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Even the Strongest Leaders Cry - Part 20

David Wright

Presenter

David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church

Recorded

  • May 16, 2020
    11:00 AM
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John Roebling he was a German born civil engineer and as his career in advanced he found very quickly to his passion was in suspension bridges and as he got more and more experience and was building the and producing the wire rope that was necessary in these massive bridges each bridge got a little bit bigger a little bit longer and little bit more elaborate in till finally towards the end of his career or what would be the end of his career he dreamed up something big he wanted and actually designed the bridge that would be known later as the Brooklyn Bridge and this was going to be much longer the thing he'd done before 1600 feet almost across which would have then been and when it was built it was the longest suspension bridge in the world 127 feet off the water and so he had this idea this concept is mine he had a dream he wanted to do it and when he was out on this day measuring out the site where it was going to shoot across and connect banning the East River of New York. There was a little bit of an accident that took place a tugboat somehow and docking and all the rest I don't know if he was helping trying to get it in place but someway somehow his foot was crushed and it was crushed so severely they had to amputate some of his toes but they said you need to stay here in the hospital let us treat you or else this infection could be really bad to which Roebling said no no no I have this I'm fine let me just deal with this on my own I'll deal with it in my own way I'll take care of my own medical care and so he went home and he did exactly that and he tried to flush it out with water repeatedly time and time again but it wasn't long before he started showing some signs of his jolly locking up a permanent smile coming across his face seizures started to develop then dementia Yes strobing was getting tetanus and within 24 days of the accident John Roebling died in 867 never to see his dream realized it took 3 more years to get everything in place it was actually his son that oversaw the project and 16 years after his death the bridge became a reality but I think of this accident and this attitude John let us help you let us treats you let us make sure we can do everything in our power to keep this from getting infected and then I know I'll be just fine thanks but no thanks I think that expression you can lead a horse to water you know how it ends but you can't make him drink what would have been the outcome we don't know maybe he would have made it maybe he would have survived but he refused help. And today as we continue in this series Paul a man of grace and grit we see a very sad piece of history of God's people when Paul goes again to Jerusalem as we're about to read and virtually the response is thanks but no thanks we're just fine and in fact they get more aggressive than that and so I've titled This is number 20 now we've been at this awhile we're getting close to the end. Paul has wrapped up all 3 of his missionary journeys he's on his way back to the familiar city of Jerusalem where he was brought up the city where he worked and served as a Ferris see price felt as much if not more like home than Tarsus but in today's piece even the strongest leaders cry What does that mean even the strongest leaders cry I hope you have your Bibles we have a lot of verses to get through this morning largely as we pieced this story together to try and put together the context of the tears of Paul. And so we're picking up our Bibles and turning to Acts chapter 21 we have a lot of verses I don't want you to get lost in the verses so every now and again I'm going to change this slide so you'll have some idea where is this guy and it can be a little bit frustrating when they just keep going on you can't find where they are so we're in Acts Chapter 21 beginning verse 17 and there we read it when we had come to Jerusalem the brother and received us gladly so they receive Paul gladly and who is they well it mentions James Baker who we know to be the Presiding Elder or head elder also the brother of Jesus and leading or leader in the church council in Acts Chapter 15 we went over that some time ago over the requirements of the Gentiles and so it's not just James but it's all the elders of the church in Jerusalem these are the believers of Jesus they are the Jews that except Jesus' sacrifice so it says and when we as the we when we had come to Jerusalem the brother and as the brother I computed the brother I just mentioned received us as Paul and those who were traveling with them gladly and on the following day Paul went in with us to James and all the elders were present and when he had greeted them he told in detail all those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry What are some of the things that Paul may have mentioned in detail one of the river revival that he may have mentioned the burning of the Nagios books perhaps the going up on air Yop a Guinness or any other small group Bible study that he had it turned into a small group and company and eventually a church with leadership and he tells them in detail story after story detail after detail and it says in verse 20 when they heard it that's the brother and they glow. Laura fide the Lord praise the Lord for what he's doing in all of these places and when he says these places really talking about the gentiles where Paul has been