Summary: Learn from Paul, that just because your enviorment around you changes, doesnt mean you have to!
Read Acts 16:16-34
Paul was the best at not letting what was going on around him detour him from his mission.
Paul was the guy you gave the job to and let him do his thing.
He was Loyal, determined and focused.
I want us to unpack this scripture this morning and pull from it some life lessons.
I say that with conviction. These should be the things we implement in our lives that change us, that change others!
We start off in verses 16 – 24.
We are going to learn life lesson #1 from Paul. Read 16-21
Life lessons from Paul:
1. Put evil in its place!
We see in these verses that a Fortune Teller is following them around proclaiming that they were servants of the Most High God.
Well what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that the truth!
Paul knew that she was of evil spirits and he knew that if he agreed with her or allowed her to stay around that it could appear that he is linking the gospel with evil.
How many know that truth and evil don’t mix!
Paul knew that the best thing he could do was get rid of the evil that was around him.
He commands the evil spirit out of her.
He had had enough! In the name of Jesus he dealt with the evil at hand.
Most people wouldn’t have seen a problem with letting her hang around.
- She is harmless
- How many of you know that it doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s evil, its trouble!
- She’s not a Christian and you’re dating her, its trouble.
- The music your listening to that only has a little cussing in it, its trouble.
- Those people you hang around that do things that aren’t of God but you
think are harmless, their trouble.
- Some of the sitcoms you watch that glorify Sex outside of marriage and
Gays and Lesbians, but man they are so funny. They are trouble!
This world is full of evil and it follows us around everywhere we go.
We have to figure out if we really believe in this thing we call “a relationship with God” and begin to put evil in its place!
Some of us need to have a Paul moment and just say, GET OUT!
Its over, I’m going to a new level spiritually with my God!
I no longer want to MAN-ipulated by this world – I want to be GOD-ipulated!
What will it be church? Evil can be fun! But truth and evil don’t mix!
ILL – Jesus skit – Wanting Jesus to stay– Finally nail Him to a cross in order to get Him to stay behind!
Some of you don’t want Him off there; you want your sin more than you want God in your life!
Its time the Church stood and said in the Name of Jesus Christ – Get OUT!
After Paul did that and the evil spirit left her, her bosses were not happy!
They had lost their money maker!
How many of you know people don’t always like it when you change things, even when it’s for good!
Don’t mess with somebody’s wallet or you’re going to get hurt.
Paul just ruined their 401K and they are mad as fire about it.
That’s another thing I love about Paul.
He doesn’t care!
He knew that by doing this, people were going to be upset; he could possibly loose his life over it.
But understand this:
Paul always chose his relationship over his reputation.
All that matters to Paul is that the mission gets accomplished!
We need some more Paul’s, and less washed up, weak, worried about what the world thinks Christians.
Its time Church!
Its time to put evil in its place,
which should be no place in our lives!
Lets continue – Verse 22-25
The Second life lesson we have to get from Paul is this:
2. When your environment changes don’t you!
They got so mad from loosing their hope of making money that they had Paul and Silas drug to the authorities and then stripped, beaten and thrown in jail.
Paul and Silas’ environment was changing fast!
How did they deal with it?
(Verse 25a) Paul and Silas prayed. Think with me.
If you had just been publicly humiliated, stripped, beaten, and placed in stocks in the recesses of a dark prison, what would you pray?
I’m afraid I’d be praying,
"Lord, why did you allow this to happen to me?
What did I do wrong?
Don’t you care about me?
Don’t you love me?"
That was not what Paul was praying at all. How do we know?
First because the word translated "praying" here is not a word for petitions and requests.
You know what it is? The term suggests the attitude of worship and adoration.