Summary: How can we take the next big step for Jesus? We must: 1. stay on target (vs. 20). 2. Travel (vs. 21). 3. Train other workers (vs. 22). 4. Trust each other (vs. 22). 5. Tarry until our work is done (vs. 22).
Our Next Big Step for Jesus
The Book of Acts - Part 69
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - January 11, 2015
*Remember that here in Acts 19, Paul was on his third missionary journey. His team was reaching many people in the city of Ephesus. They saw the Hand of God at work in amazing ways. And Acts 19:10 tells us "this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."
*But by the time we get to vs. 20, the two years were about up, and God was leading Paul to get ready for the next step in his service for the Lord. With this bit of background in mind, let's get started by reading Acts 19:20-22.
*God has a great plan for our lives. Rick Stacy reminds us with the example of a leader in their church. His name was Mike Freeman, and when Mike was finishing college he had two possibilities for a required internship.
*One option was a really swanky resort in Missouri. The other opportunity was "Spring Hill" children's camp in upper Michigan. The resort was extra nice, sort of like a cruise ship on land, with a parking lot full of BMWs and Cadillacs. In many ways it seemed like a great opportunity to move up, but the staff was into a lot of partying and drinking.
*Mike prayed and thought about his decision. Then late one night, Mike was on the way home, and he turned on his radio. The very first words he heard were: "You know what you need to do. Now do it."
*Those words were from a sermon preached by a man Mike had never heard of, but Mike knew that those words really came from God. So, he took the job at the children's camp, and that's where he met his future wife, Sheila. A couple of years later Mike got a great job in California, because the manager knew a man who had worked with Mike at the children's camp. (1)
*God had a great plan for Mike's life, and He has great plans for us too! In today's Scripture, Paul was about to take the next big step in his work for the cause of Christ. Again, Paul was on his third missionary journey. And by the time we get to vs. 21, he had been in Ephesus for over two years.
*Paul sensed that his time in Ephesus was about finished, and as always, he wanted to take the next big step for Jesus Christ. Now Paul helps us see how to take our next big step for the Lord.
1. First: We must stay on target.
*As Christians, and as a church, we must stay on target. But what is our target? We can see it in vs. 20, where "the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed." Church, that's our target: For God's Word to grow mightily!
*Our target is for God's Word to prevail over the lies of the devil and the sinfulness of man. Our target is to transmit the truth about Jesus Christ. We need to spread the Good News everywhere and every way we can, knowing that God's Word has the power to save souls and radically transform lives.
*As David said in Psalm 19:7-11:
7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
 Why do we want the Word of God to grow mightily and prevail? The most important reason is because God's Word is the only possible source for eternal life.
*Everyone who has ever been saved, has been saved by the Word of God. 1 Peter 1:22-25 makes this truth clear when it says this to Christians:
22. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23. having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
24. because "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,