Summary: God wants: 1. To work through our limitations (vs. 1-3). 2. Us to link-up with other Christians (vs. 3-6). 3. Us to listen to wise council (vs. 4 & 7-13). 4. Us to love the Lord supremely (vs. 13). 5. Us to lean on the Lord completely (vs. 14).
Tune in to God's Will for Your Life
The Book of Acts - Part 75
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 22, 2015
*If you are my age or older, you probably watched a TV with rabbit ears on top. That was the shiny metal, indoor antenna that looked like two short fishing poles stuck together in a V shape. This was long before the days of Cable TV or DISH, and you had to position those rabbit ears just right to get a half-way decent picture on the three channels we had. Some people put aluminum foil on the rabbit ears to help them pick up the signal better. But we weren't that high-tech in my family.
*Back then, people were trying their best to tune in to the TV show they wanted to watch. But tonight in God's Word, we can tune in to something a whole lot more important. Here we can actually tune in to God's will for our lives.
1. First we see that it's God's will to work through our limitations.
*In other words: God has chosen to do His extraordinary work through ordinary people like us. Verses 1-3 remind us of this important truth, so please listen again to Luke's report:
1. Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
2. And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.
3. When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo.
*I am a little surprised that God bothered to put these verses in His Word. They almost read like a bus schedule. Listen to vs. 1-3 again from the NLT:
1. After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara.
2. There we boarded a ship sailing for the Syrian province of Phoenicia.
3. We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload.
*Nothing could be more routine than Luke's list of their hops and skips toward Jerusalem. But God's work has always been a mixture of the mundane and the miraculous. In our church, we want to see souls saved, but we also want to save money on the electric bill. We want to see hearts cleansed, but we also want clean bathrooms.
*God's work has always been a mixture of the mundane and the miraculous. This is important for us to see, because we have a tendency to turn our Bible heroes into super men and women. And that can be intimidating, because we think we can't possibly serve the Lord like they did.
*But these verses remind us that they were men and women just like us. They lived in the real world and had to take care of basic needs just like us. God worked through their limitations and He can do the same thing in our lives.
*This was His careful plan all along, so that all the glory will go where it belongs: To God! Paul talked about this truth in 2 Corinthians 4:5-7, where he said:
5. . . We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
*God wants to work through our limitations. One of the great Christian leaders of the last 30 years is Chuck Swindoll. Listen to Dr. Swindoll's testimony about some of the limitations he and his wife faced at the very beginning of their ministry:
*"When my wife, Cynthia, and I were first led by God to change careers and enter seminary and to begin ministry, which was something I had resisted for the longest time, we changed our whole life. In fact, we sold our house on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, and moved to Dallas. And we knew, really, no one.
*We set up housekeeping in a little, tiny apartment. It was really a dump. I mean, it was one of those places with hot and cold running rats, you know, those places they finally just condemned." Chuck also said he heard a friend say: "'When we lived there, there wasn't a single roach in the place. They were all married and had a litter of roaches.' I mean, there were roaches everywhere. I'm glad to say it's all been torn down.