Empowered Though Despised [Empowered 20170910]
Last week: Empowered to Adapt and Act rather than react … or … how to keep you cool when you don’t get your way – what you want. This week: being in the center of God’s will and being despised, slandered and attacked. Why: maybe it was like Desmond Doss: “Help me, Lord, to save just one more.”
21:1-13 … Paul and those traveling with them had a tearful, but prayerful parting as he continued to Jerusaelm and what laid ahead. While sailing, they visited the disciples in every port visited. When they reached Caesarea, about 75 miles from Jerusalem. They stayed with Philip the Evangelist (one of the seven who served with Stephen), who had four unmarried daughters who prophesied (forth telling not fortune telling). Despite repeated encouragement to NOT go further, Paul continued to Jerusalem.
Let Jesus’ Holy Spirit do with you what He has planned
- Let Jesus’ Holy Spirit do through people what he wants (21:9 – Peter had four daughters who prophesied).
- Surrender to the Lord’s will (the Lord’s will be done v 14). Moravians: may the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His sufferings.
- What of Jesus destiny for you is in your heart that you’ve been stuffing?
- 17 – 22:21 … When Paul and those with him reached Jerusalem, they met with the Apostles and shared the good news of what God was doing among the Gentiles. The Apostles shared that many thousands of Jews in Jerusalem believed on Jesus – and they are still zealous for the law. They have been told that you encourage people to turn away from the Law of Moses and to stop doing what it means to be a Jew. They also know what we have told the Gentiles about godly conduct as they follow the Way of Jesus. They had a plan to demonstrate that Paul honored their traditions, but some people from Asia saw Paul in the Temple and imagined that he had brought a Gentile into the Temple because they’d seen him with a Gentile earlier in Jerusalem. The people in the Temple we outraged, threw Paul out and locked the doors behind them. The people from the Temple and around Jerusalem were stirred up, grabbed Paul and were trying to kill him when the Commander of the Roman garrison took some officers and soldiers into the crowd. The mob stopped trying to kill Paul when they saw the soldiers. The commander allowed Paul to speak to the crowd – in Aramaic – to tell his story; but when he mentioned the Gentiles, that triggered them into another mob rage.
Why do people get offended at what God Wants?
[NOTE: BAIT OF SATAN SERIES – BEGINS WEDNESDAY SEPT 20]
- The Apostles in Jerusalem were still trying to reach the Jews with Jesus.
- Many thousands of Jews in Jerusalem had converted, but had not left the Law –Messianic Jews.
- Paul told his gospel of Jesus, but one word ignited the mob – Gentiles.
- Fear that the “true” faith would be corrupted
- Here’s why the Jews got offended
- Paul accurately shared God’s plan and purpose.
- People who did not like the message saw and spun it into “their” truth – their version of the truth – driven by feelings not facts.
- Other people who just didn’t like Paul used the untruth to attack paul.
- After all, how does it look if I attack, but what if I can stir up more people to get involved and come join my attack: might = right – numbers = right.
- Some news agencies fact check and others don’t because they want their narrative that fits their world view and their political view.
- Do you check facts or operate from your fears?
- Do you base your approval or disapproval facts on what feels right?
- Do you give someone a chance to talk or go off at trigger words?
- Are you willing to destroy a person or are you looking for opportunities to understand?
Acts 22:23-23:35 … After the crowd begain to riot again, the commander too Paul into the barracks to be flogged and Paul let him know that he was a Roman Citizen – and not by purchase – by birth. The Jewish leaders – Pharisees and Sadducees – came to charge Paul with sedition against Rome. The High Priest had Paul struck across his mouth at one point. Realizing that the trial was going nowhere fast and the leaders were of two factions, declared that he was on trial for the resurrection of the dead. They began arguing amount themselves about his guilt. The commander decided to forward the issue and Paul up the chain of authority to his superior in Caesarea. A plot was made to assassinate Paul by 40 men who hated him, as well as any soldiers accompanying him as he was taken to another venue. Paul’s nephew, the son of his sister, was in the right place at the right time and overheard the plot. When the young man told the commander, the plans were changed to protect both Paul and his soldiers.
When you have God’s back – He has your back
- Men who went with Paul to Troas/Caesarea/Jerusalem.
- Soldiers who rushed in to stop the mob who knew they were doing bad.
- Soldiers who carried Paul above the mob.
- A family member + friend at just the right time and place.
- Legal rights afforded to a Roman.
- A squadron of solders ready for battle on a 75 mile trip.
- A reasonable Roman commander.
- People who were so theologically divided that they couldn’t act but had to argue with each other.
Why did Paul risk slander – hatred – attacks – death?
- He did it for Christ’s sake – the salvation of the Jews – the salvation of Gentiles.
- Sir Nicholas Winton – saving Jewish children from 1938.
- What will God find when he opens Lamb’s book of life?
- Make that decision today: you will be all that God wants you to be despite the risks to your human nature and the nature of humans to hate God and His kindgom people.