Saturday, July 10, 2010

At Least Three Times

On a recent Sunday morning our pastor’s message was building God’s church through personal evangelism. We had a visiting preacher Sunday night – he spoke on the same message. Neither man had mentioned to the other the subject they were using.

I’ve found that often God sends the same message to us. Maybe just to get our attention. That same Sunday I posted
Be Still, Patiently. I needed that message. It came to me twice Sunday morning – Psalms 46:10 was used in the lesson in Sunday School, and it was the scripture chosen to be placed in our bulletin. I received His message three times.

Long ago I learned that quite often His message is placed in front of me three times. There was a specific situation in our family. My mother-in-law told me, in no uncertain terms, that it would be up to me to make the first move. Feeling the aggrieved party, I pushed the information aside. The following Saturday, my mother told me the same thing. I know the topic was not discussed between them. And I knew that neither one called our pastor – yet his Sunday morning sermon was on forgiveness, seventy times seven!

John 21:15-17 has Jesus asking Peter three times, “Lovest thou me?” while He knew the answer in advance.

It takes repetition to get an important message across – especially to someone who has preconceived notions and a somewhat impetuous personality. I mean Peter, of course!

There have been numerous writings about our Lord, beginning that first century. Not unusual, as John saw it.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. [John 21:25 KJV]

Everyone who met Him, who heard Him, could write a book about that experience. But I really like the preceding verse, which limits what should be written.

This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. [John 21:24 KJV]

We are not told that Luke met Jesus, yet I love the books of Luke and Acts, for they read as though written by a researcher, a detail-oriented author who checks facts. We do not know if Theophilus was the name of a living person or if Luke was writing to all of us who love God. Either way, the resulting documentation of living for God is a blessing to all who read it.

Paul’s letters to the churches have oft repeated phrases, too. Though he writes to each one for a specific purpose, admonishing and encouraging always returns to Christ as the example for us to follow and God’s love for mankind that provided salvation.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [Ephesians 2:4-5 KJV]

That theme is repeated more than three times, throughout the books of the New Testament.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16 KJV]

We love him, because he first loved us. [1 John 4:19 KJV]

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