3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

[2] Jesus has a message for you this morning and I hope you can hear it. I hope you can hear it with not just your ears but with your heart as well. It’s a message that we all need to hear and that we all need to remember every day of our lives. Some days we need to hear it louder than on other days – but every day we need to hear Jesus whisper into our hearts: “I am with you.” That’s the message from the Lord today. “I am with you.” [3]

No matter how difficult life gets, no matter how lonely life gets, no matter how confusing life gets, we need to be able to hear the voice of God assuringly speak into our hearts that He is with us!

And remember, He’s not just along side of us. He’s not just a holy presence around us. He’s not just a comforting ideology for our minds. Jesus Christ lives within our very being by the power of the Holy Spirit. [4]

[Read John 14:16-17.]

Jesus taught the disciples here and then again in John chapters 16 and 17 that once He went back to the Father, the Spirit would come to dwell within all those who believed in Him. Paul followed up that same teaching when he spoke of how all believers have the same Spirit of God living within them.

[Read I Corinthians 12:13.]

When we come to believe in Jesus Christ and are saved the Holy Spirit of God comes to live inside of us. Jesus’ message to you today is, “I am with you!” If we will remember this, it will give us the strength, the focus and the joy we need to live life God’s way no matter the circumstances surrounding us.

Now some of us here today might need this message more than others. You are finding yourself in a situation that has you down and feeling desperately alone. Well, you’re in good company. In Acts chapter eighteen we’re going to see how the Apostle Paul, because of the circumstances of life, needed this message from the Lord.

Paul’s been all over the region preaching the gospel. Wherever he goes lots of people get saved, they start a church, and then the Jews persecute him out of town. So he finds himself in the city of Corinth doing ministry. Now Corinth is one wicked place. It’s a wealthy, trade city that has lots of people constantly coming and going. But it’s also a city characterized by its sexual immorality. The main religion there was geared towards Aphrodite who was considered the goddess of love. And within their religious traditions were all kinds of sexually immoral practices in the name of their goddess. This is where Paul is. And for reasons that we’ll look at in a bit, Paul was not comfortable in Corinth.

[Read I Corinthians 2:3.]

So the Lord appears to him and reassures him that He is with him.

[Read Acts 18:9-10.]

The Lord tells Paul to hang in there, don’t be afraid to finish what you started, because I am with you. I am with you.

As we look a little closer at this passage, we’re going to see how the Lord gives us all this same message. He wants us all to know that He is with us no matter what life throws at us. So let’s go to the beginning of Acts chapter 18 and see what led up to the Lord appearing to Paul. As we do, we’re going to see how the Lord is with us [5] through life’s trials.

[Read Acts 18:1-6.]

Paul goes to Corinth after having to leave the great city of Athens. He goes from the intellectual capitol of the world to a city where prostitutes and drunks line the streets in the name of religion.

He’s by himself and out of money so he has to get a job. Paul was a tentmaker earlier in life so he hooks up with Aquila and Priscilla who were fellow tentmakers and works with them until Timothy and Silas show up with some financial support.

Now that he doesn’t have to work on the side any more he devotes all of his time telling people about Jesus. But the Jews that he worked with not only rejected his teachings but the blasphemed as well. (They were probably saying all kinds of evil things about Jesus Christ.) And Paul had had enough. So he yelled at them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

He was at that point. Ever been at that point? The trials of life have been slapping you around and you have just had enough!

That’s where Paul is. He seems to be sick and tired of the Jews continuing to reject the Messiah and these guys were so bad that they pushed Paul to the edge. I think this is one of the reasons that the Lord showed up to Paul and said, “Paul, I am with you. I know things look bad, feel bad, and maybe even are bad. But never forget, I am with you.”

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