frustration over how difficult is was for the gospel to take root among these people. As long as a professional Christian was on site, they found it reasonable to "get with the program." Remove the outside influence, however, and the Dayaks soon drifted back to their indolent, pagan ways.

What must be done to permanently transform a culture? That's a question of piercing concern to believers who live in an officially post-Christian nation, such as America. Unofficially, and informally, we are free to practice our faith. But powerful forces, who wish to cast off all restraints, are at work to banish God from public life.

No comments: