Good morning and welcome to the Baptist Tabernacle, if you would, please continue to make your way to your seats and once you do go ahead and stand, we're going to sing at the cross hymn number three hundred and forty three singing out into the law this morning at the Cross 343.
I said in my you're bleeding in my sovereign. I am happy all the day. Well, by disarming darkness, I. Creatures and the grass and the grass where I first saw the light and. Way it was there by my side.
Drops of rain and Mary Pickford. Roll the way it was there by I received my side. I am happy all the day. Hey, man, good job singing at this time. I'll have both ZAGG Tuttle come up and open us in a word of prayers.
Well, some interlude music as well.
Let's pray, Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this day. Thank you so much for this beautiful day you've given to us. I pray that your blessed service blessed to us and keep our hearts open for you to to be behind the cross as he brings us today and acts in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.
All right, thank you, may be seated. Glad to have you here with us this morning. Glad to have some folks making their way back. And every Sunday we get a few more trickling in. And good to have Miss Laurel Hill back with us here. And Miss Mary Brauer's here. She was here last week, but she's with us. And then it's great to have brother, brother, Mrs. Bakan here with us this morning. And I know you want to go up and give them a big hug. But you can't. We're going to put a fragile sticker on them so you'll know, but you can go give them an elbow bump, definitely get to talk to them. They are celebrating this past week, 75 years of marriage. And that is a huge blessing, very encouraging, and it's so good to see you all back with us here today. We have missed you, but according to Brother Kenny, he missed us more than we missed him. And so I don't know if that's possible, but we're glad that they're here with us today. We're glad if you're a guest with us here today. I think I got to meet most of you that are here with us this morning. And you beat the rush. You came the Sunday before Easter. So congratulations. And so but anyways, we're glad that you came. We know that visiting a new church can be a little bit intimidating. We don't want you to be intimidated here. We want you to feel welcome. And we're glad that you're with us wherever you came from. Hopefully you find a welcoming church here today if you're our guest. I hope that you received one of our weekly bulletins as you made your way inside inside that you'll find a connection card. And we would appreciate it if you would fill that out with just whatever information you feel comfortable with sharing. We'd just like to have a record of you being here with us today. And if you do that, you can turn it in at the welcome desk, which is out there in the FOIR, and they'll give you a little gift to show our appreciation for you being here today. I got a couple of announcements for you, some things coming up that you want to be aware of. First, tonight, we are going to have a church volleyball tournament and pizza. So you said, well, I don't know, I don't have a team. That's OK. Nobody has a team. We're going to we're going to make teams. No, no, no. You don't have a team. No, yeah, the teens think they're going to wipe the floor with everybody and they've got another thing coming, but anyway, you said you say I don't know who I play with. We'll get teams put together. But you come tonight and play with us. And then also we're going to have pizza for everybody. And so we're going have a great time this evening right after the evening service and hope that you'll join us. And then some things coming up. Also this week, first, this is important. Tonight, we are going have a business meeting just very briefly after the evening service. We have one point of business that we want to bring to your attention and get your your input and then we'll take a vote on it tonight and has to do with the purchase of a lawnmower for the church. And we'll give you more information about that this evening. But we we've been looking for a good lawn mower at a good price, and we think we found both of those together. And brother Adam Mullet has been helping us with that. And so come back this evening and we will vote on that together. Also this Tuesday, if you would like to come up and help Brother Jerry with the gardens out front as we prepare for Easter Sunday, we're going to be pulling out all the old mulch, putting in new fresh mulch, planting some new flowers. But if you'd like to help us out, we're going to start Tuesday at 10 a.m. Tuesday at 10 a.m. If you are available to help during that time, we would love to have you be here and join us. And who knows, lunch. You may get a lunch out of it now. You'll probably get a lunch out. You will get a lunch out of it. So anyway, that's this Tuesday at 10 o'clock. This coming Saturday is our big Easter egg hunt from 11 to one, registration starts at ten. Forty five, egg hunt will start at 11. All right. Before the morning. When does the egg hunt start? Eleven o'clock. All right. Lunch will be provided. We're going to have hot dogs, chips and a drink for everybody that comes, as well as a food truck that will be there serving free snow cone and a free bag of kettle corn. Everyone that comes, you can purchase cotton candy and bigger bags if you want, but everybody will get a free one of those at least, and then we will have some bounce houses in the gym as well. And so if you would like to help us, there's two ways you can do that. You can volunteer. And we've had lots of our folks volunteer to help manning the different areas, registration, Easter egg hunt and the always important inflatables. I mean, we've got to have an adult there watching. Otherwise, those kids just go crazy on the inflatables. But if