Summary: When life gave the Apostle Paul lemons he made lemonade.
The Positive Power of Lemonade!
Sermon Notes for November 25th, 2001 a.m.
The terrorist and enemies of the 911 incidents thought…
America…will be weaker
America…will be bitter
America will be divided
America will loose their faith in God
America is taking the lemons of 911 and turning it into lemonade.
Paul did that…scripture from the Message
The 11-year-old with horn rim glasses and a slingshot.
The Motorcycle crashed that saved a marriage.
Look at the Lemons in Paul’s Life
The Lemon of Chains verses 12-14
Chuck Swindoll said that if you look up “victim” in the dictionary, you would find Paul’s picture.
Paul you are finished…your ministry is finished. Paul’s belief was that If you are in the will of God then you are never finished.
Life had given him a bitter blow that he did not deserve. Life was very unfair to Paul.
In Acts 16…
Illegally arrested in Jerusalem. He was misrepresented in courts, incorrectly identified as an Egyptian renegade entangled in political red tape. They sent him out into the Mediterranean Sea to ship toward Rome to defend his case. He was shipwrecked yet made it to Rome were he was imprisoned and virtually ignored for two years. The text tells us that Paul was in chains. Acts 28:30 tells us that Paul was in a rented house chained daily to Roman soldiers
The Lemon of Conflict 1:15-17
People who were envious and preached and served out of strife
What are your lemons?
What are you chained to? Circumstances? Surroundings? Bad home life? Poor self-esteem?
No place to go job? In a broken down marriage? Depression? Addiction?
How Paul Turned his Lemons into Lemonade
The Lemonade of Chains
He was not chained by them. Look at what happened.
Jack Taylor said, “Lord, do in me today what you need to do, so you can do through me what you want to do.”
Look at verses 12, 13 again. He said that the painful things that had happened to him had ”helped the progress of the gospel.”
This great word was used for the advance of an army or for the clearing of the way for an expedition.
The devil closed Paul up but Paul’s truth marched on.
The devil slammed the door but God turned it into an open door.
Look at v.13. The praetorian guard can mean the barracks of the soldiers or the soldiers themselves – ten thousand elite, hand picked heroes of Rome. How did they know? Paul told them.
Every day, for eight hour shifts, day and night, Paul had two soldiers, six a day, chained to his wrist.
He had a captive audience.
What did Paul see in these men? Brutality? Bonds? No. He saw each one as a person that Christ died for.
How many times did they tell him to shut up? How many times did they slap his face? How many times did they laugh at him?
Don’t be chained by your chains!
The Lemonade of Conflict
In Verses 14-17, we find preachers who were not too fond of Paul. They were critical about Paul.
How did Paul face their criticism? He just stayed faithful. On of our teenagers take his Bible to church tomorrow and read it while at lunch in the cafeteria. He/she will be criticized. That student must stay faithful. That student will make a difference. The athlete that kneels and prays will soon be joined by another, then another,
Paul took the lemonade of his critics and made lemonade of encouragement.
Paul’s reaction to those jealous preachers was strange a different.
Look at his reaction in verses 18.
Paul could condone them because they were Anti-Paul and not Anti-Christ.
Listen there are a lot of sorry preachers and many times I am one of them. Bob Marcaurelle said, “If God didn’t use sorry preachers to preach His gospel, there wouldn’t be any preaching done.” “If God didn’t use any sorry laymen to teach and serve as deacons and help on committees, the church would have to shut the doors.
W. T. Conner would survey his classes of preacher boys then say, “It never ceases to amaze me how God keeps hitting straight licks with all of those crooked sticks.”
Do people and their opinions chain you? Are you chained by the conflicts that you have had with people.
Love them anyway!
Dr. Frank Luchanbach…Shoot them with love.
Let’s make lemonade!
Abraham Lincoln did…
D.L. Moody did…
Bill Graham did…
Helen Keller did…
Peter did it
"Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act." Psalm 37:7 (NLT)