Summary: Following our series, THINK Before You Speak, this series carries the logic to our actions. Like the previous series, there are five points, corresponding to the fingers on the hand to be used as a mnemonic device. Solidly biblical and very practical.
P-A-U-S-E Before You Act!
Calvary Baptist Church
July 10, 17, 31, August 7, 14, 2011
In a previous sermon series, we encouraged ourselves to T-H-I-N-K before we speak. In this message, we want to extend the technique to our actions. P-A-U-S-E before you act!
T – Is it true? H – Is it helpful? I – Is it inspiring? N – Is it necessary? K – Is it kind?
Thelma and Louise. [NOTE: We are not endorsing this movie, or its message. The philosophy of the writer (feminist vengeance) is as messed up as the characters he portrays. But it does serve as a memorable illustration of what we are preaching.]
Thelma, married to Darryl (which the film portrays as a controlling husband) and Louise (a single waitress with a troubled past) decide to take a weekend road trip in Louise’s teal 1966 Thunderbird convertible. They stop at a bar where Thelma flirts with a man who later tries to rape her, and Louise ends up shooting and killing him. They flee the scene as things begin a downward spiral. They associate with some losers along the way who use them, abuse them and sneak away taking their money. Thelma robs a store, puts a policeman in the trunk of his cruiser, and along with Thelma shoots bullets at the gas tank of a truck whose driver has made obscene gestures at them. The truck explodes and kills the driver. When law enforcement finally corner them near the Grand Canyon, rather than spend the rest of their life in prison, Thelma and Louise drive the T-Bird over the canyon wall, committing suicide. Yes, things had been bad for Thelma, but by actions not carefully thought out, a road trip means the end of her life’s journey. We must be careful, for we can do the same thing in our life. (Wikipedia, summarized by lkw)
Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
1 Kings 20:11 And the king of Israel [NOTE: Ahab. A bad king, but a good saying] answered and said [NOTE: to Benhadad, king of Syria], Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.
1 Kings 20:11 (ESV) And the king of Israel answered, "Tell him, ’Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself like he who takes it off.’ "
1 Kings 20:11 (MSG) The king of Israel countered, "Think about it—it’s easier to start a fight than end one."
I. P – Pray Have I taken this matter to the Lord in prayer and have I waited for His leading?
Matthew 26:39-41 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
A. Prayer Can Stop Us (Acts 16:1-7)
• When we pray, God can stop us from doing something that seems so natural, so logical to do. (Acts 16:1-7)
ILLUS: Paul and Timothy on the 2nd Journey
Acts 16:1-7 Then came he [Paul] to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; … 5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. 6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia [skirting the border of these regions], and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia [SW to their left], 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia [NE to their right] : but the Spirit suffered them not.
• The natural thing for Paul and Timothy to do would be to continue stopping at each town and preaching.
• But the Holy Spirit said, “Don’t go left, don’t go right, don’t go back, and don’t preach where you are!”
• Now that is frustration.
• But God had a plan that could not be delayed.
• A man in Macedonia is praying!
• So God says, go on without delay or other ministry.
• And when Paul passes through the region of Mysia, he comes to Troas, where he receives the Macedonian call.