ministering these heathens if you will and how they're coming to the Lord then continuing on here the 2nd part of Verse 20 it says and they said to him you see Brother how many myriads or we could say literally thousands of Jews there are who have believed and they are all zealous for the law and now we're talking about not Gentiles but Jews thousands of them but they're still zealous for the law verse 21 but they have been informed about you Paul that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses saying that they not odd to circumcise their children nor walk according to the customs What then the assembly must certainly meet for they will hear that you have come and so there is zealous for the law they have not been fully liberated from the Jewish ceremonies the customs the rituals that God gave but ultimately Jesus fulfilled but this is been so ingrained they can't let it go and so there's Ellis for the law and they keep being informed obviously there's zealous for spreading exaggerating and damaging reports about Paul that Paul is teaching forsake Moses Now friends there was no more serious charges could be laid before Jews Moses what the law mode over this is a pillar this is the foundation I can't believe Paul he must be off his rocker and so Paul is giving this report praise the Lord but Paul you need to know there's thousands of Jews here they're still zealous for the law and they hear that you're disregarding the law entirely. But then they have a plan verse $23.00 Therefore do what we the brethren tell you Paul we have 4 men who have taken of how take them and be purified with them and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you Paul are nothing but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the Law This plan is yet another example that they still hold to the Jewish ceremony and they're saying Paul if this is not the case if this is not true that you have just done away with all the laws of Moses and so on then you need to prove it and how you prove it here's our plan do what we tell you Paul we have these 4 gentlemen there part way through all these ceremonial washings and cleansing and so on you go join them in fact you pay for them to finish and they have to pay for all different things the sacrifice and the washings and the different things that are are done and so Paul is given this opportunity are you this heretic or are you still one of us now let me ask did Paul have to do this you know the ceremonies were no longer something that the people had to do or to keep God had to fill those Or gee this I should say more specifically had fulfilled those but in Paul's attempt. To appease them and not be a stumbling block will see here that he goes along with an interesting way acts of the Apostles 4 or 5 says this he Paul felt that if by any reasonable concession he could win them to the truth he would remove a great obstacle to the success of the Gospel in other places that's what Paul felt that's what was motivating his decision if I can do this to keep from from having this big barrier this big obstacle that they'll start listening to my testimony if I do this thing it's no big deal whatever it doesn't matter yes it's been fulfilled but it's this is a big thing for them fine that's what he felt but we have to keep reading here it says on the pain of inspiration but he Paul was not authorized of God to concede as much as they asked. Was an Authorized of God Another way to put it this was not according to God's plan this is not what God wanted Paul to do pretty hard to stand up against the brother and know thousands of Jews Have you ever been maligned been part of a vicious. I don't know backbiting or gossip handle and and Pastor Wright we've heard that you're doing this and you're involved in that it's very troubling to us but we have a plan says the brother if you will do this if you will prove your faithfulness then we'll believe you how tempting to just jump in and say Ok let's do it was clear my name was go forward but he was not authorized of God to concede I don't imagine we don't show any sign or indication here that Paul ass God that made that he makes it a matter of prayer and so he gives in we keep reading verse 26 then Paul took them in these are the form him going through the purification rights and the next day having them purified with them entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification at which time an offering to be made for each one of them verse 27 now in the 7 days were almost ended the Jews from Asia now Asia is where Paul has been spending much of his time Asia is where Paul has been on his missionary journeys Asia is where they've tried to kill Paul on multiple occasions and so here we have Jews from Asia seen Paul in the temple stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on Paul cry now men of Israel hope this is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people the law and this place this sacred temple and furthermore he also brought Greeks into this temple and has defiled this holy place for they had previously. Seeing trophyless the a season with him in this city whom they supposed that Paula brought into the temple so they see Paul they are you don't like Paul maybe he's had something over his head or something he's in the crowd he's not really standing out he's going through these right but towards the end these Jews from Asia they spot I know that face that's Paul and they make this big to do and in order to get the crowds all excited and heightened yet again they spread more slander there was this gentile I saw him with him in the city he must have