We have come to the end of our journey in the book of Acts. But the end is merely the beginning. We are an extension of the 1st century church. We are an extension of the gentiles who were given the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those truths should motivate us to be a church on a mission.
The journey matters. Luke began the story of Paul's journey to Rome in Acts 21, and spent the next several chapters describing all that Paul went through to get there. In this message from Acts 28:1-16, we see the end of Paul's odyssey–his arrival to Rome. As we reflect on Paul's adventure, we'll discover some "road rules" that will help encourage us to persevere in the trial we'll face on our own life's journey.
Whether you like storms or not, sometimes we know when they are coming and sometimes they pop up "outta nowhere." Paul's experience with Luke & Aristarchus on the Mediterranean Sea has a profound impact on how we respond when our life is turned upside down. When wave after wave crashes in on us, what do we do? God makes is presence evident and we can anchor our souls to His promises. God always reveals His purposes in His time. These are truths we can cling to while navigating the storms.
What does it mean to "share your God-story?" Paul was a master communicator, but when it came to sharing his God-story, he was meticulously simple. Paul took the time to explain, to an unbelieving audience, his encounter with Jesus. The greatest part of the greatest story ever told is the story of what God has done in us through His son, Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Conversion rocks your world!
We live in extremely crazy days...well according to our usual American dream. How do Christians live in a world where corruption is the norm? How do Christians live in a world where persecution may be on the increase? The apostle Paul gave us an example to live by. Our faith in Christ and our eternal hope is where we fix our eyes. Paul is on trial by a corrupt political system & religious order. How he handles that corruption and persecution will teach us how to live a life that trusts God no matter the circumstances and gives us the energy to persevere.
The providence of God even amid a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day can either be overwhelming or faith-stretching or both. The apostle Paul was sitting in the barracks (imprisoned) awaiting what would happen next. In today's text we read about a conspiracy & plan to kill Paul, but by God's providential hand using a nephew, a Tribune, a Roman Army, & a letter, Paul was going to make it to Governor Felix. Do you ever look back at your life and see where God has been working & leading you? Growing & stretching you?
"That's Not Fair." What do you do when God allows you to walk through circumstances in this life that are difficult? The apostle Paul helps us understand what it takes to go through this life with all its brokenness & still being able to trust in a sovereign God.
Sharing the gospel can seem like an overwhelming task or even a scary one. When given the opportunity, Paul simply shared his God-story to grab people's attention. The task just became simple. Paul told who he was before he met Jesus. Then he shared the part of his story where he encountered Jesus. After that, Paul shared how his life had changed because of his encounter with Jesus. That's a framework we can use. That's a framework upon which we can build.
Have you ever wondered about God's will for your life? Have you ever struggled with a big decision, waiting for some sign from God to give you direction? Or have you questioned whether God's will is really the best thing for your life? God's will is God's best, and in this message we will learn how to discover God's will for our lives.
We finish up Acts 20 with part 2 of What Is Our Idea of Church? Be sure to check out part 1 from last week, if you missed it!