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Summary: Whether we progress or not often depends on whether we more afraid of God or men. Peter knew that it was impossible to withstand the power of God without losing big time! Making progress despite difficult circumstances

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Progressing Through the Storm

(Acts 11:10-26)

Illustration:"THEY MAY TRIP SEVEN TIMES, BUT EACH TIME THEY WILL

RISE AGAIN." (PROVERBS 24:16 NLT)

GET UP, GET OVER IT, GET GOING

Jonas Salk, who invented the vaccine that wiped out

polio, conducted 200 experiments before he got the

formula right. When he was asked the secret of his

perseverance he replied, "My family didn’t teach me in

terms of failure, they taught me in terms of

experience and what could be learned from it. I just

made my 201st discovery. But I would never have made

it without the previous 200 learning experiences."

John Maxwell points out that the difference between

average people and achieving people, is their

perception of failure and their response to it. Most

of us fear failure because we haven’t been properly

prepared to handle it. Each time you plan, risk, fail,

reevaluate and adjust, you have an opportunity to

begin again-only better than the last time.

Jeb Hubbard writes, "There is no failure except in no

longer trying. There is no defeat, except from within,

no really insurmountable barrier, save our own

inherent weakness of purpose."

1. Have you ever wondered why some people are afraid to progress when conditions appear difficult?

Most of us are hesitant to try something new unless we are given guarantees. When persecutions became intense in the first century church the apostles pressed ahead to advance the gospel to Antioch – a corrupt city occupied mainly by Gentiles. Peter said, “If therefore God gave the Gentiles the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” (Acts 11:17)

Application: Whether we progress or not often depends on whether we more afraid of God or men. Peter knew that it was impossible to withstand the power of God without losing big time! Ask the Lord to help you remember that if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) Trust the Lord to help you continue to help advance the kingdom of God and His righteousness through all possible means. Follow the example of the apostle’s progressive thinking.

2. The apostles went to Antioch without being invited. Do not think you have to be invited before contributing to the progressive growth of Christ’s church in qualitative or quantitative measures. Thanks, in part, to the persecution of the church, the apostles were scattered and some made their way to Antioch. Eventually, Antioch became the center for the missionary movement of the world in the first century.

Application: Often one step of progress for Jesus Christ provides a launching pad for others to multiply the progress of God’s truth, justice and salvation story in their vicinity. Ask the Lord to help you make progressive choices so you can help multiply the progress of others’ ministries.

3. When people see examples of God directed progress they in turn grow in their faith, vision and courage. Dr. Luke wrote, “The hand of the Lord was with them and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.” (Acts 11:21)

Application: Your progress does not have to swift, but it should be steady. Sow the seed and God will give the fruit. Ask the Lord to help your progress catalyze the spiritual growth (qualitatively and quantitatively) of other believers who will win many more to faith in Jesus Christ.


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