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Summary: A sermon on how faith guides us if we just let it

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What Can Lydia Teach Us

Acts 16:14-15

Prayer

Introduction

Good evening. I know that everyone is full and satisfied, and rested from this day that God has given us to rest. You know as I was thinking about this sermon and preparing it I began to realize that often times we hear God’s word, we hear the teacher talk and the preacher preach but do we really hear what he is saying. In other words are we really paying attention to what is being said?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile and saying the usual things at all those White House receptions. So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed that big smile and said; "I murdered my grandmother this morning." People would automatically respond with comments such as "How lovely!" or "Just continue with your great work!" Nobody listened to what he was saying, except one foreign diplomat. When the president said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning," the diplomat responded softly, "I’m sure she had it coming to her."

Why do we need to pay attention to what is being said it is the same old thing that we have heard before? Is it really? Maybe we need practice in what we are hearing. A young American engineer named Billy was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend, Irene. She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to pool their resources and put a down payment on a house when he returned. They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, Irene began expressing doubts that he was being true to her, exposed as he was to lovely Irish lasses. Billy wrote back, declaring with some passion that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. “I admit,” he wrote, “that sometimes I’m tempted. But I fight it. I’m keeping myself for you.” In the next mail, Billy received a package. It contained a note from Irene and a harmonica. “I’m sending this to you,” she wrote, “so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls.” Billy replied, “Thanks for the harmonica. I’m practicing on it every night and thinking of you.” At the end of his two-year stint, Billy was transferred back to company headquarters. He took the first plane to Tennessee to be reunited with his girl. Her whole family was with her, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, Irene held up a restraining hand and said sternly, “Just hold on there a minute, Billy. Before any serious kissin’ and huggin’ gets started here, let me hear you play that harmonica!”

>>She was testing him! In the same way, we need to test ideas & teachings before we embrace them. And so are we to test what we hear and read. We must pay attention to what is God is saying and what is being taught. We can look to Lydia and see what we are to do.


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