brought him to the temple would you see him in the temple Don't confuse the story with the facts and so everybody is in an uproar for prophecy says they cry out min of Israel help verse $28.00 with the fury of demons and what they charge in verse $29.00 for prophecy affirms it's holy faults but they supposed And that's all that they needed so continuing on here. Verse 32 and I somehow skipped 30 let's pick up there and all the city was disturbed and the people ran together seize Paul and dragged him out of the temple and immediately the doors were shut and now they were seeking to kill him How do you seek to kill somebody perhaps with stones you don't want to have blood on your hands in the temple but we'll beat him with things we'll throw him those things at him we'll try and incite the crowd to do our dirty work whatever it takes but this man deserves to die and so while they're seeking to kill him this is created such an uproar news came to the commander in verse $31.00 of the gears in that all Jerusalem was in an uproar and he immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them and when they saw the commander on the soldiers they stop beating Paul we don't give a description of what Paul looks like at this point but it doesn't take long for a mob to do some serious damage we have to get some significant hits in just in case he's going to try and fight back and then once he's down we can ease off a little bit and finish the job and so I imagine Paul is bruised and battered there's blood probably coming off of his lip his eye has been smacked maybe he's got some some major scrubs on his arms and his legs from being down the ground and holding over his head I don't know what he looks like but he doesn't look good and we pick up where we left off where do we leave off and they stop being Paul verse 32 verse 33 then the commander came near and took him and commanded him to be banned with 2 chains. And he asked he who was who he was and what he had done and some among the multitude cried one thing and some another so when he could not ascertain the truth because of the to molt he commanded him to be taken into the barracks didn't say he reached the barracks but he's commanded to be taken to the barracks and when he reached the stairs he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob where that puts in a mental picture here we have soldiers here we have all kinds of people there and they have to physically carry Paul because the mob is so animalistic there clawing at Paul to put him to death Granted this is their we say a church function we're trying to have church we're trying to honor God we're trying to be holy we're trying to pray we're trying to offer sacrifices and we're trying to kill Paul before the Romans take him away whatever the cost 1st 36 for them all to the people followed after crying out Oh way with him then verse 37 when then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks he said to the commander may I speak to you he replied Can you speak Greek are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the 4000 assassins out into the wilderness he's scratching his head you say no wait a 2nd I just assumed a lot of assumptions in these stories I just assumed you were that Egypt ssion were those for thousands assassins out into the wilderness and here you come back again that's why I brought this whole Garrus it down because it was just going to become this big brouhaha that's not you but Paul said verse 39 I'm a Jew from Tarsus and felicity a citizen of no mean city and I employ you permit me to speak to the people so when given permission Paul stood on the stairs and motion with his hand to the people and when there was great silence he spoke to them in the Hebrew language and we read too many. Much of this before a lot of this is the story that gives us more details of Paul's own conversion there in Acts Chapter 9 and so we've been through this but he says in verse 3 I am indeed a Jew born in Tarsus of Salissa brought up in this city at the feet of good male you taught according to the strictness of our Father's Law and I was jealous towards God as you all are today all right we're listening I personally q. to this way to the death binding and delivering into prison both men and women so also the high priest bears me witness and all the counsel of the elders for whom I receive letters to the brethren and when to just Damascus 140 miles away a week on foot to bring in chains even those who were there in Jerusalem to be punished were still listening and in a verse 6 he says it happened as I came near Damascus at about noon suddenly a great light from heaven shown around me I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me Saul Saul why are you persecuting me so I answered Who are you Lord and he said to me I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting and those who were with me and indeed saw the light and were afraid but they did not hear the voice of him who spoke to me 1st hand so I said What shall I do Lord and the Lord said to me arise and go to Damascus and there you will be told all the things which are appointed for you to do and then he goes on and tells about how he was blinded how he had to wait until Anna nighest came and then finally and a nice comes in verse 14 he says the God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know his will and see the just one and hear the voice of his mouth for you will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard and now why are you waiting to rise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord. The crowd still listening they're still