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Confident Contagious Faith - Part 13

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • November 16, 2019
    12:15 PM
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Well this morning I'm thinking of a story of a time Elizabeth and I had been dating all of 3 months I recall we got together in December and I recall going up to meet her parents wondering if I was meeting future in-laws and then as time progressed I could tell very quickly that my parents really liked Elizabeth and they knew that this one I couldn't let get away and so they had to do everything in their power to try to make this thing work and so they said hey for spring break I'm putting this together they're here so they can correct later I suppose but they said why don't we take a trip down to the Keys will go scuba diving for spring break oh and by the way you can bring Elizabeth along well that sounded like fun and so I asked and sure enough we worked out the details and I had envisioned something a lot like this the sun shining where to go oh it disappeared anyway you get the idea it won't last long it must be in my Power Point that's what I envision is going to be sunny is going to be warm for me we get to take some walks on the beach all these wonderful things and then scuba dive I mean that's one of my favorite things to do and so this was a win win all the way around well my excitement gave way to the weather forecast then stead of this we had a lot more of this now for the you to scuba dive strong wind is not your friend because the waves are too rough and they won't take groups out and I have to say I was quite bummed I was a little put out I was a little sad you know you drive all that way you only have one spring break here we are and it is windy it's raining the conditions are not favorable but I will never forget Elizabeth had the best attitude of the whole group probably she was happy she was fun loving Oh but we're all together isn't this fun and you know it would contagious and I started to try and pick up a little bit and all that kind of thing but I was having a real hard time I don't know about you but I struggle. Specifically with this idea of circumstances not impacting my attitude do you any of you struggle with that I like things to be a certain way I like things to happen how they're supposed to happen I like them on time I like them decent and in order and when those things don't happen like I envision my attitude starts to wing a little bit maybe some here can relate but I was so impressed in fact I was so no over the top impressed with how Elizabeth was so just had a great attitude about this whole trip that I thought wow I mean I took notice at that point I thought maybe she was the one but after this Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad trip I knew she was the one because of her attitude in the midst of some pretty poor circumstances it's been wonderful ever since she's the best thing that ever happened to me but this morning I want to look as we look and continue in this series on Paul a man of grace and grit I'm calling this sermon here confident contagious faith and if you brought your Bibles I want to open to a well known story where Paul is confronted with some very trying circumstances and we're going to see how he ends Silas deal with these troubles some circumstances so if you have your Bibles open up to Acts chapter 16 beginning verse 16 and you will recall that he was given a vision he when he found some people meeting and they had some good small group times in terms of Bible study and prayer he found them down by the river and studied with them there there wasn't a synagogue where he was in Philip but then it turns south and so we pick up in chapter 16 of x. verse 16 Now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl possessed with the spirit of defamation met us who brought her man. Asters much profit by fortune telling verse 17 this girl followed Paul and us and cried out saying these men are the servants of the most high God who proclaim to us the way of salvation and this she did for many days and so picking up the next part of verse 18 and Paul it says greatly annoyed it's also translated Maybe in your translation as being grieved or very troubled turn and said to the spirit I command you in the name of Jesus Christ most powerful name in the universe to come out of her and he came out that there e our praise the Lord this is success 1st 19 but when her Masters saw that their hope of profit was gone this prophet still control much of society today they seize Paul and Silas and drag them into the market place to the authorities why the marketplace Well the marketplace was the center not only of social but of business life but also in ministering justice it all took place in the marketplace and so they brought them to the magistrates in verse 20 and said these men being Jews Casey and Lee trouble our city and they teach customs which are not lawful for us being Romans to receive or observe and see Jews were permitted to follow their own religion but they were forbidden to make proselyte tights of Roman citizens and so they were upset they were outraged here were getting the crowds worked up and everybody was bothered by all of this and then in verse 22 we read in the multitude rose up together against them Paul and Silas and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods this isn't looking very good is it so the last sermon we preached on the series of Paul we talked about when God says No Do you remember that but look here now God is not just saying no but things are getting much worse. 1st Member Phrygia the Holy Spirit forbade them God said no member girl Aisha God the Holy Spirit forbade them he said no yet again Micio again God said no no no no even to Bethany I'm 4 times in a row 4 doors are slammed somewhere between 3 or 400 miles traveled who knows how long these doors continue to close without explanation they're asking perhaps why but not getting good answers but then Paul receives a vision and he's told go to Macedonia across the sea to a more secular land where you have not yet been so they don't ask questions they go in faith they're confident this is a message of the Lord but now this the whole town is in uproar they've been beaten and it only gets worse verse 23 and when they laid many stripes on them they threw them into prison commanding the jailer to keep them securely having received such a charge he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks so the Holy Spirit said no no no no take a further distance away from home cross the sea go to this other land so that you can be arrested the clothes taken off your back so they can beat you and rip up your back and then as your back is torn open and bleeding and the flies are swirling we're going to put you in the inner prison the inner dungeon the place where we put the most hardened criminals not just because it's safer in there but because it is a much more challenging experience to say the least the floor is irregular there's no sunlight analyst picture so something coming through the door I don't think there was any light whatsoever if you need to use the restroom go right ahead help yourself that's why the floor was slanted so in some way shape or form it would drain out of intially vermin where the only things that would clean the inner prison and they might be nibbling on the parts of flesh coming off of your back so this is the experience I'm in stocks and that all these pictures of them in stock show them like you know what their feet up and everything is. Hill but typically they were contorted in different positions to be uncomfortable yet you can't move because you're in stocks and so the longer you're there your back starts to get tight this muscle starts to seize up you want to just even sit in these pews you've adjusted I don't know how many times it's a topic for another time and I imagine in the midst of all this I would find myself saying God Was this the plane you closed all the other doors for this inner prison experience what would your response have been God where are you get us out of here we don't deserve this all of that would be true but this is the part of this well known story that is so amazing to me but at midnight verse $25.00 Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them hey Silas Yeah we were going to prayer meeting but we're here so let's just have prayer meaning here Ok what are we saying and they start to sing I'd really like to know what they saying was that one of the Psalms was of the one that Lauren this morning we don't know do they have a voice and Paul have a voice like Charles To God Be The Glory great things he has done I don't know but I imagine to all of the other inmates listening this was a real head scratcher I mean we don't like our existence but at least we got a window at least we have mush coming under the door at least we can change positions freely these 2 guys after being beaten are in the inner prison and they're praying out loud they're singing and you can tell by their singing something's going on in there did they change the inner prison as a 1st class accommodations I don't think so and this had an impact somehow their circumstances were not impeding their attitudes and again I don't know about you but this is a challenging one for me I mean we ask those types of questions don't worry how's your day going what does that mean are you having a good. Day is basically asking the question based on your circumstances how do you feel well I'm actually having a pretty good day my boss gave me a red colleague bought me lunch today and so I'm doing pretty good next day it might be totally different I'm having a horrible day I'm caught in traffic and my boss had to give me this you know write up on something that really wasn't meals the other person may want to. Sorry you had a bad day should we allow she would be Ok with though this idea that circumstances whatever they are that just is going to be a reflection of how my attitude will be for the day I don't think that was the way Paul and Silas functioned Do you somehow their attitude was determined by something other than their circumstances somehow there was something deeper then the peripherals of life peripherals he's got beaten with rods are back is torn up but to them it was peripherals it was commentary because at the end of the day I know who I am and Jesus Christ I know he died to save me there's a plan and purpose for my life I'm on his mission and whatever happens to me so be it and so I'm having a good day and the other prisoners are listening to this or saying this doesn't make any sense friends to people who don't know the Lord it doesn't make any sense and that's what they call a powerful witness there's some different about you you get upset like everybody else you know backbite like everybody else you not dealt all the time you're always cheery you have something I don't have but I want it that's something Bryce always strikes me about going overseas kids that have virtually nothing happiest kids will ever find I magine if verses like this has some you do it it Acts Chapter 5 years 41 rejoined seeing that we were counting worthy to suffer shame for his name sake think about that for a minute Lord I'm yours this terrible thing has happened but I'm going to rejoice that I was counted worthy you saw something in me that said I can trust this individual with this challenge they're going to praise me anyway to stay. Shame for his sake he can be worthy praise the Lord I'm having a great day how about this one I'll very gladly spend and be spent for your souls we oftentimes asked different questions How much is a pay How long do I have to be there what I have to do Don't know if that fits into my routine I'll think about it but at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them prime example circumstances don't shape their attitudes by God's grace we can stay positive in the face of trials and adversity and everyone's watching and listening what I call a captive audience and they're stunned some have been there for a time they know what comes out of the inner prison and it's usually shrieks and moans cursing and swearing at all hours of the night but never before in all their hears in this same prison if there's someone like that have we ever seen somebody go in and pray and prays like these 2 men maybe when their food came around they said to the guards will have what they're having but friends don't miss this our attitudes are our choice they're not subject to what is happening around us they're not subject to our financial situation they're not subject to the events of the day your boss your neighbors your kids your spouse none of them control your attitude your attitude is your choice and if I'm soley focused on my preferences my agenda my wants my desires there's a real good chance that my attitude will go up and down with the circumstances of life like a yo yo but if I'm focused on God's preferences God's agenda God's once God's desires then I can be thrown into prison but I can still seeing where I am plants it is your attitude a slave of circumstances or is it a slave to Christ what can man do to me my salvation is still secure my outcome in Christ is secure because I know who has the last word therefore my attitude doesn't have to change. In fact nothing of great importance has changed my relationship with God is intact so I can praise I can pray I can sing I think of the verse the joy of the Lord is my strength what do we not have today to be joyous of in the Lord has he not done anything and everything for us and no matter what happens to you and mean later on this afternoon that fact will not change I know for myself more often I need to be like Paul and Silas What did Paul say I'm a slave I'm a bondservant to Jesus Christ and so if he wants me here in this prison rather than preaching on the corner I'll be here preaching in the prison it's not the end of our story verse 26 suddenly there was a great earthquake so the foundations of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed I think angels were sent from heaven and with a boom everything was stirred up and it says in verse 27 and the keeper of the prison this is not just some minimum wage guy this is the top guy of the entire prison they keeper of the prison awaken from sleep and seeing the prison doors open supposing the prisoners had fled drew his sword it was about to kill himself Paul called her 28 with a loud voice saying do yourself no harm for we're all here now all of them are loosed of all of them are in prison for a good reason let's suppose why would they still be there why would they have scattered and be gone when it doesn't tell us why just says that they were but I would suggest to you that when somebody in the face of trying circumstances is cool and calm and collected more often than not they'll end up being the leader and so when Paul and Silas stay they all stay there waiting taking their cues from them and they say Wait don't do that we're all right here we're fine I think we're also safe to assume that this jailer probably treated them roughly when he put them in the cell he probably was the one or very likely could have been the one that invoked the last. I don't know and now the tables have turned and now is the opportunity for Paul and Silas to give him what is common but now we see what Paul and Silas are truly made of and I imagine to this jailer in the humility of that moment is remembering the slave girl that was demon possessed and says these terms of the most high God are point out the way of salvation they have something he doesn't have and so the next verse in it called for a light ran in and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas and brought them out and said serves what must I do to be say let's stop and think about this he's already been saved in some respect saved from what his life had been spared Sometimes I think we talk about salvation simply in terms of eternal life and that's important that's certainly a huge piece of it but I think God wants to save us in more ways and more respects than just be able to live for ever I believe God wants to save us from this present life of sin and evil habits that cause pain in all relationships that were connected with what must I do to be saved I would submit there's more than just a question about life about self preservation but rather it's asking Paul and Silas I want what you have I've been told the rumor mill says it's about salvation tell me what I had to do to be say you're beaten you're mistreated you're put me in a prison with open wounds and stench and vermin yet you sing praises to your God I don't have that but I want folks as a popular theology that says today believe in God you have eternal life and what you do after that doesn't matter I can keep on sinning because after all I cannot overcome I'm helpless in that area but friends in the whole of the Gospel or that is not the whole of the gospel if you will God doesn't want to just save us for eternity in terms of our life he wants to save us from this life of sin that we're presently in today I imagine over the many. The hours leading up to this moment the Holy Spirit was convicting this jailer he was comparing his life with that of Paul and Silas what they had vs what he had and he was no longer satisfied he wanted more what must I do to be saved from this life this existence I find myself in how can we say that's the gospel to say just believe in God to give you everlasting life but until then it's just garbage from here till the end that's not the gospel the gospel is the change to life the gospel isn't about face the gospel is about changing the here and now and your circumstances may stay the same but your attitudes change entirely what must I do to be saved right here in the heart of the Christmas story we read Matthew one verse $21.00 and she will bring forth a son and you shall call his name Jesus for He will save his people in their sins from their sins God once and longs to save us from our sins folks because sin in facts everything we do it infuses it with pain and heartache and guilt and Christ came to die in our place not just to save us from the penalty of sin which we all deserve but to deliver us from the power of sin in our life and like this quotation from review and herald years ago through all ages in every nation those that believe that Jesus can and will save them personally from sin or the elect and chosen of God They are his peculiar treasure they obey his calling come out of the world and separate themselves from every unclean thought and unholy practice is that because you're trying to earn something no it's not to be sadists because they are saved it's not the root is the fruit who doesn't want to enjoy the fruit now I've admired some roots before sometimes the tree falls over and there's a huge bunch of roots but I enjoy the food a whole lot more God has given us something called salvation but he's also given us not just self-preservation but power to overcome don't I want to apply that to my life today that's what we see in Paul and Silas That's why their witness. So powerful because they've allowed the Holy Spirit to completely change them not of the 2nd Coming and the culmination of all things but now in this life we have seen as we've traveled with Saul of Tarsus Now Paul he's not the same person twice once to remove our bent on sinful habits and practices and tendency to give us power to be obedient to God and to his word until loud the power of that word to transform into man and women of God Yet sadly many of us are denying ourselves that precious experience folks this is not legalism this is not earning your salvation this is not proving yourself to God worthy of anything no this is the surrender of yourself to the Holy Spirit this is surrender to God doing work in you this is surrendering to God's plans and purposes down allow him to recalibrate your attitude and making yourself available for him to work on your heart 2nd Corinthians 517 Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation old things have passed away behold all things have become new you might say well how does that happen Libyans to 13 where is God who works in you both to will and to do for good pleasure you're not the one creating these good works you're just making yourself available you're subjecting yourself to His word you're praying that the Holy Spirit will change your heart and he does the work is still by grays but it's for our benefit 2nd Peter one verse 3 his divine power whose divine power his has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness he doesn't say give up you can't handle it you know it's too much for you what is too much for me but through his divine power he's given me everything necessary to overcome this once from great controversy for 89 through defects in the character Satan works to gain control of the whole mind he's doing that more effectively today than maybe he ever has in my lifetime through the. Pocket devices don't get me started on them and he knows that if these defects are cherished he will succeed therefore he is constantly seeking to see the followers of Christ with his fatal softness tree another word for that is fatal masterpiece with the intent to deceive his fatal Sophos tree that is impossible for them to overcome or that it is impossible for them to overcome There's a sin in your life it's impossible you're going to have that for every just got to you know live with it and if he can do people on this issue over and over and over again to cherish their defects and say well you know God is going to come because I can essentially were saying God is not powerful enough to do a work in you cause not powerful enough then are you saying that the devil is more powerful than God to do a work in you and if that's what you're saying then we are in fact following the wrong God because they need is more powerful this isn't small stuff this is big stuff but we say it all the time it's impossible I can't overcome this friends give it to God say Lord I've tried you know I've tried and I have come to nothing you're going to have to do it and he'll say Praise the Lord I'm so glad you have his divine power has given us everything that we need for godliness the devil is seeking to undermine our experience to cause to feel that we cannot be overcomers and of ourselves he is correct but again his divine powers given us everything another slide Hebrews 4 verse 15 but we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin and I heard so many people say well he was God Of course you know the kind of read you this from desire of ages page 24 He Jesus endured every trial which we are subject and he exercise in his own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us whoa Jesus exercise no power if there is not available to me and to you Can this be true as man he met temptation and overcame in the strength given him from. God he got it from the same place that you and I can get it the problem is we don't go looking for it we don't go seeking after it we'll spend