you say, you know what, I just don't want to get out, I think it's supposed to be hot and I don't do good with crowds. That's fine. Another way you can help us is by donating Easter eggs and we're trying to get at least three thousand Easter eggs and we're right around twenty three. Twenty four hundred. So we need about six hundred more. So if you can help with Easter egg donations, that would be great. And we're expecting around three hundred people probably here for that event. And so we want to make sure that the kids get plenty of candy because, you know, they're not going to get it anywhere else. And the next Sunday, next Sunday is Easter Sunday. And from the looks of the auditorium this morning, we may end up having to do this every week. But we are going to have two services next week. Nine o'clock will be our early service so that, mom, you can come at 9:00 and then go home and cook lunch for everybody. I'm not saying that's what you should do. I'm saying that's what happened last year. A lot of our ladies were here for the early service and said, all right, peace out, I'm going home to make lunch. But anyways, you come at nine o'clock and then at 10 o'clock, we're going to have a breakfast for everyone. And the lady is going to do a great job with breakfast. They always do every year. And then 11 o'clock, we'll have our late service. And as you can see behind me, there's a couple of notes about child care for the early service. It'll only be for the choir members for the service. We'll have our full junior church nursery program going. So if you have children, please keep that in mind. All right. One other thing I want to bring to your attention. Did you get your bulletin on the back? On the back? You're going to see an update. Back during our vision Sunday, we mentioned that there were two projects that we wanted to tackle this year. And the first one is the relocation and remodel of our team room. And folks have been already been giving to this before we even announced it. And so already we've got about a quarter of what we need for that project, which is a huge blessing. I said it's a huge blessing. OK, so we think it's going to cost right around eighty thousand dollars to do that and we've got to build stairs to get up there. We need to put in something for for accessibility. I mean, the room up there is just bare bones. And so it needs flooring to be completed and need sheetrock and needs everything. But we want to provide a great place for our teenagers to have their different activities. And so that is the first project that we are targeting. The second project that we are looking to to accomplish this year is a new playground. And the playground that we have now has served us well for almost 20 years. And but it is showing signs of where every year we're having to replace things on it. And so we would like to replace it with a metal and plastic playground that you would typically find at a place that is a church or has a preschool. And so that is the picture of one of the sets that we are actually looking at and we want to get that installed. I know of two churches who tried to install it themselves and they are struggling to get it done. And so I know all of you men, you're very capable. But we're going to try and get this thing installed. So anyways, those are the two projects our preschool is doing a fundraiser to help with this. And so if you see a little preschool kids asking you for money, know that that's what it's going for. We want our children's ministry to be involved. I mean, they're the ones that are going to use it. They're a part of this church. So we'll be helping our children learn a little bit about giving towards this project. But really, when it comes down to it, it's going to be us as the adults and members of this church. This is a vision that you are in, you are in favor of. Then I know that you'll do your part in helping us to accomplish both of these projects. And it'll be very exciting. And I know it'll do a lot for our ministry both now and in the years to come. So, all right. Those are all mine announcements for them that's going to come. And we're going to see a couple more songs. Let's all stand together.
In 168 mansion over the hilltop.
I'm satisfied with just the been.
Good job singing here, cut over to two hundred and twenty four, heaven came down.
Evan came down two hundred and twenty four or less on this.
Darkness deport 11 people be.
Born of the spirit of a spirit.
We can't just avoid falling through Calvary's love for destiny is mine, and the transaction so quickly was made when, as I said, I.
Grazing property saved me all praises name.
John singing here this morning, I'm going to kind of back off a little bit. I want to hear you sing on this last verse, so let's sing it on the third. Now, I have a hope that will surely endure. Let's sing it now.
Rain fell. I saw. And you just see this.
Russia has come forward at this time and appreciate all those of you are faithful to give and support the ministry here, we get to do things like the projects we talked about before. How many of you were able to visit the new church website? Uh, big improvement, huh? I think so. I'm excited about it. Of course, I heard some people say my giving link is different now. Well, I'll just go on there. It still says how you can give online and save a new bookmark and then you'll be able to find it in the future. But however you give, we're grateful for your support of the ministry here. And we don't give to maintain. We give to move forward. And we're so blessed as a church to be able to be in a position to do that and trust that God will continue to do great things to the ministry here. For the Jared Holly, if he doesn't mind to pray, ask God's blessing on the offering. And then once he's done, you may be seated.
I mean, thank you, may be seated.
My G is, uh, so, uh, the, uh, I know thou, uh, uh.
