Friday, January 18, 2019

Reflection - God Saves - Used by God

Source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 3, Question 3, Page 44.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Read Matthew 25:35-40.

PHOTO: Read Matthew 25:35-40.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"

Is it possible to be used by God without knowing it? If someone has been used in this way to bring blessing to you, go and let them know.
God used a simple lay preacher to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers. Poet and hymn writer William Cowper echoes this truth in his wonderful hymn, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way".

We see this happening in the case of Jonah. God did another mysterious thing as He acted to save Jonah - He used the disobedient, fleeing prophet to reach out to pagan sailors.

As "God Moves in a Mysterious Way", it is possible to be used by God without knowing it. Unknown to the lay preacher, God had used him to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers. Similarly, while struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.

I am sure that Robert M. Solomon has been used in this way to bring blessing to us. He served as Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012. He has degrees in medicine, theology, intercultural studies, and a PhD in pastoral theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of more than 30 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Enduring Word, The Sermon of Jesus, Faithful to the End, and Jesus Our Jubilee. He has an active itinerant ministry of preaching and teaching in Singapore and abroad.

"Bishop Solomon has brought this ancient biblical book alive. He brings out rich teaching about the nature and ways of God." - Dr. Ajith Fernando

"Here is the same . . . consideration of Old Testament themes with New Testament eyes and careful life-application I have learned to value so highly." - Dr. Kenneth J. Stewart

"Jonah's life can still speak to us today . . . A book to stimulate our imagination and to probe our hearts." - Rev. Dr. Warren R. Beattie

"God in Pursuit is written with the skill of a scholar and the heart of a pastor." - Dr. Patrick Fung

 
The book "Faithful to the End" (A preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy), "Finding rest for the soul" (Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29), and "God in Pursuit" (Lessons from the Book of Jonah) can still speak to us today with surprising note of challenge. They are books to stimulate our imaginations and to probe our hearts. (Rev. Dr. Warren R. Beattie). Valuable books for all Christian to read, and receiving the blessings pouring from God onto us, the readers, and Bishop Solomon.

Why is it better to be used by God when you are following Christ, rather than when you are disobeying Him?
We never know how a word we speak, a book we pass to a friend, or a simple kindness we perform, can be used by God to change someone's life. God is not a passive observer in our lives, but an active and gracious participant. He is constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish His sovereign will. He can use any situation to do His marvellous work. This does not mean we can run away from God, like Jonah, and expect Him to make good on the situation. Rather, it should motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert (agreement or harmony) with God's will for us.

We also need to remember that when we disobey God, we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us, just like in the case of Jonah the prophet who ran away from God.
Picture posted by Kelly Sobieski on 07 November 2017

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Read Matthew 25:35-40. Is it possible to be used by God without knowing it? If someone has been used in this way to bring blessing to you, go and let them know. Why is it better to be used by God when you are following Christ, rather than when you are disobeying Him?

Read Matthew 25:35-40.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"



The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

PHOTO: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
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Is it possible to be used by God without knowing it? If someone has been used in this way to bring blessing to you, go and let them know.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who lived in 19th-century Britain, was considered "the prince of preachers". Huge numbers of people used to gather in London to hear his inspired and anointed preaching. Spurgeon came to faith in an unusual way, and his experience is a touching reminder of how God often works. [11]

One Sunday, the teenage Spurgeon was trudging to church in heavy snow with a heavy heart when the severe weather forced him to stop along the way and take refuge in a small church. The minister of that church had also been unable to attend the service that morning because of the snowstorm, so a lay preacher - a simple tradesman - had to take his place at the pulpit. As the man was not a polished or experienced preacher, he had considerable difficulty delivering the message. After preaching for just 10 minutes, he ran out of words. But those 10 minutes, and the simple words of the lay preachers, were used by God to convert Spurgeon.



Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who lived in 19th-century Britain, was considered 'the prince of preachers'.

PHOTO: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who lived in 19th-century Britain, was considered "the prince of preachers". Huge numbers of people used to gather in London to hear his inspired and anointed preaching. Spurgeon came to faith in an unusual way, and his experience is a touching reminder of how God often works.
Picture postedby Zechariah Hesseltine

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The tradesman first read from the Bible: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22 KJV).

Then he continued: "My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, 'Look'. Now that does not take a deal of effort. It ain't lifting your foot or your finger; it is just 'look'. Well, a man need not go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man need not be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look: a child can look. But this is what the text says. Then it says, 'Look unto Me.' Aye, many of ye are looking to yourselves . . . 'Look unto Me: I am sweating great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hanging on the Cross. Look: I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend; I am sitting at the Father's right hand. O, look to Me! Look to Me!'"



'Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else' (Isaiah 45:22 KJV).

PHOTO: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22 KJV).
Picture posted under God in Heaven Hallowed
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The preacher then looked directly at Spurgeon sitting in the back row and said, "Young man, you look miserable. And you will always be miserable - miserable in life and miserable in death - if you do not obey my text. But if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved. Young man, look to Jesus Christ."