time on our knees we don't pray if we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure that upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us so we had to endure it all and I would say a 1000 times above what you and I lick our wounds over contain we know in his life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God as the Son of man he gave us an example of obedience has a son of God He gives us power to obey so he wasn't some example that is so high an untouchable that is beyond us I mean he is but the same power that was available to him is available to you and me that's a humbling thought because he sure did a whole lot better than I do I make up excuses all day long well I'm human Well I'm better than that guy over there you want to be married to him Elizabeth Libyans to 13 for his God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure you may not even have the want to I don't want to give this up I like it I live for this thing Bible tells me give it up not happen keep reading your Bible keep praying keep allowing the Holy Spirit to nudge you until eventually you say Ok I've at least come to the point now that I recognize this is not good for me by Still I give it up keeping your by will keep praying he come to church you know what I haven't done nothing all week praise the Lord 2 years later I don't even think about that anymore praise the Lord would have Paul had said I'm saved by grace but I cannot overcome my bad temper I can't overcome my negative thoughts my evil tendencies what kind of witness would Paul have been I don't know you would have been a witness for the power of the Gospel but rather a witness of a powerless gospel now doesn't want to save us in our sin but from our sin I don't want to tell my son is in the and pile getting stung or in the be nasty or whatever it is don't worry you won't kill ya you know before how to save him from the business he was to give us victory through our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ Proverbs 2813 and he who covers his stand will not prosper but whoever confesses and 1st takes them will have mercy brings us back to the jailer who in humility was asking servers What must I do I promise you it wasn't service when they came in service What must I do to be saved verse $31.00 so they said Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved you and your household now Christ is another word for anointed one or Messiah Jesus we know is our deliver our Savior from sin we just read it Matthew one verse 21 but lord is he the Lord of your life except the Lord Jesus Christ you know we say you in your household and in verse 32 then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house they had a Bible study let's look at some of these things is not that complex is actually quite simple you know every Bible study comes down to surrender to God but they all come down to different if choose different topics some different subject matter surrender to God Where should I start where ever it all into the same place surrender to God I never asked my dad went down I feel like I keep preaching the same sermon about surrender he says well that's the bottom line of all of it all isn't it Ok so they get down they have this Bible study and then verse $33.00 took them the same out of the night washed their stripes off of Paul and Silas and immediately he and his family were baptized praise the Lord all because of a transformation of this in sinister man Saul of Tarsus who was transformed by the power of the Gospel his life was changed at a core level and now by God's grace alone he's demonstrating a confident and contagious faith and his witness impacts another secular mine for Christ and the gospel so whether it's solid Tarsus or the keeper of the prison the simple fact remains if we humble ourselves before God He longs to do a work in us for His glory that we too may have a confident. And by God's grace contagious faith in Jesus Christ the real question is one of surrender will you let him how you do it quite simple it's just union with Christ when Christ abides in the heart the whole nature is transformed Christ spirit his love softens the heart subdues the soul and raises the thoughts and desires towards God and heaven and you do that day after day after day after day and you can't help but be changed relations to 20 I've been crucified with Christ and I no longer live Christ lives in me the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me but I want to do this but I want to do that sorry i is crucified with Christ I no longer live Jesus lives in me 2nd Corinthians 318 but we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord our being transformed into the same image from glory to glory how are you transformed by beholding Christ Well I'm just not having any success will then behold Christ more stop beholding your sins so much stop putting all your focus on those issues focus on Christ the author and finisher of our faith he was 12 years to looking on to Jesus the author and finisher 3 humble ourselves before God He longs to do work for His glory that our attitudes won't be wrapped up in circumstances but rather we can have a confident and contagious faith in him to your Holy Father we're so thankful that you are a gentle shepherd that you have overcome sin for us to grant us pardon the Lord also makes available to us through the power of the Holy Spirit power from on high to overcome that we may live life and live it more abundantly for your honor and for your glory and so Lord I pray that you will help us in the challenging circumstances of life keep our attitude in our minds. And have a confidence you can take. It is very by your grace Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.


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