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(Grace Under Fire)
Intro: Why is it so difficult for men to follow directions? Have you ever bought something that said, ďSome assembly required?Ē What did we do, men? We tear open the package and lay out all the parts and start slapping things together. I donít know if itís because weíre so excited to see the finished product, or if we just want to be able to say, ďWe donít need no stinking directions!Ē Maybe we think directions are for sissies who donít know how to do things the manly way. So maybe itís pride or ego that drives us to ignore the little booklet or slip of paper that might save us hours of time and a fistful of hair. Sometimes we are successful and we pat ourselves on the back for being so smart or handy. Other times, we may create a disaster, which requires disaster relief in the form of a skilled professional. There are times, however, when we follow the directions the best way we know how for fixing something, but we come to realize that the task is too difficult for us. We find ourselves in over our heads.
-As followers of Jesus, we can often find ourselves in life situations that seem too difficult for us to handle. We try doing things on our own and it just doesnít work out the way it should. Or maybe we get somebody elseís advice on what to do, but we really donít consult and try to understand the directions. See, God has given us directions on how to live and most of us have a copy. When we are willing to read the instructions and pattern our lives after them, things go well, because we are doing things Godís way. Most of us are fairly practical people, and we want results that work in our lives. Listen to how simple and practical the main thought of the message is today:
Prop: Those who want Godís results in their lives, will persist in doing things His way.
Interrogative: How can a Christian stay true to Godís way of living? How can we guard against doing things our own way or using somebody elseís way to try to get results?
TS: Well, let me share a few helpful hints from Acts 11 that will help us stay on track with the way God wants things done.
I. Those Who Do Things Godís Way Can Expect Criticism
-When you are doing what God has put in your heart to do, you can expect some opposition- even from other believers you know and trust. This is especially true when God asks you to do something that goes against the accepted social, cultural or religious standards, as He told Peter to do.
-1The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."
-Author Mark Mittelberg tells about a man named Jim who wanted to do things Godís way. Jim had a passion for God, a love for people, and a burden to share the message of Godís forgiveness with people who had not heard. The big question for Jim was, ďHow can I get unchurched people who are so different from me to see how much God loves them?Ē Well, he decided to take some risks and really try. So, he went all out! First, he shaved his head right down to the skin- all except for one little patch of hair which he grew out long. He started wearing it in a pigtail and even dyed it a different color, trying to fit in with the
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