Summary: Difference makers stay the course even when all Hell is unleashed against them. Will we let the stones stop us or will we keep singing.
Difference makers stay the course.
Chippie the parakeet
1. Sucked up by a vacuum
2. Washed up under the bathroom faucet
3. Blow dried with a hair dryer
4. No wonder he does not sing anymore.
Storms of life have a way of sucking the joy out of our life. In this passage, Paul and Barnabas see God do a miracle and heal a man who has been lame from birth. Ironically, Peter and John’s public ministry also began with the healing of a man who was lame from birth.
God does the impossible when we prepare the Field for Him to work.
1. Even if God did not heal this man, Paul and Barnabas were staying the course
2. With the healing, comes praising and singing
a. Although the praise is misguided and misdirected
b. Difference makers will turn the praise and glory to GOD
3. Opposition always comes when God works through us.
a. The Jews were jealous and strove to stop instead of getting on board
b. The world will scream in opposition instead of giving God the glory
c. Logic does not explain God or what He is doing
d. But we are to stay the course.
When the field looks barren, when 100’s have worked the area, remember Jesus told “expert” fisherman to throw their nets where they have been fishing all night and caught nothing, just throw the nets on the other side, a different way, and the net could barely hold the catch. So it is with us, even though others have tried, remember one waters, one plants, and God gives the increase.
4. The stones still flew
a. Jealousy rears up and tries to stop what God is doing
b. Don’t like the message, kill the messenger
c. Preachers still preach the truth even when their congregation does not want to hear it.
5. Difference makers stay the course
a. Paul and Barnabas take on to Derbe
b. The stones did not silence the message
c. The return to the scene of the crime
They were committed to stay the course, they kept fighting, they kept preaching, and they kept making a difference.
In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter’s immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.
And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. "Perhaps most remarkable," writes Jaroff, "those signals originate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth."
The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.
So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits.
We can let the stones silence us, or we can keep on singing.