Summary: Our text today finds the Apostle Paul on his way to Jerusalem. He is well aware of the animosity of the Jews toward him, and quite uncertain what his future will hold once he arrives.
TITLE: STAYING THE COURSE
SCRIPTURE: ACTS 20:24
I am honored to be here in this church as you celebrate the 98th year of God’s Grace and Favor upon the Love Joy Victory Temple COGIC. You are a pillar in this community as well as this City and we thank God for you. I honor the Angel of this House, my friend and brother, Elder Lee White, his beautiful Wife, the Officers and Members of this branch of Zion.
We have had a glorious time this afternoon in Worship and Celebration. Now it is time for the Main Course. In keeping with your selected theme I call your attention to ACTS 20:24. I will lift your theme as our major thought this afternoon “Stay the Course.” I have always believed in my 35 years of ministry if a Church has prayed and been led by the Holy Spirit to a text and thought, the same Holy Spirit will touch the Preacher to expound upon the theme during the preaching moment. I must also admit I am excited to expound upon this one verse because this Verse is full of hidden treasure. Since you rested your Hat on this one Verse, I too will Press my Claim on this one verse as well.
Our text today finds the Apostle Paul on his way to Jerusalem. He is well aware of the animosity of the Jews toward him, and quite uncertain what his future will hold once he arrives. One would expect him to be very nervous and apprehensive about returning, but Paul has a quiet calmness about him. It is evident although Paul is unsure what his future holds, he is confident in the one who holds his future.
As he made his way to Jerusalem, Paul called for the Elders of Ephesus to meet him in MILETUS. He had served the church in Ephesus for about three years and remained fond of those who were there. Before departing for Jerusalem, Paul desired to speak with the elders one last time. He wanted to share his heart and encourage them in the faith. He longed to tell them the importance of Stay the Course.
I have come to the conclusion the greatest adventure any person will ever experience is to LIVE FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. There is more EXCITEMENT - MORE THRILL - MORE JOY - ULTIMATE FULFILLMENT - IN A LIFE THAT IS LIVED TOTALLY FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST than anything else I know.
• It is greater than the challenge of a mountain climber
• It is more exhilarating than the life of an athlete
• It is filled with more courage and opportunity than the life of a heroic soldier
To live for the Lord Jesus Christ just puts a little extra kick in your life that you can't find in any other way. Have you ever wondered why we study so much about Paul and the Bible? One of the reasons we do is the Bible teaches that Paul was given by God as an example of what the Christian is intended to be. So, when you read about Paul you see a man who has determined to live totally for the Lord Jesus Christ. A man who understood the importance and the value of Stay the Course.
I cannot remember a time in my life I was not in the Church having given my life to Christ and baptized at a very early age. My Father and Father-in-law were both Pastors; that is all I knew growing up was the Church. Having been in ministry for 35 years this year, I don’t know what I would do without the Church in my life. That’s how Christianity should be in our lives.
• I learned how to get along with others – in the Church
• I learned how to date – in the Church
• I learned how to be a young man – in the Church
• I learned the value of Respect – in the Church
• I learned when I became a man to put away childish things – in the Church
• I learned how to be a better Husband and Father – in the Church
• I learned the value of Work - in the Church
• I learned the value of Staying the Course – in the Church
My brothers and sisters, living for the Lord should be a wonderful journey for us. Paul’s life is a great example of that Journey. One day on the Damascus Road, Jesus confronted him in his sin. Paul repented of his sin, opened his heart to the Lord Jesus, and at that point in time life became a great adventure for him.
• It became like a race and he said -- "I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS"