Your Gospel Story
The key to renewal; the key to renewal in any given church, or Sunday school class, or youth group, is to share what God is doing in your life.
Alright, thank you very much. Nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice, I appreciate that. And hello, radio friends. How are you? Are you doing all right? I trust so. We wanna continue in our study in the Book of Acts, finishing up Chapter 14 and going on into Chapter 15 and this is gonna be interesting, I think, and exciting as we see how the Lord deals with his new church, how He leads his people. And well, just hang in there with me and we’ll see what the Lord says to us. My purpose, as you know, is to give you a handle that you can get hold of for yourself, from the blessed infallible Word of God. God’s Word, the Bible is true, absolutely and unto all eternity true, whether or not anyone reads or believes it. But it becomes a value to you, when you are confronted by its truth, and when you get hold of it for yourself, that’s my purpose. Therefore, in coming to you day by day with these morsels from the Word of God.
Now, Paul and Barnabas are on their way back to Antioch. They’re stopping at every place where they were before, they’re strengthening the church, they’re appointing elders and praying over them, because you don’t want a dead dry listless, powerless leadership, you want power-filled, Spirit-filled leadership. And so, they prayed over these elders with fasting, commending them to the Lord, and now, after they went to Attalia, they sailed to Antioch. They didn’t go back to the island of Cyprus this time, although Barnabas went later. And so, the whence… It says in Verse 26, they sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. We stopped on this 26 Verse the last time we got together. Pointed out that when you’re trusting God, the work we’ll get done. If you’re willing to work at it and trust God’s grace, He’ll see you through. Now, some of my listeners are at some very difficult tasks, indeed. You may be pastoring a church in the neighborhood where it’s just a hopeless task, the way you look at it.
You may have a congregation made up of people who were born as my old theology prof used to say in the accusative case, and everything seems to be wrong no matter how you try it. Or you may be ill and not feeling very well today and you have so much on you that you just don’t know how you are going to get through the day. It’s a task even to draw a breath, let alone to carry the burdens that are yours. All of this combines to be a, well, a frustration to you, almost because you think, “How can I ever get done with everything I’m supposed to do and face the difficulties I face?” Well, my friend, join the group. There’s lots of the rest of us that feel the same way from time to time. But let me assure you, this does not mean that you won’t get your work done, whatever God asks you to do, He will enable you to do, if you’ll trust Him. It says they had been commanded to the grace of God for the work, which they fulfilled. The job was done and they had been trusting the grace of God and the God of grace, and now they’re going back to report on it. Today, as you face some very difficult assignment, would you just remind yourself to trust the Lord? It’s always too soon to quit, it’s always too soon to give up, it’s always too soon to complain. Trust the Lord and keep at it. He will see you through.
Yes, indeed, he will. Trust the Lord and keep at it, he will see you through. Now, Verse 27 of Acts Chapter 14 said, “When they were come, and had gathered the church together they rehearsed all that God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles, and they abode a long time with the disciples.” That’s the end of chapter 14. What did they do? They got there, they gathered the church, they told what God had done and the significant point that he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. You wanna think about that for a minute? Whenever the blessing of God is on your life, share it with some other believers. I’ll tell you what this does, first, it sharpens the truth of God in your own soul. For instance, if you get something good from His word in the morning hours, when you pass it along to someone else, it will sharpen that truth in your own soul and bring it more sharply into focus. Second, it makes you a blessing to other people aside from the fact that you are officially religious, or that you are busy about your state of duties. It makes you of blessing to other people if you will share with them what God has done with you.
The different ways in which this can be accomplished, of course, are endless. Has God seen you through a deep sorrow? Well then, share with someone who is weeping today, how God comforted you when your heart was breaking. Has God seen you through some powerful temptation? Well, then share with someone who is just about at the collapse point under the pressures of his particular besetting weakness, share with such and one how God has been with you and answered your cry of desperation in the moment, when otherwise you would have collapsed and gone down. Share with people what God has done. Do you find someone who is weak and timid and who despairs of ever winning any one to the Lord Jesus? Share with such a one God’s gracious dealing with you, how when you made yourself available to him he put you in touch with people who were ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Some of you who have been preaching for a while and you know how graciously God will give you a message when you cry out to Him for it, as you dig into the Word of God, share with some young preacher the thrill and the joy of having a wonderful bit of truth. Leap out of the pages, so to speak, at you, as you are searching for a message to pass along to your people.
It said, “They rehearsed all that God had done with them. Now, the way to be a blessing to other people is to share, I say, what God has done with you. This doesn’t mean give them advice. It doesn’t mean engage in some religious harangue. It means share, that’s just what it means. To share anything makes you vulnerable. If you share your lunch, your lunch becomes vulnerable, if you share your car, your car becomes vulnerable. And if you share your religious experience, your very self becomes vulnerable to other people. That is to say, you become available, you become accessible, the wall goes down, and you are more of a person to them than you were before. Now, would you dare to do that today? Would you dare to share with someone? Now, don’t rush up and knock a person down and stand on his neck and say, “I’m gonna share something with you,” that isn’t the way [chuckle] you do it, you know that. [chuckle] But you’ll find that there will be people as you go through the day, whose hearts are open to the things of God. Who may be searching for something from the Lord, who may be hungry for a real experience with God, who may be beaten in the battle of life or crushed by the burdens and heart breaks, of life.
And you can share with them the things that God has been doing for you. Would you dare to do that today? Now, that means that you’re gonna have to come out from behind the ivory tower. Oh, yes, you’ll have to become a human being. If somebody is weeping, you’ll have to admit that you’ve wept too… If somebody’s failing, you’ll have to admit that you failed, also. If somebody’s discouraged, you’ll have to admit the discouragement has gotten a hold of you from time to time. You’ll become as I say, vulnerable, you’ll become a human being if you share with other people what God has done for you. A small thought here. Some of us don’t have much to share, because God hasn’t done much for us. We’re thoroughly religious, and we’re faithfully and dutifully engaged in our religious practices. And our theology is neatly lined up on the shelf of our soul, but God hasn’t done much for us recently. And so it is that we don’t have much really to share with anybody else. Think about that will you?
Now, it says They came and gathered the church together. Whenever you’re blessed, look up some Christians and share with them and share not your bias and your prejudice or your sermon, but share what God has done for you. The key to religious excitement is what God is doing. The key to revival is to share what God is doing. The key to renewal, to use a term that’s now in vogue, the key to renewal in any given church or Sunday school class or youth group, is to share what God is doing in your life. That means, you’ll have to share your need before you can show how God met your need, okay? It’s a humbling process, about how graciously God blesses when you do this. And it says, they said, how he had opened, how God had opened the door of faith under the Gentiles. One of the most thrilling things is to see how other people are being saved. If you want to inject a note of vitality into your church services or into your youth group or into your Sunday school class just win somebody for the Lord Jesus, in between Sundays and have that person ready to give a word of testimony or to profess Christ openly on Sunday in your various services. You’ll be surprised what it will do.
Imagine, this youth group is droning on, they’ve had their assigned topics and they’re all bored stiff and it’s a drag and somebody interrupts the proceedings and says, “I’d like to say a word.” They turn around and they see a young man whom they don’t recognize, he’s strange to them. And so, they listen and he says, “You know, Jim called on me last Tuesday night and led me to the Lord and I’m so happy to be here and to be a Christian.” Well, you know what’s gonna happen? That whole meeting is going to be electrified, and even the dreariest and most banal of comments now will seem to have a different interest, because somebody in that group has found the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The same thing is true of your church services pastor. If you want your church to be filled with life and vitality, just win a soul in between Sundays and have that person or persons ready to confess Christ openly when you give the invitation. You’ll be surprised what it will do for the temperature of your soul, as well as, for your services. How he had opened the door of faith.
Now that when they got through with their report, it says they settled down and went to work. They abode a long time with the disciples. And that means that they went on with the job they were doing before the Holy Spirit called them for this special assignment. What were they doing? At the church that was in Antioch, there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas and Simeon, Lucius and Manaen, and Saul. These people ministered to the Lord and fasted. There was prophecy, there was teaching, there was praying and there was fasting, worshipping in other words, and fasting. And so, they settled down and went right back to work on the basis of what they had been doing before. Now then, when God does a special thing in your life that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to put on a bunch of medals and go on the road showing off. It may mean that after God has done this special thing in your life, you need to settle down and go to work, as you did before. Think it over today. I think what you might do in terms of real work for the Lord today, and then get at it.
Now, let’s pray, Dear Father, bless I pray Thee, Thy Word to those hearts that have been listening and who are willing to obey. I ask in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen. Amen. God bless you, dear friend all the way.
That’s all for now, till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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