For the whole the fall, he's, uh, he's saying, uh, he's, uh, my gracious redeemer by saying, hey, your are the.
Where I love the my Jesus tea is now.
Oh, I love this because now has first love and me and.
Just my report in Honokaa. Floristry I love.
Read the thoughts on the cyber.
However, I love the my Jesus tears and.
Oh, I love.
He and. I will love thee and.
And as me breath and say.
On my brow, if.
The Marjoe. Just his name.
Oh, and Matt. John Zaghloul.
Maureen and. Steel eyed I. And. And so right, I'll see.
With glittering crown on my brow.
I love the my G.
He's just his, uh oh.
Eman, thank you for that, Rahmat Arcelia, take your Bibles if you have them, and turn to the Book of Acts.
Acts, chapter number 14.
There will be this morning acts, chapter number 14, verse number 19. And as you find your place there, if you wouldn't mind, and you're physically able join me in standing in honor of reading God's word acts, chapter number 14, verse number 19 is where we'll begin this morning. The Bible begins says there came through there are certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium who persuaded the people and having St.Paul, Paul drew him out of the city supposing he had been dead. I'll be it as the disciples stood around about him, he rose up and came into the city. The next day he departed with Barnabus to Derby when they had preach the gospel to that city and had taught many. They return again to Lystra Iconium and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith that we must, through much tribulation, enter into the Kingdom of God. When they had ordained them elders in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commanded them to the Lord on whom they believed.
Let's pray, Lord, I ask that you help us now as we look into your word, I pray that you would give me the words you would have me to say need help. The folks that are here to listen, to hear to their lives, which in Jesus name I pray.
Amen. Thank you. May be seated. Do you appreciate transparency?
It's like, I don't know, what are we talking about, like like. When a person is transparent with you and not, you know, hiding things and that kind of stuff, I don't like that. I don't like wondering. I just know, uh, you're met somebody you just can't read. Like, I think they like me. Maybe they hate me. I don't know, I can't figure it out. OK, well, I'm going to be a little transparent with you for just a moment, not just be transparent. The whole thing, but especially transparent for just a moment.
One of the things that I struggle with as the pastor of this church is and this is nothing to do with any of you says nothing to Brother Matt or Miss Tammy, Jerry and any of our staff. But sometimes I feel like. It all depends on me. I've got to make sure this goes well, because if I don't, it's going to be a disaster. Sometimes I feel like if something's going to get done, I have to do it. Sometimes I feel like why would I bother showing somebody else how to do it, I can do it in the same amount of time, it would take me to show you how to do it. OK, some of your nodding along like you understand, OK, I'm glad I'm in good company here, or at least you can relate to what I'm feeling. It is a major problem with me feeling that way. There's a big problem with me saying if something's going to happen, I've got to be the one that's involved with doing it.
Because when that's my opinion. Well, then the ministry is limited to what I can do. The ministry is limited by what Gary Boyd is capable of. Which may be a lot, but it's not everything. I'm joking there. We don't want to be limited to one person's ability. Let's be honest, we really don't just want to be limited to a few people's ability.
There are churches who say, hey, we've got everything we want and need right here with these few people that we have. We don't need anybody else.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm kind of looking to grow.
I kind of like to be able to do more in twenty twenty one than we did in twenty, twenty, twenty, twenty. I'd like to see us reach more people, like to see more projects, get checked off the list.
I would like to see our ministries become more organized and I'd like to see our Wednesday night children's program make that jump back to one as there's all kinds of things that that I want to see happen.
Oh, but there's that word again. Things that I want to see happen.
He said, we got to make sure that we're not relying on our ability, we're not relying on our vision for what this church can do.
We don't want to rely on what our capabilities can produce, because if we would be honest, we would all agree that the mission before us is bigger than any of us. Even even as our church grows, the mission is bigger than what we as a collection of individuals are capable of. The mission globally. Is bigger than us, the mission right here in Collinsville is bigger than us. Somebody said recently that the housing permits for Collinsville have doubled.
You know what that means in order for us to keep up? Do you know what that means? We have to double. The amount of people we're reaching or we start losing ground in our community. And that's stressful. That's a little humbling, isn't it? It is for me. And then I think, you know. And things in this country, they they bother me a little bit, maybe not you, but for me they do. What kind of church are my kids going to go to? What kind of world are my kids going to grow up in? Do you think about these things?
I bet you I'm glad I'm an American, glad I get to vote, I'm glad I have a voice, but doesn't it sometimes feel like the problems of our country are bigger than one person? What's going to happen when I'm gone? What's going to happen in 11 years when Titus graduates goes off to college? Eleven years stink. I'll be here before we know it. Some of you are closer than I am. It's going to happen when you're not there. To help your children and monitor them and. Be that daily presence.
