Summary: We get an idea from the life of Paul as he stood before King Agrippa how to conduct ourselves when our faith is on trial in this world. 1- We must obey God’s vision 2- We must not fear accusations 3- We must present the truth of God
INTRO.- ILL.- A judge, bored and frustrated by a lawyer’s tedious arguments, had made numerous rulings to speed the trial along. The attorney had bristled at the judge’s orders, and their tempers grew hot. Finally, frustrated with another repetition of arguments he had heard many times before, the judge pointed to his ear and said, "Counselor, you should be aware that at this point, what you are saying is just going in one ear and out the other."
"Your honor," replied the lawyer, "That goes without saying. What is there to prevent it?"
I would not have wanted to be lawyer!
ILL.- A lawyer’s dog, running around town unleashed, heads for a butcher shop and steals a roast. The butcher goes to the lawyer’s office and asks, "if a dog running unleashed steals a piece of meat from my store, do I have a right to demand payment for the meat from the dog’s owner?" The lawyer answers, "Absolutely."
"Then you owe me $8.50. Your dog was loose and stole a roast from me today."
The lawyer, without a word, writes the butcher a check for $8.50. The butcher, having a feeling of satisfaction, leaves. Three days later, the butcher finds a bill from the lawyer: $100 due for a consultation.
That sounds about right, doesn’t it?
ILL.- A man was arrested for speeding, reckless driving, driving without lights and violation of traffic signals. He demanded a trial by jury.
"But you can’t win that case in court," a friend advised him. "I know," said the man. "I did it on purpose. My nephew just graduated from law school and this is his first case. I want him to lose so maybe he’ll get discouraged and get an honest job...."
Have you ever been in a court of law before, only not as a juror? I mean, YOU had to appear before the judge.
ILL.- Remember Michael Vick, quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, who went to prison for 23 months for that dogfighting ring and gambling? Well, not only did he lose his job, go to prison, lose millions of dollars, but he is also having to file bankruptcy because he owes creditors nearly 13 million dollars. He went from rags to riches and back to rags.
I don’t think any of us would want to trade places with him, no matter how talented he is!
Brothers and sisters, whether we know it or not, we are on trial every day of our lives. We are in the biggest courtroom of all: the world around us. We stand before the God of heaven and mankind on planet earth. We will have to give account to God of our lives on earth. And mankind is a witness as to how we conduct ourselves in this world, etc.
PROP.- We get an idea from the life of Paul as he stood before King Agrippa how to conduct ourselves when our faith is on trial in this world. 1- We must obey God’s vision
2- We must not fear accusations
3- We must present the truth of God
I. WE MUST OBEY GOD’S VISION
19"So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Paul obeyed God’s vision for his life. Did you receive a vision for your life?
ILL.- From 1969 to 1974 I preached for the Church of Christ in Bayard, IA. It was a small farming town ministry and I did the best I could. While living there I got involved in Olympic weightlifting because it was something I did while in high school. I was always fascinated by men of great strength.
I made a gym out of my old garage and lifted there three times a week. I eventually decided to enter my first competition in Norfolk, NE.
It was called a Region 8 contest, as best I recall. I lifted in the 181 lb. division but only weighed about 166 lbs. My first contest and would you believe? I got third place. I was elated. From then on I began to dream. I began to have a vision of some day competing nationally and maybe even more!
What happened? Several things but basically, I realized that was not God’s vision for my life! Preaching was God’s vision for my life. Ministry was His vision! However, I never considered preaching to be just a job. I considered it to be God’s will.
Have you discovered God’s vision for your life? And if so, have you been obedient to that vision?
ILL.- In the 1700’s a little man in England, a shoe cobbler by trade, who kept a map of the world on a wall of his workshop so that he could pray for the nations of the world, became burdened for a definite missionary outreach. When he shared his burden at a meeting of ministers, he was told by one of the senior men of God: “Young man, sit down. When God wants to convert the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine.”