Summary: Paul received a vision of a man from Macedonia imploring him to “Come over and help us.” He and his team immediately went, changing the course of history. What the church needs today is a fresh call to spread the Gospel.
Come Over and Help Us
October 9, 2016
TEXT: Acts 16:9-10 – “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.”
“Praying Hyde,” a missionary in India, prayed, “Father, give me these souls, or I die.” Hyde had an insatiable desire to reach people for the kingdom of God.
Once we find Christ in salvation, too many of us lose our zeal to share Christ with others. We get comfortable hanging around with the brethren instead of looking for ways to share Christ to those without Him.
Church family, we must always have a vision of the harvest fields. We need to regularly rekindle in our hearts a burden for those who are not in God’s family; who have not experienced God’s grace; who do not have eternal life and “life more abundantly”; who have not tasted of forgiveness and acceptance from God. We must say, like Praying Hyde, “Father, give us souls, or we die.”
Now, when you look at the life of Paul, you see a man who, like Praying Hyde, was consumed with shining the light of the Gospel in this dark world. We see it over and over again in the book of Acts, and it is in clear focus in today’s text.
I would like for us to look at four things in our text that I hope will stir our hearts about those who need the saving story of the Savior.
I. FIRST, IN OUR TEXT, WE SEE THE VISION – Acts 16:9a – “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night…”
Paul had a supernatural vision of a man beckoning, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” We don’t need a vision today in the sense of a supernatural experience like Paul had here. But we do need a vision in the sense of having a mission, a goal, a direction for our church and for our lives.
Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
God’s people move when they get a vision—but they languish in flowery beds of ease when they don’t have a vision—when they don’t clearly see God’s mission and their part in it.
Why is this church here? Why are we here as a people of God? Why are you here individually? What is your mission? Why did God leave you here on this earth?
If we as a church and as individuals believers cannot answer those questions, then we lack vision and are destined to wander aimlessly in this life.
Here’s what God wants you to do on this earth, and here’s the mission of this church: In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commanded, “Go ye therefore, and teach [lit. “make disciples of”] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” – God has called you and me, and this church collectively, to share the Gospel of Christ and send the Gospel of Christ to every corner of the earth, so that people can come to faith in Christ and then are baptized and discipled and brought to spiritual maturity so that they too can carry on the mission of the church.
God help each of us, and our church as a whole, to have a vision to go forth and accomplish the mission of the church—to win, baptize and teach.
II. SECOND, OUR TEXT TELLS US OF A PLEADING VOICE – Acts 16:9b – “…There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.”
Notice that it was the voice of a man. Why a man, a person, a human being? Why wasn’t it the voice of an angel or the voice of God Himself?
I believe it was a man in Paul’s vision because God wants to impress upon us that our focus ought to be on PEOPLE.…
• Not primarily on the pursuit of fun and entertainment. – Someone once said, “Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
• Not primarily on making and accumulating money. – Why pour all your investments only in things that will not last?
• Not primarily on material things either.
Illus. – I’ve shared many times the story of Missionary James Rodehorst who dropped by my office when I pastored in Wiesbaden. When I entered, I asked, “What’s up, Brother?”