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Summary: verse by verse through Acts

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[2] You know for most of life’s endeavors to be truly successful you have to have a certain measure of follow through. You just do. If you want to throw a football, roll a bowling ball or swing a golf club well you have to follow through. If you want your goals for your kids to be realized you have to follow through in your parenting. If you want your business to grow you have to follow through with your business management. It won’t happen by itself.

And when you don’t follow through, when you give up on your dreams, when you give up on your responsibilities, when you give up on your commitments, all you’re left with is regret. I’m so glad that some of the greatest people who ever lived followed through with their dreams regardless of the discouragement that came their way.

- Michael Jordan, cut from high school basketball team

- Thomas Edison, told he was stupid in grade school

- Walt Disney, fired from a newspaper for not being creative enough

- Beatles, turned down for a record deal

- Lucille Ball, kicked out of acting school

- Abraham Lincoln, fiancĂ©’ died, businesses failed, lost eight elections

For us to be truly successful in life we have to follow through with our dreams,

with our responsibilities and with our commitments. Especially when it comes to what the Lord calls us to do. We must follow through in being the church in this world. [3]

[Read I Corinthians 15:58.]

We must follow through on what God wants us to do with our lives. Last week I challenged us all to take our faith to the next level. If you made a fresh commitment to do just that then let me ask you – Are you following through in that commitment? Are you following through with the thirty minutes a day with God challenge?

Have you ever noticed how many times when you make a commitment for the Lord all kinds of things come into your life to keep you from following through on that commitment? Satan doesn’t want you to keep your promises to God. Satan doesn’t want you to follow through. He wants you to fail. Let’s not give him the pleasure. Let’s please the Lord instead and follow through with whatever He’s called us to do in our lives.

This morning we’re going to look at three things that can help us follow through with our dreams, our responsibilities and our commitments. [4]

First we need to know what God wants us to do. Secondly we need to surround ourselves with people who will help us. And third we need to rely on the power of God to enable us to follow through. Know what God wants us to do, surround ourselves with people who will help us, rely on the power of God to enable us to follow through. These things will help us follow through with what God’s called us to do with our lives.

And we see these three things evidenced by the way the apostles followed through with what the Lord called them to do even amidst all the pressures to stop. [5] Go with me to Acts chapter seventeen where we see Paul, Silas and Timothy continuing to spread the good news of Jesus Christ from town to town no matter the pressure they received to stop. God had called them to preach the gospel to as many people as possible and nothing was going to keep them from following through on that calling.

The last time we were in the book of Acts we were in chapter sixteen where it tells of how the apostles were in the city of Philippi doing ministry and how they were imprisoned for doing just that. God worked some incredible miracles, lots of people were saved, Paul and Silas were let out of prison, but then decided to move on to the next city.

The next place they find themselves doing ministry was in Thessalonica. Let’s see how things turn out there.

[Read Acts 17:1-4.]

So for the first three weeks that they were there Paul went to the Jewish synagogue to reach out to the Jews. And many of them came to understand and believe that Jesus was the Savior that they had been waiting for. But they were there in Thessalonica for several months after this because it says that many Greeks and leading women also came to believe which would have taken some time. Also in Philippians 4:15-16 Paul references how the church in Philippi sent him two financial gifts to support them in Thessalonica as well as the fact that Paul worked while there as indicated in I Thessalonians 3:7-10.

So the apostles were there reaching people and establishing a church for several months and things were going well. But then the ego-centric Jews got wind of what was going on and decided to put an end to it.

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