Sermons

Destination Rome

Sun, Apr 09, 2017
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The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” -- Acts 23:11(ESV) And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. -- Acts 28:15-16 (ESV) I’ve heard people say that they were looking for God’s will. When they say it, I think of Indiana Jones. If they look hard enough, decipher the clues, and avoid the booby traps then, just maybe, they will find it. Just make sure you use the right amount of sand to offset the weight of that idol. This kind of quest comes with the assumption that if we could discover God's specific and exact hidden plan, then life would be easy peasy. But I have a feeling that if God laid it all out in vivid detail to us, our response would not be joyful embrace, but screaming and running in terror. God has a purpose and plan for each of us. It’s not as mysterious as many think, yet discovering it won’t make life simple. Just ask Paul. He knew he was going to Rome, but the twists in the road to get there were numerous. This week, we close out the book of Acts in our series: Gospel on the Move. In a way, these chapters are the climax of the adventure. Paul will finally see the culmination of a 3+ year old promise from God. But this becomes also an open ended story. I want to encourage you to take some time and read through these chapters as you prepare for Sunday. Also ask yourself the question "what might be God’s plans and purposes for me"? Most of the time we are silent and imprisoned in a maze of self-consciousness. But when we do muster up the courage to speak about our faith, often we are unsure about what to say. We are afraid of an argument or idea that we have never heard of. We think we need every answer. And we fear that they may really look at us. One peek behind the curtain of our life will reveal the mess. Is that you? The book of Acts has displayed for us the story of the early church and it's mission. While we live in a different time, with different challenges, and different questions, the gospel remains the same. This week we will unfold the story of Paul's time before Agrippa the King. His family had been a brutal enemy of Christ and his followers. What would Paul say? I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through Acts 25-26 and get yourself familiar with the account before Sunday.
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