Beloved, the portion of scripture we will study this morning is about God’s guidance. So often we wonder what God’s will for our life is. We are often asking the Lord, “Where do I go? Or what do I do?” We just don’t want answers, but we want specific answers.
Beloved, if you find yourself unsure about God’s specific will for your life, then please do not worry. You are in good company. The Apostle Paul, one of the giants of Christianity himself was uncertain about which direction God was leading him. Beloved, you may not know where God is leading you but know this truth: God’s will for you will never lead you where the Grace of God cannot keep you!
Beloved, God is more anxious to guide you than you are to be guided. He has given us His guidance through His Word, through His presence and through His peace.
Beloved, as we study this portion of scripture remember the truth of Scripture as found in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
The Book of Acts is the study of a movement, the Church; but it also the study of people and their lives. This week we begin a three-week series as we look at the lives of three people in Acts Chapter 16.
Today we’ll look at Timothy. The week after we’ll look at the man from Macedonia and the week after that we’ll look at the life of Lydia, a dealer of purple cloth.
But back to this week; the name Timothy means “honoring God” or “honored by God.” Timothy was called to take on a task that he did not feel qualified to do. He was often in way over his head, yet that is where God is able to receive the glory, because we know that it was not we, but he in us!
Beloved, you also may be called to take on a task you are totally unqualified for. Do not fret, because God is in control. If you are a Timothy, take heart, because it is God working in you and through you for His glory!
Beloved, the Book of Acts is the story of a movement. The movement began when Jesus Christ left earth and the church began. The movement continues today through the lives of God’s people. In a sense then the Book of Acts is still being written. A chapter is added every time a person comes to the Lord.
The Book of Acts is also the story of people, people that God uses. And guess what, God uses imperfect people. This is evidentiary through the passage of scripture we are studying. While some people prefer to look at the early church through stain glass windows, the Word of God reveals the early church warts and all.
Ministry takes various forms. It can build up, it can grow up but it can also tear up. In essence, the reality is that ministry hurts. The success in ministry comes in faithfulness and perseverance. It would be too easy to quit when it tears up but the mature believer keeps going in the midst of pain and separation. As Peter told Jesus in John 6:66-68, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Beloved, there are many who deny the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even some so called Priests, Pastors and Spiritual leaders deny that Christ has risen from the dead. On a Resurrection Sunday a few years ago one of those pastors even proposed that Jesus had not died but had merely passed out and was later revived. It is called the swoon theory.
A humorous letter to the editor to a Christian magazine accurately evaluated the "Swoon Theory":
Dear Eutychus: Our preacher said, on Easter, that Jesus just swooned on the cross and that the disciples nursed Him back to health. What do you think? Sincerely, Bewildered.
Dear Bewildered: Beat your preacher with a cat-of-nine-tails with 39 heavy strokes, nail him to a cross; hang him in the sun for 6 hours; run a spear through his heart; embalm him; put him in an airless tomb for 36 hours and see what happens. Sincerely, Eutychus.
Beloved, today we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is Risen! Jesus is Alive!
Beloved, the stage is set. The curtain rises. The last act of the drama begins. Here comes Jesus into the city of Jerusalem.
Perhaps 2.5 million people crowded the narrow streets converging on this holy city at Passover time. Garments were spread on the road. Branches torn from palm trees fanned the same air, which carried shouts of "Hosanna."
All this was no accident; Jesus knew what He was doing. In advance, He had arranged for a donkey; and two disciples brought it to Him. It was no accident that marked His mode of transportation. Matthew reveals that Jesus set the stage for what we now call Holy Week so as to fulfill the prophecy spoken centuries before in Zechariah 9:9 and Isaiah 62:11. "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See your king comes to you gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey"' (Matthew 21:5).
Call it the first century or the 21st century, the picture remains: Your King comes to you!