Summary: I am preaching this message to remind our church that we are following a biblical pattern and mandate in our new partnership with our sister church in Romania.
When God Begins A Work
Today, we have a special guest with us. Pastor Pavel Ureche from Romania. We have been working with this man for five years in his city of Turnu-Severin on the western side of Romania. He is pastor of the FBC in that city. We have accomplished work in the city with them in the areas of children’s ministry, pastoral training, revivals, music events, medical, personal evangelism, planting churches, showing the “Jesus Video” and building an orphanage. We are interested in making a covenant partnership with specific plans next year. He is here so that you can meet him, and so that we can cross our language barriers and communicate clearly our intentions concerning this partnership with our sister church. Our mission team has meet with him. After our discussions the mission team and Pastor Pavel, we will present to the deacons a clear and concise covenant to look over so that we can bring it to you for approval. God has not released me from Romania, even though we are working in several others areas around the world. I am preaching this message to show you God’s Pattern in His Working so that we can be confirmed in our direction.
I. God Chooses a Specific Person (v.1)
a. A Person who has experienced a change in his direction. (Acts 9:1-7)
b. A Person who has experienced a call upon his heart. (Acts 9:15)
c. A Person who has experienced a clarifying of his focus. (Acts 13:42-48)
T.S. God has changed you, called you and is clarifying for you His mission through you. God always begins with people. After God chooses you, He reveals to you the place you are to serve Him.
II. God Chooses a Strategic Place (v.1)
(Exp.) “In Corinth”
Paul had a very clear strategy for his work. Paul did not haphazardly move across the world to share the gospel. He pick by the leading of the Spirit, the key cities to spread the gospel.
Corinth in Paul’s day was the largest, most cosmopolitan city of Greece. It was such a strategic place that when the Romans under Julius Caesar conquered the city it was completely destroyed and rebuilt as a Roman colony. The area is a narrow isthmus with two ports on either side. A special road was built between the two ports to transfer goods. Small boats were placed upon carts and driven across the area because the waters were so treacherous around the end. The Adriatic Sea is one side and the Aegean Sea is on the other.
Corinth was a new city and no building was over 100 years old. The Temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was perched high (1900 feet) upon the hill above the city upon the Acrocorinth.
A Temple of Asklepius has been discovered. This was the greek God of healing. Clay replicas of body parts have been found which seem to be offerings for healing to that particular part of the body!
There was small Jewish synagogue there. (v.4) But understand God kept Paul in Corinth longer than he wanted to stay. Paul was a mover and a shaker. He liked to travel. God put him in Corinth for 18 months. Paul was itching to get to Jerusalem. God was itching to use Paul in this church.
The place God puts you will be the best for you, for them and for Him!!! It may not be the easiest, the largest, the most prestigious, but it will be the most strategic!!!
(Ill.) Can you imagine a private in the tank corp of General George Patton, From WWII fame, Having a conversation like this with the General in the middle of war?
“Sir, I realize that I have been trained to drive this tank, I know that my country has paid a lot of money to train me and to place me and my tank in this war on this battlefield, and I know that I have not been in the high level meetings where you and all those Generals who have so much experience have discussed and planned a comprehensive plan for the war, but I really do not like being in a cramped space. I am bigger than this and as I was looking out the small window in front, I see the enemy and bombs and they are shooting at me…there are hills in front and German fortifications, barbed wire, mines…I was thinking about turning around and…”
That is really what we sound like to God! He knows what He is doing. He is in charge.
The general comes back with, “Son, I know you are scared. You have armour around you that is six inches thick. You may die. There is an enemy out there. They don’t like you…You do have some power in your arsenal? You did not volunteer, you were drafted! Go do want to were assigned to do.