Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Believing with all your heart

Rev. Bertram Bobb, Tribal Chaplain

January 2014

May you have a blessed New Year in 2014.

Let’s look at the ministry of Philip and a prominent Ethiopian, a nobleman, of great education and high standing. He was a treasurer of a great empire, serving his queen.

Philip was an evangelist. He had been preaching the Gospel of Christ in Samaria and was in the midst of a revival. Then, God said to Philip, “Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jeruselum into Gaza, which is desert,” (Acts 8:26.) Into a desert, there was nobody there, but Philip did not argue with God. He obeyed immediately.

He stopped preaching and headed for the desert. Humanly speaking, this seemed like a foolish act.

In the desert Philip saw a man sitting in a chariot and heard him reading aloud. The passage he was reading was Isaiah 53, which though written 700 years before Christ, was a description of His atoning death to be found in the whole Bible.

Philip ran up to him and said, “Understandest thou what thou readest?”

The nobleman asked, “How can I except some man should guide me?”

To many the Bible is a closed book. They will never understand it except with the help of the Holy Spirit.

This is God’s Book and without His enlightening power it will remain a closed book.

So Philip reached out to the nobleman, he preached unto him Jesus.

This is a challenge to us; we can witness to one person about Jesus and it may have more significance than preaching to a big congregation.

It is God’s purpose to send the Gospel to every creature into the desert, into the city, into the rural areas and into our Native American communities.

The passage that the Ethiopian was reading was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened not his mouth,” (Isaiah 53:7, Acts 8:32.)

When Philip preached to Jesus to him, he explained that: “This man is talking about Jesus, who died on the cross for you.” Then they came to a certain water and the Ethiopian nobleman said, “Philip, what would hinder me to be baptized?” He answered, “You may - if you believe with all your heart.” And the record reads that this nobleman answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

I want to ask you: Do you believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

The word “believe” means that you put your confidence and your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Have you believed with all your heart that Jesus died for you, that he was buried and that He rose again?

My friend, this is what God is waiting for, that you give your all, your heart to Jesus Christ. That you believe with all your heart.

Do you believe with all your heart? “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved?”

To believe means to trust. If you never trusted Jesus Christ and Him alone for your salvation, will you do that today? You can pray something like this: “God, I realize that I am a sinner, I trust Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.” I trust you will make this decision today. May the peace of God be over you and your loved ones this new year.

Pray for America. Pray for our servicemen and servicewomen in the Armed Forces.