OPEN HEAVENS 2017
LIKE THEOPHILUS? – Sunday August 6th 2017
Memorise: Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. Psalm 91:14
Read: Luke 1:1-4 (KJV)
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Bible in one year: 1st Kings 20-21, Ezekiel 20:39-49, Hymn: Sing hymn 1
MESSAGE (Sunday August 6th 2017)
The name which a person is identified is very significant. The Jews and a good number of African cultures attach great importance to the names they give to their children. It is amazing that God Almighty also recognises the influence of names on the lives of their bearers. For example, while entering into a covenant with Abram, God changed his name to Abraham, and He gave reasons for this (Genesis 17:5). Also, at Bethel, God changed Jacobs’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28). The Lord Jesus and His apostles also gave people new names (Mark 3:16-17, Acts 4:36).
In our Bible reading today, we read about a man whose name was Theophilus. ‘Theophilus’ in Greek means “lover of God”. It is amazing that this man loved God so much that he earnestly sought to know about Him and His Christ. His curiosity about God produced two of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament: the gospel according to St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles (Luke 1:1-3, Acts 1:1). When you love someone, you would seek to know more about that fellow. This was exactly the attitude of Theophilus towards God. His drive to know God more, led Luke to write his gospel on the life of Jesus. However, his continued thirst made him unsatisfied with just one book about Him, thereby necessitating the need for a second book to be written by Luke, which is now referred to as the Acts of the Apostles.
There are several lessons we can learn from the life and attitude of Theophilus, one of which is that in spite of his highly exalted position, Theophilus still sought to know the truth about Jesus Christ. The Bible says you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Wherever you are confronted with an idea, be it religious or philosophical, try and find out the truth embedded in it. Some people completely fall for some religious ideas without first finding out their authenticity; hence, they have been deceived to believe lies. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, yearned to know more of Jesus (Philippians 3:10). If you love Jesus, you would want to know more of Him through regular Bible study and fellowshipping with genuine Christians. The benefits of loving God and His Christ are obvious from our memory verse. When you love God, he will deliver you from erring from the truth (John 10:1-14). He will also promote you because you personal relationship with Him will avail for you. Beloved, do you love God? To what extent do you love Him? Jesus Christ, in John 14:15, said:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
By this benchmark, can you say you truly love Him?
Prayer Point(Sunday August 6th 2017)
Father, help me to love You as I ought to: in deed and in truth.