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Summary: TIMES OF TURMOIL AND STRESS HAVE A WAY OF GETTING US TO FOCUS ON THE WRONG THINGS – IE: THE SITUATION. AS PRESSING AS THE SITUATION IS, IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT OR MORE IMPORTANT TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING “BEHIND THE SCENES” SO TO SPEA

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THE IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER IN TIMES OF TURMOIL

ACTS 12:1-19

INTRODUCTION: TIMES OF TURMOIL AND STRESS HAVE A WAY OF GETTING US TO FOCUS ON THE WRONG THINGS – IE: THE SITUATION. AS PRESSING AS THE SITUATION IS, IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT OR MORE IMPORTANT TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING “BEHIND THE SCENES” SO TO SPEAK. SINCE WHAT GOD DOES IS ALWAYS FOR OUR GOOD, BEST, AND RIGHT OF OUR LIVES; EVEN THE SITUATION OF STRESS AND TURMOIL HAS A WAY OF WORKING ITSELF OUT FOR OUR BETTERMENT – IF WE ALLOW IT TO!

BEFORE WE EVEN GET STARTED HERE IN THE TEXT, THERE IS AN INTERESTING FACT THAT I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT ABOUT THE INFLUENCE OF FAMILY.

IN OUR TEXT THIS MORNING, HEROD IS MENTIONED. MORE SPECIFICALLY HEROD AGRIPPA I. IN FACT THE BIBLE RECORDS FOUR GENERATIONS OF THE FAMILY OF HEROD, AND THEIR ACTIVITIES:

HEROD THE GREAT – HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MURDER OF CHILDREN IN BETHLEHEM AND THE SURROUNDING AREA IN AN ATTEMPT TO SNUFF OUT THE LIFE OF JESUS.

HEROD ANTIPAS WHO HAD JOHN THE BAPTIST BEHEADED AND WAS INVOLVED IN THE TRIAL OF JESUS.

HEROD AGRIPPA I WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MURDER OF JAMES AS RECORDED IN OUR TEXT.

HEROD AGRIPPA II WHO WOULD PRESIDE AS ONE OF THE JUDGES AT THE TRIAL OF PAUL.

GOOD OR BAD – YOU HAVE AN INFLUENCE OVER YOUR FAMILY. WHAT YOU SAY AND DO WILL HAVE A LASTING EFFECT. WE WOULD DO WELL TO DETERMINE NOW WHAT WE WILL DO AS PARENTS THAT WILL HAVE THE MOST PROFOUND AND POSITIVE EFFECT OB FUTURE GENERATIONS.

UNDERSTANDING THE ACTIONS OF GOD IN TIMES OF TURMOIL AND STRESS

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THOSE WHO INTEND TO DO US HARM.

IT IS A FACT OF LIFE THAT AS THIS WORLD GET WORSE AND WORSE, THERE WILL BE THOSE WHOP INTEND VARIOUS DEGREES OF DISCOMFORT TOWARDS US, FROM THE OBSCENE GESTURE ON THE ROAD TO THE THREAT OF PHYSICAL HARM.

JESUS FACED EVERYTHING FROM HECKLERS TO THE CROSS

HIS RESPONSE WAS CONSISTENT WITH HIS BELIEF – HE WAS SEEING AND ACTING IN ACCORD WITH THE WILL OF GOD.

THE BETTER YOU AND I UNDERSTAND THE PLACE OF THE WILL OF GOD IN OUR LIVES THE EASIER IT WILL BE TO SEE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THAT LIGHT!

THE WORK OF GOD IN OUR LIVES IS IN HIS HANDS

YOU WILL NOTICE THAT PETER WAS ARRESTED DURING THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD – PASSOVER.

PASSOVER WAS THE CONCLUSION OF A WEEK OF FEAST.

THE BEST TIME FOR PETER TO BE “RELEASED” SHOULD BE RIGHT AFTER HE WAS ARRESTED.

AFTER ALL PRISON BACK THEN WAS NOT THE BEST PLACE TO BE.

ADDITIONALLY, PETER WAS UNDER THE WATCH OF 16 SOLDIERS ROUND THE CLOCK, AND SOLDIERS BACK THEN WERE NOT KNOWN FOR BEING THE KINDEST OF FOLKS.

THE PERSON IN PRISON NEEDED TO BE ATTENDED TO BY FAMILY AND/OR FRIENDS IN ORDER TO SURVIVE AND EAT.

GOD DID NOT CHOOSE TO ACT ON BEHALF OF PETER UNTIL THE LAST NIGHT.

GOD HAS ACTED THIS WAY PREVIOUSLY

WALLS OF JERICHO

DEATH OF LAZARUS

THE PURPOSE AND PLAN OF GOD IS NOT BOUND BY OR LIMITED BY TIME. ONLY MAN SEEMS TO BE BOUND BY A CLOCK!

WE NEED TO BALANCE WHAT GOD CHOOSES TO DO IN EVERY AREA

GOD CHOSE TO SPARE PETER

GOD CHOSE NOT TO SPARE JAMES

WE CAN CHOOSE TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE WHY.

WAS PETER MORE IMPORTANT THAN JAMES? NO!

GOD DOES CHOOSE FOR EACH OF US TO HONOR AND GLORIFY HIM IN DIFFERENT WAYS

THE APOSTLE JOHN HONORED GOD IN EXILE THE ISLAND OF PATMOS AND GAVE US SEVERAL BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

JIM ELLIOT HONORED GOD AS A MARTYR AND OPENED THE GOSPEL UP TO THE SAME TRIBE THAT TOOK HIS LIFE.

OTHERS LIVED TO A FULL LIFE AND HONORED GOD BY THEIR FAITHFUL SERVICE.

WE CAN CHOOSE TO REST IN THE FACT OF GOD’S CONTROL AND LOVE FOR US TO THE POINT THAT EVEN WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND HAS A POSITIVE PURPOSE IN HIS PLAN.

WE NEED TO SEE THAT EVERY SITUATION DEMONSTRATES OUR NEED FOR GOD

PETER IN PRISON IS A PRIME EXAMPLE

THE CASE OF PETER IS HOPELESS FROM THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE

IN PRISON

SURROUNDED BY GUARDS

PETER IS EVEN ASLEEP

ILLUSTRATION OF OUR CONDITION WITHOUT GOD

WE ARE IN PRISON

WE ARE SURROUNDED BY THOSE WHO SEEK TO HOLD US BACK

AND SOMETIMES WE ARE EVEN ASLEEP – SO INSENSITIVE TO WHAT IS AROUND US UNTIL IT IS BROUGHT TO LIGHT!

JOHN WESLEY PENNED THESE WORDS OF THE FOURTH VERSE OF “AND CAN IT BE”’

LONG MY IMPRISONED SPIRIT LAY

FAST BOUND IN SIN AND NATURE'S NIGHT;

THINE EYE DIFFUSED A QUICKENING RAY;

I WOKE, THE DUNGEON FLAMED WITH LIGHT;

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