tracking verse 17 Now it happened when I return to Jerusalem I was praying in the temple that I was in a trance and saw him saying to me make haste get out of the Druze them quickly for they will not receive your testimony concerning me so I said Lord they know that in every synagogue I in prison and beat those who believed on you and when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed I also was standing by consenting to his death and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him then he said to me depart for I will send you Paul far from here on 3 missionary journeys to whom the Gentiles not God's chosen people to God an chosen people that are now chosen to the Gentiles and that's when the crowd went crazy were in verse 22 Chapter 22 and they listened to him until this word what word do you suppose it was Gentiles the g word we don't want to say it but he said it he should have and they raise their voices and said oh way way such a fellow from the earth for he is not fit to live. Then they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks and said that he should be examined under scourging so you might know why they shouted so against him he's confused what's the big deal why are they so irate and so they bound him verse 25 with songs and Paul said to the centurion who stood by is it lawful for you to scourge a man who's a Roman and uncondemned. You have to remember Paul knew the law backwards and forwards inside and out he's not just some peasant an educated individual numbers 26 when this interview heard that he when told the commander saying Take care what you do for this man is a Roman then the commander came and said Him Tell me are you a Roman He said yes and the commander answered with a large sum I obtained the citizenship and Paul said but I was born a citizen then immediately those who are about to examine him withdrew from him and the commander was also afraid after e. found out that he was a Roman and because he had bound him quite a day wouldn't you say and then there's some solitude there some quiet as Paul sits in the barracks wondering what's going to come next and then verse 30 the next day because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews this is the commander now he released him Paul from his bonds and commanded the chief priests and all their counsel to appear and brought Paul down and set him before them the Apostle was now to be tried by the same tribunals of which he himself had been a member before his conversion he knows this room well except last time he was in it he was on the other side watching as they examined these people that didn't deserve to live and this time instead of being on the perimeter Paul now stood in the very same spot that Stephen stood years before now Paul was the focus of the assembly continuing in chapter 23 verse one then Paul. Looking earnestly at the Council said Men and brethren I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day another way he could have said it as I haven't done anything wrong my conscience is clear and notice the response verse 2 and the high priest and a nice commanded those who stood by him to psych him on the mouth and then Paul said to him God will strike you you white washed wall for you sit to judge me according to the law and you do and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law was a flash of Paul's humanness here as he pushes back a little bit calling the high priest I whitewashed wall knows only one other place in the New Testament where this term whitewash is used and the next The other time it's in Matthew 23 verse 27 and it's on the lips of Jesus himself and it's to the exact same group the scribes and the fair seas and why did Jesus use this term because are being hypocrites this is part of Jesus' last sermon delivered in Jerusalem on Tuesday of his final week they look good on the outside these whitewash tombs but inside they were full of didn't dead man's bones and all kinds of uncleanliness know this was the same phrasing this is the same application to the same group that Jesus himself had used and oh how true it was and that's exactly what Paul is saying here with all due respect you're bunch of hypocrites. Now beating was permitted by Jewish law but only after right judicial procedure resulting in the conviction of the accused had taken place as a former member of the Sanhedrin Paul knew the law he knew proper judicial protocol and so he's asserting his right to due process and he catches them in the act of their own hypocrisy God will deal with you some scholars feel that Paul was speaking with inspiration when just 7 or 8 years later and and and and nighest was assassinated that the case I don't know verse 4 and those who stood by said do you revile God High Priest and then Paul said I did not know brother that he was a High Priest word is written You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people but when Paul perceived that the part were Sadducees and the other fair sea's he cried out in the council min and brother and I am a fair see the son of affairs the concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged and when he had said this a dissension arose between the fair season said sees the same old argument about the resurrection and the State of the dead and all these things and so they start going back and forth at each other verse can tell this now when there rose a great dissension the commander this poor commander here in Les Paul might be pulled to pieces by them command the soldier to go down and take him by force from among them and bring him back into the barracks this time