Ride of Your Life
Ride of Your Life
Words of Faith 2-8-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
As Luke opened his book about Jesus, he addressed someone named "Theophilus". Scholars divide over just what that means or who is intended. It may well be that Theophilus was a patron, a sponsor or even a growing disciple. But it also seems certain that Luke did not intend his work to be limited to one person. For that reason, the name "Theophilus" is especially appropriate.
Theophilus means "One who loves God". That is the simple sign of Kingdom living. Jesus said that in fact. All of the law hangs on this one command: LOVE GOD and in doing so you will LOVE PEOPLE. Maybe even more significant is for us to hear the invitation to be introduced to Jesus-- God in the flesh-- that we may fall in love with Him.
One thing is for sure! These matters that Luke writes to the "One who loves God" are not intended for entertainment or general interest. This is not a self-help book to go on the shelf alongside others. Luke writes with purpose "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught". This book is intended to reinforce. This book is to strengthen a growing faith.
Sometimes the question is raised-- "Is it okay to teach for the believer?" Is it okay to teach in a way that deepens faith? Is it okay to strengthen the belief of those who already know Him? Some answer with an emphatic "no". They say that the Gospel must always be relevant to the secular mind. They say we should always be reaching the uninitiated and striving to be inoffensive to the worldly. Hmm.
But Luke gives us a decidedly different view. The goal? "That you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." The deepening of faith over time is the goal of this journey. Faith, remember, comes from the hearing and hearing by the Word. This is Word. This is investigated, documented, inspired Word. And from a perspective we are most familiar with.
What an invitation! Luke invites us on a journey to hear afresh, study anew, and most of all, to meet this man named Jesus. Like a great reporter, Luke introduces Jesus to us through a variety of people. They are common people, folks we might not have expected at all. We will see Jesus through the eyes of an unknown priest whose turn came up to serve in the Temple, a teenage girl surprised by an unwanted and unexplainable pregnancy, some poor shepherds who were among the first to know Jesus had arrived, a fiery preacher named John, a group of women who stayed with Him to the end, a widow whose son was raised from the dead, several poor peasants who were possessed by something evil, and two sisters who often were in conflict over how to serve Jesus but united in their love for Him.
Luke will also expose us to some teachings we have not heard anywhere else. Luke also found people that remembered some of the Jesus teachings that others had forgotten. We will hear wonderful kingdom stories about a God that searches for lost things and lost people. What a joy it is to come and get to know Jesus perhaps for the very first time or perhaps as an adjustment to the pictures hung in your heart for a long time. What a joy it is to deepen our faith and build certainty in the things we have been taught.
Are you ready for the ride of your life? That is what Luke has planned for you and me!
Father, show me more clearly who You are. Show me more clearly who Your Son Jesus is. Deepen me in my walk with You. Deepen my faith in You. Build a certainty in my faith that I may love You completely. In Jesus' name.