Summary: Drawing to a conclusion the last 4 weeks we see three important things we MUST respond to: Seeing, Hearing, and Doing what Jesus Christ shows, says, and commands of us.
Seeing, Hearing, and Doing
We are called to have a common purpose in what we do
-- The purpose is to worship, to love, and to celebrate Christ and share Him always
-- That is our challenge, mission, and it is STILL where we find ourselves today
Paul understood that Grace was the key to life; for it had been shown to him
-- Jesus is not to be ‘used’ or consulted only when we need something
-- APP: It’s not right to want the blessings without the relationship/commitment
THREE WEEKS AGO: We discussed the seven sons of Sceva and false worship
BIG APP: Demons aren't fooled … why do we think God will be?
TWO WEEKS AGO: Your reason for going to church IS what you worship
Make sure it’s not trusting in something that’s false; false idols cannot satisfy you
LAST WEEK: Jesus told us we would face difficulty! John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Persecution is NOT new!
When we left Paul last week we saw how trouble affected him, and should us …
-- We CAN overcome trouble, and our reaction shows others where we trust
This morning, we see his explanation to those who stand against him
-- What is critical here is that we grasp the impact of this testimony and apply it
-- True, this is a recollection of events … but the app is right before us
-- God loves you friends, it is past time for us to understand and accept it!
APP: Today’s message gives us three applications that bring together last 4 weeks
There are three steps that we see Paul go through in the book of Acts
-- Each of these leads to his life changing conversion
-- Our challenge is to see how they apply to our lives today
Read Acts 22:1-30
What is most interesting in this is that Paul recounts his testimony
-- His experience with Christ changes everything about his life
-- This change is all because He has SEEN!
Point 1 - Seeing (Acts 22:6)
Paul, being a man that was born against God, clearly had issues in life
-- He was self-centered, arrogant, and proud of his status in life
-- But … his flaw though was simple: He was his OWN god
The Creator however, pursued Him with such vigor that his life changed
Ex 1: They say it was about noon when Paul and the people he traveled with saw the light. The light must have been great for it to be noon and be so bright!!
Ex 2: Look at how clearly the Lord reveled himself to the people of Israel
-- Exodus 14:13-16, “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.”
APP: Did you know God pursues us in the same manner?
-- We've talked about idols, and God’s response to them
-- We've talked about following false god’s and God’s response to that
-- We've talked about facing persecution and God’s response to that
But what does this all mean?
-- APP: God will reveal himself to you clearly and show you the way
Most obviously, we have the cross and the suffering upon it shown to us
IMP: We have seen and must NOT pretend like nothing ever happened
TRANS: Seeing is the first step; from there we must HEAR what’s said
Point 2 - Hearing (Acts 22:7-10)
We must be ready to listen to what God tells us through his Word.
-- The most fatal mistake we could ever make is, “I've heard this before … let me tune out then”
-- To do that is to say, “Oh yeah, I got this ...”; which is an insult
-- It’s no different than telling your kids to do something and they ignore you
Look what the Word says about hearing in James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Hearing means that we are listening to what’s being said, and seeking application