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Summary: SOMEONE HAS SAID THAT THERE IS NO RETIREMENT FROM SERVICE FOR CHRIST, AND THAT IS TRUE. THERE ALWAYS SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST CAN DO, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES, SITUATIONS, OR SURROUNDINGS. YET, THERE ARE SOME “MISCONCEPTIONS” OUT THER

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WHEN IS THE WORK DONE?

ACTS 14:8-28 IN LYSTRA THERE SAT A MAN CRIPPLED IN HIS FEET, WHO WAS LAME FROM BIRTH AND HAD NEVER WALKED. 9 HE LISTENED TO PAUL AS HE WAS SPEAKING. PAUL LOOKED DIRECTLY AT HIM, SAW THAT HE HAD FAITH TO BE HEALED 10 AND CALLED OUT, "STAND UP ON YOUR FEET!" AT THAT, THE MAN JUMPED UP AND BEGAN TO WALK. 11 WHEN THE CROWD SAW WHAT PAUL HAD DONE, THEY SHOUTED IN THE LYCAONIAN LANGUAGE, "THE GODS HAVE COME DOWN TO US IN HUMAN FORM!" 12 BARNABAS THEY CALLED ZEUS, AND PAUL THEY CALLED HERMES BECAUSE HE WAS THE CHIEF SPEAKER. 13 THE PRIEST OF ZEUS, WHOSE TEMPLE WAS JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY, BROUGHT BULLS AND WREATHS TO THE CITY GATES BECAUSE HE AND THE CROWD WANTED TO OFFER SACRIFICES TO THEM. 14 BUT WHEN THE APOSTLES BARNABAS AND PAUL HEARD OF THIS, THEY TORE THEIR CLOTHES AND RUSHED OUT INTO THE CROWD, SHOUTING: 15 "MEN, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? WE TOO ARE ONLY MEN, HUMAN LIKE YOU. WE ARE BRINGING YOU GOOD NEWS, TELLING YOU TO TURN FROM THESE WORTHLESS THINGS TO THE LIVING GOD, WHO MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH AND SEA AND EVERYTHING IN THEM. 16 IN THE PAST, HE LET ALL NATIONS GO THEIR OWN WAY. 17 YET HE HAS NOT LEFT HIMSELF WITHOUT TESTIMONY: HE HAS SHOWN KINDNESS BY GIVING YOU RAIN FROM HEAVEN AND CROPS IN THEIR SEASONS; HE PROVIDES YOU WITH PLENTY OF FOOD AND FILLS YOUR HEARTS WITH JOY." 18 EVEN WITH THESE WORDS, THEY HAD DIFFICULTY KEEPING THE CROWD FROM SACRIFICING TO THEM. 19 THEN SOME JEWS CAME FROM ANTIOCH AND ICONIUM AND WON THE CROWD OVER. THEY STONED PAUL AND DRAGGED HIM OUTSIDE THE CITY, THINKING HE WAS DEAD. 20 BUT AFTER THE DISCIPLES HAD GATHERED AROUND HIM, HE GOT UP AND WENT BACK INTO THE CITY. THE NEXT DAY HE AND BARNABAS LEFT FOR DERBE. 21 THEY PREACHED THE GOOD NEWS IN THAT CITY AND WON A LARGE NUMBER OF DISCIPLES. THEN THEY RETURNED TO LYSTRA, ICONIUM AND ANTIOCH, 22 STRENGTHENING THE DISCIPLES AND ENCOURAGING THEM TO REMAIN TRUE TO THE FAITH. "WE MUST GO THROUGH MANY HARDSHIPS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD," THEY SAID.

23 PAUL AND BARNABAS APPOINTED ELDERS FOR THEM IN EACH CHURCH AND, WITH PRAYER AND FASTING, COMMITTED THEM TO THE LORD, IN WHOM THEY HAD PUT THEIR TRUST. 24 AFTER GOING THROUGH PISIDIA, THEY CAME INTO PAMPHYLIA, 25 AND WHEN THEY HAD PREACHED THE WORD IN PERGA, THEY WENT DOWN TO ATTALIA. 26 FROM ATTALIA THEY SAILED BACK TO ANTIOCH, WHERE THEY HAD BEEN COMMITTED TO THE GRACE OF GOD FOR THE WORK THEY HAD NOW COMPLETED. 27 ON ARRIVING THERE, THEY GATHERED THE CHURCH TOGETHER AND REPORTED ALL THAT GOD HAD DONE THROUGH THEM AND HOW HE HAD OPENED THE DOOR OF FAITH TO THE GENTILES. 28 AND THEY STAYED THERE A LONG TIME WITH THE DISCIPLES.

INTRODUCTION: SOMEONE HAS SAID THAT THERE IS NO RETIREMENT FROM SERVICE FOR CHRIST, AND THAT IS TRUE. THERE ALWAYS SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST CAN DO, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES, SITUATIONS, OR SURROUNDINGS. YET, THERE ARE SOME “MISCONCEPTIONS” OUT THERE THAT EVEN THE STRONGEST OF BELIEVERS CAN FALL PREY TO; AND WHEN WE DO, WE LOSE OUR EFFECTIVENESS, TENACITY, JOY AND PASSION FOR CHRIST AND THE GREAT COMMISSION HE HAS ENTRUSTED US WITH.

TRANSITION: WITH THAT SAID, I WOULD LIKE TO USE THE PASSAGE BEFORE US THIS MORNING TO IDENTIFY SOME OF THOSE “MISCONCEPTIONS” FOR STOPPING.

1. THE WORK IS NOT DONE WHEN THINGS LOOK IMPOSSIBLE

a. I SEE TWO HERE AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS PASSAGE

i. THE IMMEDIATE SITUATION INVOLVING THE MAN WHO WAS LAME FROM BIRTH.

ii. THE RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE USING A LANGUAGE THAT THE APOSTLES COULD NOT COMMUNICATE IN.

b. OFTEN THE REACTION TO IMPOSSIBLE SITUATIONS IS TO SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THE SITUATION

i. AT BEST – TEMPORARILY UNTIL WE CAN EITHER GET ASSISTANCE, OF ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTION, ETC.

ii. AT WORST – PERMANENTLY SO AS TO NOT RISK FAILURE

1. WHEN WE CHOOSE THIS OPTION, WE OFTEN PUT UP “BARRIERS” THAT KEEP US FROM APPROACHING SIMILAR SITUATIONS

c. THE REAL QUESTION WE SHOULD BE ASKING IS, “WHAT WOULD GOD HAVE US TO DO WHEN FACED WITH “IMPOSSIBLE SITUATIONS?”

i. FIRST, WHO DO YOU THINK ULTIMATELY PUT YOU IN THAT SITUATION IN THE FIRST PLACE? IT WAS GOD.

1. THE FACT THAT GOD PUT YOU THERE MEANS, …

a. GOD DOES NOT THINK THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE

b. GOD HAS A PURPOSE – FIND THAT AND YOU WILL KNOW THE REASON YOU ARE THERE

2. GOD PUT YOU THERE AS A WAY TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO DEPEND ON HIM.

3. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT HE HAS PUT YOU IN.

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