we're not in church time and elders meeting the who's who we're all here to find out what needs to be done with Paul and the midst of it all they don't follow proper protocol. They strike Paul in the mouth and they get tangled up in the ole argument in the old discussions and then again the commander has to intervene last poll might be pulled to pieces from this is a sad commentary is not now we already know what the stoning of Stephen that God said My message will go to the Gentiles so we can already say this is no longer God's church I suppose this is no longer God's chosen but still these are his kids these are people that he died for these are people that even those around in Jerusalem are still looking up to yet this is how they are handling and conducting themselves and so now in this quiet of his prison cell reflecting back on the trying experience of the last 2 days I imagine Paul began to question how it all went down replaying the highlights in his mind the statements that were made how he responded did I do things right did I respond in the right way was this all according to God's plan or did I somehow insert my own direction into this whole thing things were happening fast x. the Apostles begin for 12 says this while reflecting on the trying experiences of the day Paul began to fear Paul fear Paul began to fear that his course might not have been pleasing to God had his great desire to be in union with his brother and led to this disastrous result the position which the Jews as God's professed people occupied before an unbelieving world cause the Apostle a to intense anguish of spirit how would those he then officers look upon them what kind of a witness is this all the the commanders all the Roman officials. Claiming to be worshippers of Jehovah and assuming sacred office yet giving themselves up to control of blind to the control of blind unreasoning anger seeking to destroy even their brethren who dare to differ with them in religious faith and turning their most solemn deliberative Council the High Court or Supreme Court if you will into a scene of strife and while confusion how is this a positive witness for God And so Paul failed in the name of his God had suffered reproach in the eyes of the heathen he not fearing himself he's not serious future he's fearing the very name and character of God continuing in this long quote and now he was in prison and he knew that his enemies in their desperate malice would resort to any means to put him to death could it be that his work for the churches was ended and that ravening wolves were to enter in now the cause of Christ was very near to Paul's heart and with deep anxiety there is again the word anxiety he thought of the perils of the scattered churches exposed as a word to the persecution of just such men as he had encountered in the Sanhedrin Council what is to become of these churches these small groups these bible studies that are happening among the Gentiles all the details I just relay and they said very good and now this group here the Sanhedrin are going to be able to survive against this malicious violent backlash and so it says in distress and discouragement he Paul wept and prayed so again I ask you why did Paul weep Well it says right here he was distressed and discouraged but why because of his physical pain and suffering because he wasn't prepared to die. No not at all friends he was prepared to come to Jerusalem in fact we can read in x. 21 verse 13 they're begging him not to go and Paul responds I am ready not only to be back down but also to die at Jerusalem for the name for the character for the reputation if you will of the Lord Jesus so Paul wasn't weeping for himself Paul was weeping for the work of the church he was ready to die he was weeping because of their pride their arrogance the conceit the bigotry and while they held church positions they were controlled by the Prince of Darkness and you can say in just write off the whole lot and say there's no hope for them but I imagine Paul would argue how can you say that I once was one of them I thought of anybody could convince them I could convince them with my testimony but in distress and discouragement I imagine he just cries as this is not how he anticipated that it would go at all and Paul was perhaps weeping for fear that his testimony had 0 impact for the gospel as he feared for the church you know I can't help but think of another person who wept for the same group Jesus to face the prejudice and hatred of the Sadducees and the fair sees Matthew chapter 23 verse 13 he says but whoa to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against man they didn't say it in anger not with a voice raised not an irritation but in pity in calmness in love in holy and righteous indignation and why did Jesus say all this because it was his last chance to tell everybody off no to put them in their place no. Because Jesus desperately long for them to wake up from their hopeless condition and how do we know this because after this discourse of all of these woes perhaps the strongest language we get on the lips of Jesus over and over again after all this discourse pin of inspiration says divine pity mark the Count's of the Son of God as he cast one lingering look upon the temple and then upon his hears and in a voice choked by deep anguish of heart and bitter tears he Jesus Christ exclaimed this verse 23 verse 370 Jerusalem to roost. The one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her how often I wanted to gather your children together as a hymn gathers her chicks under her wings I want to provide for you I want to protect