Friday, June 01, 2007

Luke #1 – I Just Gotta Tell Somebody!

Luke #1 – I Just Gotta Tell Somebody!

“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 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, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” (Luke 1:1-4 - King James Version).

I gained conviction of my sins at the tender age of eight at the first service of a week of revival meetings in a little country church where my Grandma Zimmerman attended. For the next seventeen years I pondered things of God; almost on an hourly basis. I talked of God with most anyone who would venture into the subject; never going as deep as I needed to go for I knew all that was left undone was surrender. I read the Bible with lost eyes, always gaining knowledge but never breaching the gates of freedom. Then, something happened! March 2, 1997 marked a new beginning! All that was in my head took root in my heart as I surrendered to the grace of God in salvation through Christ. All of a sudden everything truly made sense for the first time in my life! I felt some great weight lift off of me. I was free! My heart of stone was replaced with a heart of flesh! A fire burned in me! The Holy Spirit was there wanting to burst out! I began to witness right away; I could not keep it in! I had to share this great salvation with any who would listen and many who would not. It was not my burden, but my privilege.

These first four verses of Dr. Luke’s Gospel account are simply his greeting and purpose of writing this work. Luke writes to his noble friend Theophilus. Luke writes of things that his head knows and his heart is sure of, saying that these are things “most surely believed” among himself and his cohorts. He wants Theophilus to know the “certainty of those things” that concern the faith. Obviously Theophilus knows something of the faith, but Luke wants Theo to be sure of the solid foundation in which he stands.

There are some things that stand out here. Number one, Luke is so convinced, so moved, and so transformed by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that he can find no way to hold it in. I am sure that Luke had seen his fair share of Judaic and pagan religions that left people unfilled, unchanged, and unhealed. He knew of the power of Christ’s blood and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He wanted others to know too! Do you?

Number two, Luke was so convinced that he was willing to make a “declaration” of these things. He was willing to make a statement; to stake something of himself upon who Christ is. He was willing to put his reputation on the line, to claim Christ publicly, to take the time to help others understand and hear. Are you?

Number three, Luke was convinced that faith in Christ was THE WAY. It was not open for discussion. His friends had told Luke, but the Holy Spirit had assured him. It was not a mere movement of knowledge, but a transformation of a life. It had moved past religion and become breath! To Luke it was more than something to do; it was who he had become. Luke faith was not one of words but it was living. Is yours?

Number four, Luke’s faith was worth working for. NO, NO, NO…he was not trying to earn it! Luke simply lived a life in response to God. He did not witness about God because it was his duty, but because he could not keep it to himself. His faith might have been personal, but it was surely NOT private. He told others. He took to the streets (read Acts). He picked his pen up and wrote. Whatever the means, Luke shared! Do you?

Surely Luke had head knowledge but, more importantly, he had heart belief. He just had to tell about Jesus! It was not a knowledge movement to him but a life mission. It was not a mission trip but an eternal message. His favorite song, were Luke alive today, might sound like a collection of old hymns: “What a wonderful change has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart, so I surrender all because He is worthy of worship. Where He leads I will follow and tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” Do you just gotta tell that old, old story? Has it meant anything to you? Does it still?

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