Spurgeon later testified, "There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; I could have risen that moment and sung with the most enthusiastic of them of the Precious Blood of Christ."

God used a simple lay preacher to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers. Poet and hymn writer William Cowper echoes this truth in his wonderful hymn, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way".



God Moves in a Mysterious Way, by using a simple lay preacher to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers.

PHOTO: God Moves in a Mysterious Way, by using a simple lay preacher to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers.
Picture posted by Bnoth Style on 16 November 2016

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We see this happening in the case of Jonah. God did another mysterious thing as He acted to save Jonah - He used the disobedient, fleeing prophet to reach out to pagan sailors. [1]

As the waves grew higher, Jonah told the sailors matter-of-factly, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea" (Jonah 1:12). He believed that God would calm the sea and spare the sailors if they threw him overboard, because he thought that God was only pursuing him, not them. Jonah was only partly correct, however, God did indeed calm the sea, but He was after more than just one errant prophet, and He would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to Him. He would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to Him for mercy and salvation.


Jonah thought that God was only pursuing him, not the sailors.
PHOTO: Jonah thought that God was only pursuing him, not the sailors. Jonah was only partly correct, God did indeed calm the sea, but He was after more than just one errant prophet, and He would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to Him. He would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to Him for mercy and salvation.
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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2019/01/reflection-god-saves-experience-of-fear.html



From being afraid to being terrified, the sailors then proceeded to fearing God. When they saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God. And more than just expressing superficial relief, they learned to revere this God: "At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him (Jonah 1:16). Unlike Jonah, the men's fear of God did not lead them to run away from Him, but to turn to Him in worship. Scholars differ in their opinions on whether the sailors were actually converted, [13] but there is enough evidence in the text to suggest that this was indeed the case.


When the sailors saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God.
PHOTO: When the sailors saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God. Unlike Jonah, the men's fear of God did not lead them to run away from Him, but to turn to Him in worship.
Picture posted by anita fatima almeida on Saturday, 29 July 2017 at 4:06 AM

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Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors. While the prophet was fighting for his life, the sailors were now worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them. How amazing, that God can use a reluctant, disobedient prophet to carry out His sovereign plans! Writer R. T. Kendall notes in Jonah: An Exposition that God can "use a crooked stick to draw a straight line". [14]


Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.
PHOTO: Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.
Picture posted by Natural-Man on 23 November 2015

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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2019/01/reflection-god-saves-experience-of-fear.html



As "God Moves in a Mysterious Way", it is possible to be used by God without knowing it. Unknown to the lay preacher, God had used him to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers. Similarly, while struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.



'God Moves in a Mysterious Way', so it is possible to be used by God without knowing it.

PHOTO: "God Moves in a Mysterious Way", so it is possible to be used by God without knowing it. Unknown to the lay preacher, God had used him to convert a troubled young teenager, who would later turn out to be a prince of preachers. Similarly, while struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.
Picture posted by GIPHY

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I am sure that Robert M. Solomon has been used in this way to bring blessing to us. He served as Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012. He has degrees in medicine, theology, intercultural studies, and a PhD in pastoral theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of more than 30 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Enduring Word, The Sermon of Jesus, Faithful to the End, and Jesus Our Jubilee. He has an active itinerant ministry of preaching and teaching in Singapore and abroad.



Robert M. Solomon has been used by God to bring blessing to us. He served as Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012, and is the author of more than 30 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Enduring Word, The Sermon of Jesus, Faithful to the End, and Jesus Our Jubilee.

PHOTO: Robert M. Solomon has been used by God to bring blessing to us. He served as Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012, and is the author of more than 30 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Enduring Word, The Sermon of Jesus, Faithful to the End, and Jesus Our Jubilee. He has an active itinerant ministry of preaching and teaching in Singapore and abroad.
Picture posted by Robert M. Solomon on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - Healing Words for the Wounded

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"Bishop Solomon has brought this ancient biblical book alive. He brings out rich teaching about the nature and ways of God." - Dr. Ajith Fernando

"Here is the same . . . consideration of Old Testament themes with New Testament eyes and careful life-application I have learned to value so highly." - Dr. Kenneth J. Stewart

"Jonah's life can still speak to us today . . . A book to stimulate our imagination and to probe our hearts." - Rev. Dr. Warren R. Beattie

"God in Pursuit is written with the skill of a scholar and the heart of a pastor." - Dr. Patrick Fung


'God in Pursuit', Lessons from the book of Jonah by Robert M. Solomon
PHOTO: 'God in Pursuit', Lessons from the book of Jonah by Robert M. Solomon
"God in Pursuit is written with the skill of a scholar and the heart of a pastor." - Dr. Patrick Fung
"Jonah's life can still speak to us today . . . A book to stimulate our imagination and to probe our hearts." - Rev. Dr. Warren R. Beattie
Picture posted by Sower Essentials

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The book "Faithful to the End" (A preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy), "Finding rest for the soul" (Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29), and "God in Pursuit" (Lessons from the Book of Jonah) can still speak to us today with surprising note of challenge. They are books to stimulate our imaginations and to probe our hearts. (Rev. Dr. Warren R. Beattie). Valuable books for all Christian to read, and receiving the blessings pouring from God onto us, the readers, and Bishop Solomon.


