Summary: 1. Stop following misguided feelings (vs. 23-28). 2. Seek godly guidance (vs. 29-30). 3. Put your confidence in Christ (vs. 31). 4. Strive to be a spiritual leader for your family (vs. 31-32). 5. Show the kindness of our Savior (vs. 33-34).
God's Way to Be a Great Dad
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 21, 2015
*In Acts 16, Paul and his mission team were trying to find out where the Lord wanted them to go next. Then in vs. 9-10:
9. A vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us.''
10. Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
*So they went to Philippi. It was one of the leading cities of Macedonia. There in Philippi they began to share the gospel, and the people were responding to the good news about Jesus Christ.
*But starting in Acts 16:16, they ran into serious opposition: "Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling." This woman was a fortune-teller by trade. And she was very persuasive, because she was possessed by an evil spirit.
*Verse 17 tells us that as she followed Paul's team, she cried out: "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.'' Of course that statement was true, but the Lord doesn't need any help from the devil! And partnership with evil is the last thing God wants for His church, because it makes evil seem good. It disguises evil, and makes it seem innocent, much like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Jesus warned us about things like that in Matthew 7:15.
*Partnership with evil also puts a stain on the cause of Christ. That's why in vs. 18, Paul cast out that evil spirit. Please listen to vs. 17-22 this morning from the New Living Translation:
17. She followed along behind us shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved."
18. This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and spoke to the demon within her. "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her," he said. And instantly it left her.
19. Her masters' hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.
20. "The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!" they shouted.
21. They are teaching the people to do things that are against Roman customs."
22. A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them to be stripped and beaten with wooden rods.
*With this background in mind, let's start reading in vs. 23, thinking about God's way to be a great dad.
*Dads: This is a day to honor you, and we ought to honor our fathers. It's one of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:12 says: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you."
*Like the people in the video this morning, the older I get, the more I appreciate my dad. Most of us are the same way. Here's part of an article from a Danbury, Connecticut newspaper. It traces our thoughts about Dad though the years:
When we're 4 years old: "My daddy can do anything."
8 years old: "My dad doesn't know quite everything."
16 years old: "Dad? -- Hopelessly out-of-date."
25 years: "He knows a little bit about it, but not much."
30 years: "Maybe we ought to find out what Dad thinks."
50 years old: "I wonder what Dad would have thought about that. He was pretty smart."
65 years old: "I'd give anything if Dad were here so I could talk this over with him. I really miss that man." (1)
*Isn't that the truth? I appreciate my dad more than ever. So dads we honor you here today. And because you are here today, I believe that you want to be all you should be as a dad. You want to be the best dad you can possibly be, and God's Word shows us how.
1. First: We have to stop following misguided feelings.
*You may be heading toward disaster this morning. This jailer certainly was after the earthquake. And it was all because he was following his misguided feelings. We see this truth in vs. 26-27:
26. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.
27. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.