you I wanted to mother you if you will but then I imagine is the choke as the divine Son of God says but you were willing if you were willing to Roussillon Jerusalem how can I give up my people who have labored with my children who have given every advantage every evidence to prophets and prophesy through written word through preaching and testimony through song and life experiences for 3 and a half years Jesus' message for them was the same as it is for us today here and now in 2020 we can read about in Revelation chapter 3 verse 17 you say I am rich have become wealthy I have need of nothing but could it be that Jesus is weeping over these very words for you and for me because we do not know that we are wretched miserable poor blind and naked. But we're blinded to the fact we're rich we're wealthy we're in need of nothing everything looks good on the outside and he says I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich and white garments that you may be clothes that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed and to anoint your eyes with I sad that you may see clearly he is doesn't want to shame them just as we want to shame us he wants to help us there's millions I love I rebuke and chasten therefore be zealous and repent you know if we truly love those around us and we see them going on destructive path the heart of love says none of my business I'm not going to get involved that's their choice because that's really the heart of love where is the heart of love cry out and even rebuke and Jason don't do that don't go there stop. There's danger waiting for you please no but Jesus is a gentleman Behold I stand at the door and I knock and if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me but I'm not going to barge in on a knock just loud enough for you to know that I'm there will you let him in Tim overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches why did Jesus weep in Matthew 23 why might Jesus weep for us today why did Paul weep perhaps because we think we are rich when the reality is were wretched miserable poor blind and they could. And he calls us by name and instead of Jerusalem Jerusalem he says John John Samantha Samantha whatever your name is David David how can I give you up like he said for Peter Peter I have prayed me the devil once to sift you but I have prayed for you think about that the son of of the God of the universe praying for you and for me we've been all over our spiritual condition and he's weeping because we're focused on ourselves because all we seem to want is a life of ease we want to picket fence we want all the niceties we want to a nice vacation one of money to be comfortable something nice to drive around and we just want to be you know a life of ease and we can't seem to find time for Bible study and prayer in the midst of a pandemic when we're not supposed to go out when life for many has been put on pause Well I still can't really be bothered maybe I should renew that Netflix membership and everything looks good on the outside the family looks picture perfect but on the inside this emptiness and fear pride conceit darkness in every form and Jesus cries for us as he prays for us over those who are blind to their true heart condition you know in Jesus and get 70 he prayed for you and for I John 172024 he said I do not pray for those alone speaking of the disciples but also for those who will believe in me that's us through their the disciples word that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am that they may be hold my glory which you have given me. What a thought the God of the universe again moved to tears for me and all he desires is our willingness to open the door and let a man heal gather sup like a hen gathers her chicks we just have to be willing and that willingness to be willing that is essential at a time when the government is telling you what is and is not essential I your preacher and telling you your willingness is essential and Jesus is praying that we too will see what is essential in this time that he is in fact the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him That sounds pretty essential to me. And friends is the easiest thing in the world to do and at the same time is the hardest thing in the world to do to give him your will to humble yourself before him and he standing at the door this morning and he's knocking Will you let him in and ask him to change you into His likeness and his image he will he longs to but maybe he still waiting outside by for me that you may be rich that your nakedness might be clothed in white robes that you may have eyes stabbed and see truly see and sadly many of those in the Jewish establishment perished in their blindness may that not be said of us may we not allow the devil to blind us may we not grow numb to everything happening around us oh this virus will pass everything will be just wine or is this a wake up call that time is short it's time to get our life in order it's time to get our house in order it's time to get our witness in order. And I would submit it's not just Paul it's not just Jesus weeping and praying but it's pastors it's mothers it's grandmothers is fathers it's grandfathers it's spouses it's wives it's husbands praying for their spouse praying for their kids or grandkids praying for their way word child who thinks they're fine but needs to make a decision for Christ and I can't help but think right now on this live stream there is a wife praying for her husband sitting next to her that has never made a formal decision you've been coming perhaps for years you've been part of this church you've been