Summary: WE ALL HAVE HEARD AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER THAT WE SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN SOME TYPE OF MINISTRY FOR CHRIST. AFTER ALL WE HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, CALLED TO SERVE THE RISEN CHRIST, AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE CROWNS OF HAVING FAITHFULLY SERVED THE
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITHFUL MINISTRY
Acts 14:1-7 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. 5 There was a plot afoot among the Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the good news.
INTRODUCTION: WE ALL HAVE HEARD AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER THAT WE SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN SOME TYPE OF MINISTRY FOR CHRIST. AFTER ALL WE HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, CALLED TO SERVE THE RISEN CHRIST, AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE CROWNS OF HAVING FAITHFULLY SERVED THE REIGNING CHRIST.
YET, IN ORDER TO HAVE A FAITHFUL MINISTRY, THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME WAY SO AS TO DETERMINE IF WE ARE ACTUALLY SERVING WITH FAITHFULNESS.
PROPOSITION: FAITHFUL MINISTRY CAN BE SEEN IN THE LIVES OF PAUL AND BARNABAS!
I. FAITHFUL MINISTRY INVOLVES CONSECRATION
a. THE MEANING OF CONSECRATION. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONSECRATED?
i. TO DEVOTE OR DEDICATE TO SOME PURPOSE
ii. TO MAKE OR DECLARE SACRED; SET APART OR DEDICATE TO THE SERVICE OF GOD.
b. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CONSECRATION, THE SETTING APART IS NOT A THING, BUT A PERSON; NAMELY US!
c. PAUL AND BARNABAS WERE CONSECRATED (SET APART) FOR SERVICE
i. 14:1 – “AS USUAL”
ii. UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAD JUST LEFT PISIDIAN ANTIOCH AFTER SPEAKING IN THE SYNAGOGUE FOR A COUPLE OF SABBATHS
1. THEY LEFT AS A RESULT OF PERSECUTION
2. THEY LEFT BECAUSE THEY WERE “EXPELLED”
3. THIS WAS QUITE EARLY IN THEIR FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY, AND WAS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RESISTANCE THEY HAD FACED TO DATE!
4. NOW WOULD HAVE BEEN THE TIME TO “RE-ACCESS” AND RETURN HOME!
DONALD J. BARNHOUSE WROTE THIS LITTLE STORY IN HIS BOOK ON ROMANS 1 -- A BACKWOODS PREACHER WAS NOT VERY ELOQUENT BUT WAS OFTEN RIGHT ON THE MARK. GOD DEFINITELY STEPPED INTO HIS LIFE AND CALLED HIM AND CHANGED HIM. AND ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT VERY EDUCATED, HE WAS DEEPLY DEVOTED TO HIS CALLING. HE LISTENED ON ONE OCCASION TO A PROUD, YOUNG PREACHER – WELL EDUCATED BUT VERY IMPRESSED WITH HIS OWN BACKGROUND AND SKILLS, EVIDENCING LITTLE POWER OF GOD AT WORK IN HIS LIFE. WHEN THE SERMON WAS OVER AND MOST PEOPLE HAD LEFT, THE OLD PREACHER WALKED UP TO HI AND SAID, “YOUNG MAN, WAS YOU SENT OR DID YOU JUST WENT.”
5. PAUL AND BARNABAS WERE AT A CROSSROADS, NEEDING TO DECIDE IF THEY WERE SENT BY GOD, OR THEY WENT BY THEMSELVES
6. PAUL AND BARNABAS DECIDED TO PRESS ON TO ICONIUM BECAUSE THEY WERE CONSECRATED
BEING CONSECRATED MEANS:
WE ARE NOT QUITTERS. IN SPITE OF DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES WE ARE STEADFAST. NOT UNLIKE THE FOLLOWING STORY, ….
A MOTHER HAD WATCHED HER SON THROUGH THE WEEK BEGIN TO DRAIN IN ENERGY. AND BY THE END OF THE WEEK HE HAD SIMPLY LOST THE DESIRE TO GET UP AND GET WITH THE DAY. SHE HEARD THE ALARM GO OFF THROUGH THE DOOR. SHE LISTENED AS NINE MINUTES PASSED AND THE ALARM WENT OFF AGAIN. APPARENTLY HE JUST KEPT PUNCHING THE LITTLE SNOOZE BUTTON ON TOP OF THE ALARM. FINALLY, AFTER THREE OR FOUR EXTRA RINGS, SHE DECIDED TO TAKE CHARGE SO SHE WALKED IN AND SAID, “SON, IT’S TIME TO GET UP. YOU’VE GOT TO GET UP.” HE PEEKED OUT FROM UNDER THE COVERS AND SAID, “CAN YOU GIVE ME THREE GOOD REASONS I HAVE TO GET UP?” SHE SAID, “WELL, YES. FIRST OF ALL, IT’S SUNDAY, AND YOU NEED TO GET DRESSED FOR CHURCH. SECOND, YOU’RE FORTY-THREE YEARS OLD AND YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO LIE THERE. THIRD, YOU’RE THE PASTOR OF THE CHURCH AND THEY EXPECT YOU TO BE THERE!”
WE UNDERSTAND THAT OFTEN ARE GREATEST WORK COMES WHEN WE ARE PRESSED THE HARDEST
7. ONCE AGAIN THEY WOULD BE MET WITH DIFFICULTY
a. THE JEWS REFUSED TO BELIEVE
i. THE WORD MEANS DISOBEDIENT
ii. THE WORD MEANS TO SPURN
b. WE NEED TO REALIZE THAT PAUL, BARNABAS, AND WE WILL OFTEN LIVE OUT THE VERY NATURE OF THE PARABLE F THE SOWER AND THE SEED AS WE SEEK TO SERVE OUR SAVIOR AND LORD!
c. THESE JEWS WERE A VIVID REPRESENTATION OF THE SEED THAT FALLS ON THE HARD GROUND AND IS SNATCHED AWAY