Summary: God’s missionary plan in action. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
How GOD MOVES PEOPLE
Reading: Acts 13 chapter 13 verses 1-12:
The Guide to Estate Agent Clichés
• “Would suit D-I-Y enthusiast” – MEANS - Would suit demolition
• “Bijou property” – MEANS - Microscopic
• “Convenient for motorway access” – MEANS - Triple-glazing a minimum
• “Efficient use of space” – MEANS - Cramped” doesn’t describe it
• “Incredible potential” – MEANS - Incredible cost to do up
• “Delightfully secluded” – MEANS - A week’s drive to the nearest shop
• “Up-and-coming-area” – MEANS - Expect to be mugged
• “Sought-after location” – MEANS - Flash post-code, inflated price
• “New price” – MEANS - On the market a year; not even a nibble
• “Deceptively spacious”: – MEANS - Guess who’s being deceptive
• People move house for a variety of reasons;
• For some it’s because of a new job.
• For others to be closer to family members.
• Some the need is for more space,
• Some fly the nest or move to a bigger place to accommodate a growing family.
• Or may be for less space as the offspring leave home.
• To some the move is to improve life - a better district, or to escape a tricky situation.
• There are many reasons both good and bad for moving.
Christians can add another key factor regarding moving - God.
• 24 years in the same house (even born there!),
• Then as I entered the ministry I had six different homes in two years.
We see this principle of God moving people:
• Perfectly illustrated in the book of Acts,
• Acts is a book of movement:
• It is a book of shallow tent pegs, as people are travelling here and there,
• Setting off in one direction or another in response to God’s call.
• William Phelps taught English literature at Yale for forty-one years;
• Until his retirement in 1933.
• One year just before Christmas he was marking an examination paper,
• Phelps came across the note: "God only knows the answer to this question. Merry Xmas"
• Phelps returned the paper with this note:
• "God gets an A. You get an F. Happy New Year."
• God alone knows where we might move to in the future,
• Wise people move with God, they do not fight against his will!
• Acts chapter 13 is a great example of;
• When God clearly says it is time to move on!
(1). Behind the Scenes: A Plan
• The book of Acts is one of the few Bible books,
• That first gives us the outline and then gives us the content.
The outline is in Acts chapter 1 verse 8:
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
• Jerusalem was where it all started,
• Sadly for many of the first Christians, that where it ended as well!
• That’s as far as God’s people went,
• They put their roots down and were content,
• So God had to send the stones of persecution into their calm waters
• And this persecution sent the Christians rippling outward;
• Into the second phase of God’s plan;
• Judea and Samaria.
• Yet here once again the Christians seem to have got themselves settled,
• They seemed to have forgotten the last part of Jesus’ command:
“And even to the remotest part of the earth”
Certainly, we can understand their desire to stay settled,