Love or Bridle
Acts 11:20 -
And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
When I again got this same scripture I wondered what the Lord wants to tell us that I missed. My attention went to the words Cyprus and Cyrene, as usual being aware that the names in the Bible were not given just for the sake of it, but had meaningful understanding. I was surprised when I found the meanings of these words.
The word Cyprus means 'love', it also has another rendering which means to 'blossom' or 'be fertile'.
The word Cyrene means 'supremacy of the bridle', bridle or hook in the Bible symbolizes an object that is used to forcefully bring a being into obedience like an ass or oxen and also used to put a being into bondage or captivity, or to lead it for the slaughter.
We see in today's message people of Cyprus and Cyrene preached about the Lord Jesus Christ to the ethical Greeks at Antioch. These people were people totally into pagan traditions. Surely those who preached the Lord Jesus Christ did not teach them scriptures or explain them theology but gave them the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord is telling us when we give the Gospel to anyone we should understand we put the person's life forward into 3 possibilities;
1) We open a door for God's love and His prosperity to come into their lives. That means the anger of God is removed when they accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they stand to inherit all the promises promised through Jesus Christ.
2) Those that refuse the Gospel and are not children of God stand condemned by the Gospel for they have now no excuse for not knowing the salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. They stand to receive a greater punishment and many start to see the wrath of God even before death.
3) But then there are those who refuse to accept Gospel but are the children of God then the Lord put a bridle in them to bring them to obedience and knowledge of Christ. We will find such people's life start to become topsy-turvy after we shared the Gospel with them.
The greatest challenge for us comes is to save the 3rd category of people from going through the experience and they preferably being in the first category. For this reason we need to pray for those whom we go out to give the Gospel for hardening or not hardening the heart depends on the Lord and His mercy. So once we claim by faith the grace of Jesus Christ into the lives of those we give the Gospel we see a better response and acceptance to the Gospel. Those in the 2nd category we cannot help it may seem better to not give them the Gospel but then if we are not sure we land to loose which is more dangerous.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray your people who have taken your burden know that You have not given them to carry the burden all by themselves but have also given them a Helper. Lord we pray they realize it is up to You to harden a heart or have mercy and bring it to accept You, for only those called by You can come to You. Lord, help us to always pray for those who we go out to minister...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
Psalms 32:9 - Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Isaiah 30:28 - And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
2 Kings 19:27-28
27 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.
28 Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
Romans 9:15 - For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
Luke 4:26 - and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow
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