Sermons

Summary: When you face 1) Problems: choose the 2) People you go to, 3) Praise God and turn in 4)Prayer to the God who is over it all.

Praying through problems Acts 4:23-31 WBC 26/5/02pm

Problems

So- what’s the problem, here?

- it’s not a problem, unless you’re a Saducee!

- = brilliant for the 5000 Xians!

 40+ yr old man healed at Beautiful gate

 no one could deny it. Even priests, Saducees

- but tragic that chose to stick to blindness, prejudices rather than face up to what God had so obviously done! Because challenged:

- ‘an issue dear to them’: resurrection (Saducees =no resurrection)

- their concept of Messiah

- quoting Ps 21 about how nations peoples and kings will oppose messiah

- = true! Okay to mention God, church… but “JESUS”?

- Sparks fly!! Why AC 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

- He is the cornerstone, capstone that folks love or reject. Most important person of history

 so conclusion is (as Isaiah puts it) “leave this way, get off this path and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel”

….. or you’re dead meat”

- that’s the problem: “Something bad is going to happen if I do this, or don’t do this. The threat of these folks is TRUE”

- sound familiar? Personally

Well- if you’re anyone like me you’ll find a good way of dealing with these things is to worry about them.

= true! It works! 90% of the things I worry about never happen!!

- so it must work!

- Or, another good reaction is to wallow in it. “why soar like an eagle when you can wallow like a hippopotamus?!”

- Or another god reaction is to follow the thereat and MAKE it happen (Job “what I feared most has happened to me”

Mrs. Monroe lives in Darlington, Maryland. She’s the mother of 8 children. And except for a few interesting experiences, she’s just like any other mother across America. One experience was so unique that John Haggai put it in his book: "How to Win Over Worry."

She came home one afternoon from the grocery store and walked into her home and everything looked pretty much the same, though it was a little bit quieter than usual. She looked into the middle of the living room and 5 of her darlings were sitting around in a

circle, exceedingly quiet, doing something, with something in the middle of a circle. So she put down the sacks of groceries and walked over closely and looked and saw that they were playing with 5 of the cutest skunks you can imagine. She was instantly terrified and she said, "Run children, run! Each child grabbed a skunk and ran, in 5 different directions. She

was beside herself and screamed louder, more frantically, with great gusto. It so scared the children that each one squeezed his skunk! As the writer put it, "Skunks don’t like to be squeezed!"

These guys faced REAL problems. Real threat. Life or death

- sometimes we face real problems. Illness. Job threat. Relationship problems. Exams, and the life that lies after them

Note how these guys respond

People

“on their release, Peter and John went back to THEIR OWN PEOPLE”

This is interesting!

- I would have sat on the street ‘thinking deeply’ about it all

- Or asked the saducees to clarify the boundaries, exactly “how far can I go before you’ll kill me?”

But note: they go back to their people

Now: you know me. I, personally, am just as happy with pre-Christians as I am with Christians. I can’t go for any of this isolationalist ‘come ye out from them and be ye separate stuff’. I don’t believe Christians have a monopoly on niceness, truth… and certainly not objectivity! They just have a monopoly on Jesus (and there’s nothing mote important than that)

- but watch who you get advice, encouragement (or discouragement) from

- watch the company you keep (at particular times), as ‘company influences’

- when it’s a SPIRITUAL issue, and discovering whether/how you should please God not man- where are you going to go?

- To those who know, love God… Jesus and have FAITH in Him

- I believe in REALITY… but even going to those who are believers but have reality but not FAITH in a REAL big God, when you’re facing problems, can be an unwise move!

- = easy to get pulled down.

So: watch the company you keep (when you’re low/suggestible)

- go to those balanced with REALITY and FAITH

- - note the reality, here. To God and man.

- V23 ‘they reported all they had said to them’

- Wasn’t “oh man we kicked their butts, and we’re walking in victory!!”

- It was REAL: “God did this” They threatened this”

- But they went to those with faith, too.

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