'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
PHOTO: "Faithful to the end" by Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 – 2012.
A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon. A book to stimulate our imaginations and to probe our hearts. - Rev. Dr. Warren R. Beattie.
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http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/02/reflection-making-sure-you-go-to-jesus.html



'Finding Rest For The Soul' by Robert M. Solomon
PHOTO: "Finding Rest For The Soul" by Robert M. Solomon
Many times Jesus calling out “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29).
A valuable books for all Christian to read, and receiving the blessings pouring from God onto us, the readers, and Bishop Solomon.
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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/07/reflection-intimacy-with-christ-divine.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-epilogue-response-to-jesus.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-epilogue-lessons-and.html



Why is it better to be used by God when you are following Christ, rather than when you are disobeying Him?
Are we ready to be used by God? We never know how a word we speak, a book we pass to a friend, or a simple kindness we perform, can be used by God to change someone's life. God is not a passive observer in our lives, but an active and gracious participant. He is constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish His sovereign will. He can use any situation to do His marvellous work. This does not mean we can run away from God, like Jonah, and expect Him to make good on the situation. Rather, it should motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert (agreement or harmony) with God's will for us. [1]



We never know how a word we speak, a book we pass to a friend, or a simple kindness we perform, can be used by God to change someone's life.
PHOTO: We never know how a word we speak, a book we pass to a friend, or a simple kindness we perform, can be used by God to change someone's life. He is constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish His sovereign will. He can use any situation to do His marvellous work.
Picture posted by Tatzya Valzye

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We also need to remember that when we disobey God, we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us, just like in the case of Jonah the prophet who ran away from God. [1]


Disobedience has social implications for the people around us, just like in the case of Jonah the prophet who ran away from God.
PHOTO: Disobedience has social implications for the people around us, just like in the case of Jonah the prophet who ran away from God.
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Dear Lord, We learned that whatever we did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of yours, we did for you. When they are hungry we are to give them something to eat, when they are thirsty we are to give them something to drink, when as stranger we are to invite them in, when they need clothes we are to clothe them, when they are sick we are to look after them, when they are in prison we are to go and visit them. We pray for your help that we are able to perform all these.<br>You moves in a mysterious Way, and it is possible to be used by you to convert others, and bringing them blessings without knowing it. Bishop Solomon is one who is being used by you to write books for all Christian to read, and receiving the blessings pouring from you onto us, the readers and the pastor himself too. Bishop Solomon is also an active itinerant ministry of preaching and teaching in Singapore and abroad. We are being blessed to have him sharing your glory, mercy, and grace with us.<br>You are constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish your sovereign will. You can use any situation to do your marvellous work. Please motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert with your will for us.<br>Please help us to remember that when we disobey you, we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us, just like in the case of Jonah the prophet who ran away from you, and expect you to make good on the situation.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!

PHOTO: "Dear Lord, We learned that whatever we did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of yours, we did for you. When they are hungry we are to give them something to eat, when they are thirsty we are to give them something to drink, when as stranger we are to invite them in, when they need clothes we are to clothe them, when they are sick we are to look after them, when they are in prison we are to go and visit them. We pray for your help that we are able to perform all these.

You moves in a mysterious Way, and it is possible to be used by you to convert others, and bringing them blessings without knowing it. Bishop Solomon is one who is being used by you to write books for all Christian to read, and receiving the blessings pouring from you onto us, the readers and the pastor himself too. Bishop Solomon is also an active itinerant ministry of preaching and teaching in Singapore and abroad. We are being blessed to have him sharing your glory, mercy, and grace with us.

You are constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish your sovereign will. You can use any situation to do your marvellous work. Please motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert with your will for us.

Please help us to remember that when we disobey you, we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us, just like in the case of Jonah the prophet who ran away from you, and expect you to make good on the situation.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
Picture posted by beccacox, Digital Art / Other / Fantasy, ©2003-2019 beccacox - Bluebird
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Reflection - God Saves - Used by God
Question from source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 3, Question 3, Page 44.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012






Also from the same author, Robert M. Solomon

"Faithful to the end", A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
Reflection - Faithful to the end (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



"Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon

Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html


Reference
[1] From "God in Pursuit" Lessons from the Book of Jonah, Copyright © 2017 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-801-6, Part I: Jonah 1:1-17, Chapter 3 "God Saves", Page 31-33, 35-36, 43.

[11] Iain Murray, ed., C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years (1834-1859) (London: Banner of Truth, 1962), 87-90.

[13] Richard D. Phillips, Jonah and Micah, Reformed Expository Commentary Series, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2010), 57-59.

[14] R. T. Kendall, Jonah: An Exposition (Atlanta: Authentic, 2006), 57.


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