Summary: one of a series on Acts

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. Some of them are real dandies. I was calling on a family with a dog that was wheezing in the corner. I ignored it for a while and then said, "If that was my dog I’d have it put to sleep". Somehow the family, who loved that old dog, didn’t see things the same way...

There are some mistakes that you have no way out of!

But mistakes can be good ...

if you learn from them...

If you learn to use them to motivate yourself...

I’d like to think that I have learned a few things over the years. Some from experience and mistakes I have made. Some from others and their mistakes.

The best things I have learned come from Scripture

Acts 11:19-26

Acts 11:19 (NIV) Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.

Acts 11:20 (NIV) Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.

Acts 11:21 (NIV) The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

Acts 11:22 (NIV) News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

Acts 11:23 (NIV) When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

Acts 11:24 (NIV) He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Acts 11:25 (NIV) Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,

Acts 11:26 (NIV) and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

We can learn some important things from this passage

there are some very important things to be learned.

Some mistakes that we dare not make about the church and about our attitude toward ministry.

Major mistakes in ministry that we will not make at BCC

Mistake #1 - Only Leaders can be ministers

We have already talked about this at some length

Paul preached it Eph 4:11-12

Peter taught it

The ministry of all Believers. The early believers practiced it including those scattered by the persecution. In fact hardship is sometimes an asset.

It reveals our true priorities.

Look in Acts 8 and you will find that it was the people - not the apostles who stayed in Jerusalem

The people were scattered like dandy-lion seeds in the wind and so did the story of Jesus

Mistake #2 - Only certain kinds of people can or will respond to the message

They went only to those like themselves intially

Hard for the Jews that spread originally after the persecution. They had some traditions in thier minds about who could be saved - only good people

Only people like us

Only Jews can be saved

But Jesus died for all - not just some

Sometimes we are limited not by God but by our own ideas - of who might hear the message and respond to it

Let me tell you about Ken Bailey...

Ken was a laborer on the Alaska Pipeline back in the mid 70’s. He worked up in the icy cold for a year and came back with $30,000. That was a lot of money 30 years ago! He blew it all in a month.

He went back and in six months made another $18,000. He came home again and this time he decided to visit church.

The first Sunday he walked through the doors and sat in the back seat I had two thoughts - 1) He looked just like Grizzly Adams - beard and all and 2) Here was a man that would never become a Christian.

I preached the message and gave an invitation and the instant the music began Ken came rushing down the aisle. I thought he was going to crush me! Tears came down his face as he gave his life to Jesus.

The next Sunday he came back to services and I didn’t recognize him - he was dressed in a 3 piece suit and no beard! When I asked what caused him to shave and dress up he said, "Jesus changed me on the inside and I want people to know it - so I changed the outside."

There are people all around us who we look at and dismiss! We do them great harm!

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