Who is capable of meeting the needs, who's capable of giving us what we need and showing us the way we should go?
It's not us, there's got to be somebody.
You know, when we last visited Paul and Barnabas.
They had just barely and I mean just barely been able binbin been successful in preventing the entire citizenry of the city of Lystra from worshiping them, remember that? I mean, they heal one guy and all of a sudden the priest of Jupiter is bringing Roxanne and Garland out to Paul and Barnabas and is about ready to slaughter that thing right there and offer it to the missionaries.
I said, no, no, no, no, please don't do this, don't do this, need to stop. And instead of receiving praise, they deflected it to who?
God is going to be instrumental in our message this morning, because there's going to be some things that are going to happen that can only happen because of God. There's going to be some stuff that's going to need to take place in the lives of different people that will only take place through the work of God.
You know what I like about God? Well, there's a lot of things. But he is more capable than I am. Burden lifted. You know what I like about God? He doesn't go away. He's always there. You see my children, I can introduce them to the same God that I serve, the same God that certainly protects me, guides me, enables me to do whatever I'm able to do. He'll be there for them. Titus can serve the same God I do. And if I'm going, God, I'll still be there. I like that thought.
Same God, young people that that you can serve is the God we're going to read about here in X, it doesn't change things that he's able to do here. For people who lived in a world not too dissimilar from the one you live in is the same God that's available to us today. Now, the people of Lystra. Are going to turn on a dime. You're driving a car that takes forever to turn around. My dad had a what was it is eighty seven Cadillac.
Is it an El Dorado or a De? I don't know, but it was about. It was long that thing could not turn on a dime.
We've got some kids in our neighborhood that drive four wheelers around. And they're like doing all this kind of stuff, they're always rubbing their engines when Carter is trying to take a nap, you know.
And those things can turn on a dime. Well, that's what happens here in Lystra because as we're going to see the trouble that Paul Barnabus have experienced in Antioch and what's that other city iconium trouble follows them everywhere they go. And so as the missionaries are there in Lystra, they're trying to minister to people, to trying to reach people with the gospel version of 19 tells us that there are representatives of the Jewish community that follow Paul and Barnabus, Telstra, and we don't know how, but version number 19 tells us that they persuaded the people against Paul.
They persuaded the people probably that Paul was dangerous, perhaps that Paul was a rabble rouser.
He would come and disturb the peace in their city. And so they convinced them that Paul is so dangerous that he must be taken out and stoned.
So that's what happens.
This is this is a rapid formation of a mob. This is a rapid transformation of a city. Remember just a few hours earlier? What are they doing? All hail, Jupiter and Mercury are here among us, and now they're saying, let's take this guy out, kill.
And that's a quick change of pace there.
It's abrupt not only for us as we are reading this, it's abrupt in the way that Luke records us and it's scary to think how quickly things and lystra change so that the whole city is turned against the missionaries. You know, when people get involved with mob thinking and just things start to change and move really rapidly, people start to get caught up in the flow.
And that's what happens here. The Bible says that Paul is stoned, stoning was a horrible form of punishment. The other day I was outside with my kids and we were playing in the backyard. And Carter likes to throw rocks.
And so Carter picks up this rock, and I'm telling you, it was like, I don't even know, being classified as a rock was like a little pebble. But he takes this rock in his little arms. He just snaps that thing in my direction. I wasn't paying attention. It hits me on the back of the hand.
I was like, I ha.
What in the world hit a nerve or a blood vessel or something, but that hurt like I mean, if it wasn't my son, I probably would have gone over there and smacked him. One was my brother or something. We definitely would have been getting in trouble.
I thought I broke something. He broke something. You imagine large stones being hurled at you. Those things start to make contact the college and career classes saying we should have a church dodgeball game instead of volleyball tonight. That would be interesting. You hit with a rock, hit with a stone isn't like some kind of game of dodgeball. I mean, his body would have been pulverized, you would hear the crunching of bones as those rocks hit him. These people did this not on a regular basis, but often enough that they knew when he stops moving, he's dead. And so they thought Paul was dead and they take his mangled body and tossed him outside the city.
The universe, May 19, the Bible says. It supposedly was dead. He's laying there motionless, bleeding as the mob dissipates.
The disciples of the city gather around his body.
They probably agreed he was dead to. They have to be wondering, what do we do now?
This guy blows into town, heals a man, tells us speech that teaches us about the gospel, introduces us to the one true God. Now he's dead. What are we going to do?
