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Summary: Reasons why the committed Christian has so many advantages in so many dimensions of life.

The Advantages of Being a Committed Christian

(Acts 28:1-10)

Illustration:You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.

John H. Holcomb, The Militant Moderate (Rafter

1. Have you ever stopped to consider all the advantages of being a committed Christian?

Many people fail to consider their benefits in Christ because they neglect appropriating the promises of scriptures.

In these first ten verses we observe several benefits that Paul and his companions experienced because of their commitment to Christ. When the prisoners and guards escaped to the island of Malta, God used the islanders to supply the shipwrecked men with acts of kindness. The sovereign Lord prompts the heart of people to supply the needs of His children.

Thank the Lord for all the times He has supplied you with shelter, provisions and acts of kindnesses when you were in need. God is watching out for you even when you are unaware of His bountiful concerns.

Take time to thank Him.

2. God supplies us with emotional, physical, social and mental needs just in the knick of time. The Lord moved in the heart of the leading citizen of Malta who received Paul and entertained them with courtesy for three days. Certainly, Publius would not expect a reward for helping some lowly prisoners, but God worked in his heart.

Ask the Lord to work in the hearts of all leaders so they and their people can enjoy the benefits of knowing Christ personally.

Illustration:In Russia, Christians are tested by hardship, but in America you are tested by freedom. And testing by freedom is much harder. Nobody pressures you about your religion. So you relax and are not so concentrated on Christ, on His teaching, how He wants you to live."

Pavel Poloz, recently (1987) exiled from Russia, Moody Monthly, April, 1989.

3. The Lord often returns any act of kindness we render according to the law of sowing and reaping. God reciprocated the kindness of Publius by using Paul to heal his father. Everyone recognized that Paul’s God was powerful as his prayers brought healing of two difficult diseases – dysentery and a fever.

The Lord is able to help us respond to the kindness we are given by giving something more valuable back to those who are generous with us.

Ask the Lord to help you trust Him more for reciprocity in all ways.

4. God used the obedience of Paul to work miracles. Wherever you find obedient and trusting believers you will find doing God great things. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do, will he do also and greater works than these will he do.” (John 14:12) God does not just call the qualified. He qualifies the called and works wonders through them.

5. God used the healing of one to encourage others to come for a special touch from the Lord. “The rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.” (Acts 28:9) Whenever people see the works of God news spreads rapidly about the power and benefits available to those who come seeking help in His name. Do not worry about all the ways that God might use your acts of service.

God is in the business of multiplying His message through many means. Ask the Lord to increase the spiritual appetites of those you are ministering to.

6. The recipients of God’s blessings expressed their gratitude with many gifts. “They also honored us in many ways and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.” (Acts 28:10)

God takes special notice of people who show their appreciation for His goodness and provisions. Ask God to help you show tangible gratefulness for all the things He does for you as a witness to others.

7. A great sense of belonging, acceptance and support is given to Christ’s servants. Paul and his co-laborers gained new friends that made them feel at home in a strange land.

Remember the words of the famous song, “Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go. Anywhere He leads me in this world below. Anywhere without Him dearest joys would fade. “Anywhere with Jesus is house of praise.” Try not to forget any of His benefits and thank Him for how He will do the same in the days to come. Learn how to appropriate all of His promises!

Conclusion:April 7, 1965, 11 a.m.

Lieut. Gen Grant, General Sheridan says, "If the thing is pressed, I think that Lee will surrender."

Let the thing be pressed.

A. Lincoln

C. Swindoll, Growing Strong, p. 200, 213.

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