We are getting close to the end. Close to the completion of our Acts series. About a year after we began, we will be finishing up. And today was a great Sunday. (Don’t ask me what makes one Sunday better than another. It is almost completely arbitrary.)
We use a semi-confusing pattern for planning services and working on sermons. It leads us to often say, “Wait. What Sunday are we talking about?” Needless to say, it requires us to stay in planning mode a lot. However, on Sundays like this, we (or I) get to call an audible. There are always dates on the preaching calendar (which maps out our passages over the course of a year) that are “open” and, at times, we can fill those with what we want. I wanted to finish Paul’s third journey (Acts 21:1-16), and I’m glad we did, because it touches on how we should act when believers want different outcomes.
People get paralyzed that they made the wrong decision. I know I do. What if I missed some important decision? What if I turned right instead of turning left? Would God still love me? Would He be angry with me if I thought or did the wrong thing? What if I took the wrong job, married the wrong person, or bought the wrong car (no, those aren’t in order of priority!)?
The great thing is that Paul, who was headed to Jerusalem and will there be arrested and put on trial, knew what was before him. The disciples with him knew what was before him, and they didn’t want him to leave. They begged him not to go. Paul likened this begging to “breaking his heart.” I look at this as people who loved each other a lot. They didn’t want to see him go, and, though Paul was ready to go, he loved these people as well and I have to think that some small–miniscule, even–part of him considered (for maybe even a split-second) staying with the disciples; but he wouldn’t budge. He was prepared to die, and everyone gave up their wills to God to let Him do what He would do.
WHAT I WISH I WOULD’VE SAID BETTER
I don’t think I was clear enough in saying that Paul was headed to Jerusalem–he had resolved it long ago. I may have made it sound like he was debating going to Jerusalem. He wasn’t debating it. He was going and was facing what was there. I just think that he was telling the disciples to not make his decision any harder than it already was. It’s always tempting to stay with people you love and “do ministry” there, but Jesus is worth any trial.
THINGS FROM SUNDAY
We had Bob and Donna Waguespack in from Latin America. They shared with us the work God had done in bringing the gospel to the nations through their spot in Mexico City. If you would like to support them, go here.
Just Do Something was a book I recommended about the will of God. However, you don’t need to read it if you heard the sermon.
We’re gearing up in these parts for our Who Am I? series. Looking forward to starting that on August 11th.