Summary: In life you will face Unexpected Attacks, be helped by Unseen Advocates, you will realize Unforeseen Additions, and will need to verbalize Unusual Amen's.
An Unusual Amen
PPT 1 Title
This will be a different text than you probably have ever heard for a Thanksgiving message.
Text: Acts 5:17-42
(Note to Pastor's on sermon central. I read the whole passage, but for posting online I am only showing the last 3 verses.)
Ac 5:40 And they took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them to speak no more in the name of Jesus, and [then] released them.
Ac 5:41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for [His] name.
Ac 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus [as] the Christ.
Let me start by summing my message this way:
PPT 2 message main points
In life you will face Unexpected Attacks, be helped by Unseen Advocates, you will realize Unforeseen Additions, and will need to verbalize Unusual Amen's.
1. Unexpected Attack
You don't always experience what you expect to experience in life. Just prior to this amazing things were happening:
PPT 3,4 text
Ac 5:14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
Ac 5:15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
Ac 5:16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.
Ac 5:17 But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy;
Ac 5:18 and they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in a public jail.
Ac 5:19 But an angel of the Lord during the night opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said,
Ac 5:20 "Go your way, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life."
This beating was preceded by an incredible escape, and incredible miracles being performed. Why the whooping? Why didn't God send the angel back to beat the living daylights out of those guys? Sometimes we experience trouble that seems to fly in the face of the goodness of the Lord we have experienced at other times.
Sometimes in life God will leave you scratching your head with contrasts and with the why of things.
Why victory here, and sorrow there? Why in a season of breakthrough do we all of a sudden experience the seeming exact opposite? I can't fully answer that, I will give you one thought shortly, but my point for now is that in life you will face attacks that you didn't expect. They will often be seen in sharp relief to blessings you have experienced, making them seem more difficult. A believers life doesn't mean we are always having breakthroughs. Sometimes, and it is a complete mystery to us, it seems as if God let's the devil get the upper hand. (Though he never actually does, it just seems that way from our perspective.) Maybe this will help a little, have you ever heard the saying, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down." Would you like trouble all the time? In a world full of sin, and sinners it should be just as mysterious to us that we ever have relative calm. Perhaps some breakthroughs are to give us strength for the trials we must endure. Thank God, life is not all weeping.
2. Unknown Advocate
In life we usually deal more with unseen enemies. (False accusations, water cooler liars, workplace weasels). People who talk about us behind our back, people who destroy our character, and their doings are unseen by our eyes. The good news is that in the same way we have people who are supporting us in ways and with means that likewise are hidden from our eyes. In out text the Apostles were put from the room and then Gamaliel begins to advocate on their behalf.
What I mean by an unknown advocate is someone who is working on our behalf, whose work is hidden from our eyes.
Gamaliel was the leader of the Sanhedrin, that he should help them was probably the last thing the apostles expected, and they were completely unaware it happened. Like God told Elijah, "I have 7,000 knees that haven't bowed to Baal, even so God has secret supporters working on our behalf.
Let me tell you a little bit about Gamaliel. I will explain why all this is important shortly.
A misnic doctor. That means he was a doctor of the law, but particularly trained in the Mishnah which is a commentary and explanation of the law.