Gospel Gazette Online

Vol. 12 No. 4 April 2010

Page 10


Earthquakes

Raymond Elliott

The devastating earthquakes that occur in various countries from time to time and destroy cities and kill thousands of people makes us realize more and more the uncertainty of life. The magnitude of destruction wrought by such force is overwhelming. There is a Scripture I want to mention presently that deals with a particular earthquake.

In the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, the account is given of the conversion of a Philippian jailor and his household. The jailor, a Gentile, was a non-believer in the deity of Jesus Christ. The day that Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into prison was perhaps an ordinary one for the jailor. While the day may have started out like any other day for this particular person, it certainly did not end in a common fashion. Something transpired that transformed the life of this Roman and the lives of his loved ones. Something drastically happened. An earthquake occurred in this man’s life. It was a literal tremor, a movement of the earth that the shook the foundation of the building that housed those people in the prison. The jailor was awakened by this event and was about to take his own life because he thought his prisoners had escaped. Paul prevented this tragedy by shouting, “Do thyself no harm; for we are all here!” It was at this time that the jailor sprang forth and asked the most important question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

After hearing and believing the Gospel, this man and his family were baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 16:30-34; Mark 16:15-16). The jailor began the day unsaved but concluded it by being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Something wonderful came out of what seemed to be a truly horrible experience in his life.

Into every life, sometime, somewhere, somehow, ‘earthquakes’ occur. Not necessarily literal, physical movements of the earth, but events that can help to change our lives, if we accept them in a positive manner. These ‘earthquakes’ come in various forms. There was the death of a teenage son that caused his parents to turn to Jesus. A man was operated on and it was discovered that he had cancer. He repented of sins and came back to the Lord. Three months later he died. The person who lost all his material wealth realized for the first time that he had been trusting in the wrong values in life. He sought then the true riches in Christ.

Tragedies and trials can become blessings in disguise if we permit God to work in our lives (Romans 8:28). David stated, Before I was afflicted I went astray; But now I observe thy word.” He even declared, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I may learn thy statues” (Psalms 119:67, 71).

The Gospel of Christ is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). However, ‘earthquakes’ that come into our lives can and often do motivate people to realize their plight in life without God. It is then that we should seek the salvation that is the Savior.


A Place at the King's Table

Jeff A. Jenkins

This month millions of people around the world will pause to think about Jesus. Practically the whole world will recognize something this weekend that Christian’s think about every week of their lives. Jesus Christ was crucified on Mount Calvary, buried in a borrowed tomb, and three days later, He was raised from the dead. The New Testament calls this the Good News, the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). The rest of the Good News is that the King of Kings offers to every person in the world a place in His kingdom (Titus 2:10-11).

Recently in our Sunday morning Bible class, we studied the life of Mephibosheth. This lesser known man of the Bible was the grandson of King Saul. He lived a difficult life. Because of Saul’s failures, his family was forced to leave the kingdom. As a small child Mephibosheth, due to a terrible fall, became crippled in both feet. He was taken to the land of Lo-debar. The name Lo-debar means a place without pasture, a place of desolation. Mephibosheth was destined to live the rest of his life away from his home in a desolate place.

King David, because of his friendship and covenant with Jonathan, son of Saul, sought out Mephibosheth. When he was found, David ordered that he be brought to him. David told Mephibosheth that he would restore to him all the land that had belonged to his grandfather and that there would be a permanent place reserved for him at the King’s table (2 Samuel 9:7).

Every child of God has a kinship with Mephibosheth. Like him, because of the fall, we are all crippled. Like him, because of sin, we are alienated from the King and His kingdom (Ephesians 2:12). Like Mephibosheth, we are brought back to the kingdom, not because of some great thing we have done, but because of God’s love (Ephesians 2:13). We have a perpetual invitation to come to the throne room of the King (Hebrews 4:14-16). Like him, we have a permanent seat at the King’s table (Mark 14:25).

As we gather around the table of the King this week, let us be mindful of Mephibosheth. Let us remember from where we came and how we arrived at this moment in our lives. Let us remember that we are all crippled people who have been made whole. Let us remember that it is because of God’s love that we are able to gather. Let us be thankful for God’s amazing grace that offers us a seat at the King’s table.

“Dear God, thank You for loving us when we were crippled. Thank you for sending Your Son into the world to find all of us who were lost. Thank You, Father, for inviting us to sit at the King’s Table. Help us to always remember how we arrived to this place in our lives. Help us to always be thankful for what You have done for us. Help us dear God, to invite others to join us at the Table. Thank you for Your amazing Grace that makes us whole.”

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