involved in things people know you by name but you've never made a decision what are you waiting for Make It Right now I'm thinking of the spouse the wife perhaps who is overhearing this trying to drowned out my nasally voice I've listen to myself on recordings I'm sorry and your husband they're involved in the church they love the church they're always at the church and your little bit bitter that they're always at the church but what about you sister when is it your time to make a stand to make a decision for Jesus Christ what are you waiting for for the grandson for the granddaughter is my parents saying my grandparents saying it's not my thing why not was not cool not accepted I'll come to Jesus later after I have all my fun do you really want to go through all that baggage all that garbage to carry that into your future relationship with your spouse to carry that into your future life to have those habits and those addictions to have the guilt do you really want all of that or do you want to say you know what there might be something here and maybe I need to pay attention maybe now's the time what are you waiting for. Maybe it's the elder in the church you look good on the outside you know how to say happy Sabbath you know how to say the right things but in your heart there's real animosity to others in the church you think of others and you just immediately get angry your blood pressure goes up and deep down there's an anger towards your wife towards your kids and it lashes out at times and you can hide it and you can put on the mask but other times it just comes out in full force and full fury I'm not here to shame you I'm not here to condemn you I meant telling you though this is the time to wake up and that person might say I don't know what the problem is I don't know what to do I'm just not feeling connected friends very simple place your will on the side of Jesus Christ say I'm going to spend a thoughtful hour every day in my Bible in the spirit of prophecy and in prayer and I'm going to say Lord reveal yourself to me my hunch is if you're filled with all that anxiety is because those spiritual disciplines have slipped friends don't let that happen to let that happen Jesus is knocking at our hearts door this morning we'll pick up Paul next time but God is not done with him yet but just to give you some hope of Paul situation verse 37 of chapter No sorry wrong place verse 11 of chapter 23 says but the following night the Lord stood by him and said to Paul Be of good cheer Paul for as you have testified of me in Jerusalem so you must also bear witness at Rome sitting there in a dungeon unknown about his future discouraged about the church and the Lord says I'm going to go down to my servant Paul I'm going courage Paul. And to simply say to Nepal be of good courage you've testified of me and I'm not done with you yet how it's going to work how am I going to get to Rome how my going to get out of prison cell I imagine Paul's not so worried about their God said it he believes that his life has been in his hands all the way through people have tried to kill him all the way through but God does some of his best work when we feel like we're pushed in the corner and so will pick up as we continue on with Paul but in today's peace I challenge you to be touched I pray that the Holy Spirit will touch your hearts by the tears wept by Paul for us by the tears cried by Jesus for you and me and by the meaning behind the tears Lord God help them to wake up wake up wake up wake up I don't want them to be destroyed I don't want them to come to destruction I don't want them to be ignorant or naive I don't want them to be lost because of the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart I just invite you to raise your hand wherever you are in your living room in your kitchen your dining room your bedroom wherever you are just raise your hand Jesus sees and by raising your hand you're saying God I hear you knocking and I want to open the door and let you in let's pray Dear heavenly father you see the hands that are raised each hand signifies something a little bit different but the God who searches and knows our hearts knows exactly the commitment that's being made some to speak and reach out to their pastor for bible studies some to seek after baptism and officially join this church some to make a very simple turn in about face from the direction they were going from the plans they may even have tonight and say Lord I want to follow your path your ways. Live according to your word and lord it could be a host of things that means in between but you see the hands that are raised bless each individual bless each decision and draw each of us under your wings a protection of love of caring and of concern and may you continue to pray for us as we are drawn by the power of the Holy Spirit and may we leave this place to turn off this program changed feeling that something has happened some transaction has been made where we have decided to put our will on the side of Jesus Christ and as a result we have a peace that we never known before as we have been fighting and kicking against the goats and we're tired of fighting and we submit to you we surrender to you and may you give us your peace your assurance that you are with us that you will never leave us or for sake us and that you will guide us every step of the way is my prayer in Jesus'. Name in. This media was brought to you by audio person 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermon please visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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