You see, God had abandoned the people of Lystra. Just because Paul might be dead, you know, most modern Bible students can't even decide if Paul really was dead or not. You read six commentaries, you'll get seven opinions on whether or not he was dead. It gets worse than that, though, because you can go to Second Corinthians 12 two and you can read it now if you want. I'm not going to read it, but a lot of people think Second Corinthians 12 two was written by Paul in reference to this occasion. And even Paul says, I don't know if I was dead or not. Whatever his condition. Verse number 20 tells us that Paul surprises all of them. Whether he was resurrected or revived, Paul stands up. Paul gets up, and if that doesn't shock you, which sounds like it is, Paul then goes right back into the city. You know, the city where all the people live who just loaned him. He goes back into Lystra and spends the night there. My grandmother lived in New Orleans when I was as a child. I used to lay a bed night and think we're going to get killed.
Or some scary dudes walking around her neighborhood and I lay there and I think we're going to die.
At Momos House.
Can you imagine, Paul, spending the night in Lystra after what had happened that day?
The next morning, he and Barnabus, they get up and and they leave and they head to the city of Darby. Lystra had just been one crazy occurrence after another, worship, stoning, resurrection. I mean, surely Darbee will just be a less dramatic visit.
And from the text, it seems like it was. I mean, Darbee marks the apex of their first missionary journey. They'd gone out and Darbee was the farthest they went. And now it's going to be time for them to come back to the city of Antioch where they'd been sent out. But they're in Durry, Paul and Barnabas, the Bible says, and verse number twenty one, they talk many. They were able to preach the gospel to many in the city of Darbee. But after they're done in that city, they decide it's time to go back to Antioch in Syria. And if you look at a map, Darbee is actually not that far geographically from Antioch. They kind of went out, made like a sea, and they really could've just gone back to Antioch. But what they're going to do is they're going to go back the way they came. And so what Paul and Barnabas decide to do or what they feel God leads them to do. The first number, twenty one says they returned again to what cities?
Lystra Iconium and Antioch. Those are the three cities that they had the biggest problems. They got run out of the first two and then the people from the first, you traveled to the third one and killed Paul. But when Paul is all right, the missionary journey is over, let's start heading back. They say we're going to go back to those cities where we were mistreated.
Kind of an interesting. Decision to make.
So their mission had been successful in converting many to faith in Jesus. Aren't you thankful for every person that converts to faith in Jesus, they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they repent of their sins and their name is written down in heaven. Bible says that the angels rejoice when one lost soul gets saved, and we should, too. But wouldn't you agree that Mission's mission isn't just about evangelizing?
So, you know, the world and convert people, and that's all you got to do.
That was the great commission said.
Teach them or disciple them, we're not just supposed to see people get saved and then abandon them, we're supposed to help them to grow, mission is about discipleship. You know that the church is the only God ordained vehicle for this task. Our grateful for the Salvation Army. I mean, they've got all those great thrift stores. The William Booth, I think it was William Booth. I mean, they reached a lot of people with the gospel. God didn't ordain the Salvation Army to reach the world with the gospel. Ordained the church.
We're the ones that have been given this task, and so Paul and Barnabas are going to go back to the cities that they had visited, even though they had been mistreated by some of the people there.
And they're going to help these baby churches get organized. One of the keys to ministry success is to ensure that whatever you accomplish in your life can be replicated and continued in your absence. Is he one of my keys to success as a parent is going to be to replicate in my children my relationship with Jesus hopefully see them surpass? But I will have. Not done right by my kids if I don't try to disciple them.
The same is true as the pastor of this church, I can't put my 40 years in or however long God allows us to stay here and then just say, all right, good luck, y'all. It's been fun. Thanks for the memories. Now, part of my responsibility is to ensure that when I'm gone.
Things continue. And that's what people in the past have done for us, so we're able to do some of the stuff that we're doing. As Paul learned in Lystra. Despite his young age, he has no promise of tomorrow. Paul's not an old man. He's young. His life. Without God's intervention was over. When they stole him. So they make those stops, Lystra Iconium, Antioch.
We're going to major on this today, but this is another example of Grace at work, did they deserve for him to come back?
And deserved for him to come back, but they went back anyways.
The people of these cities had mistreated Paul and mistreated Barnabus, but they didn't cause them to ignore them, they still had a desire to see the people of that city reached with the gospel.
And here's what they did as they go through this second pass through the region of Galatia, the Bible says verse number twenty two, that they confirmed the souls of the disciples and that they exhorted them to continue in the faith. Two things I want you to see your number one, confirming the souls of the disciples. What that means is they help them move forward. And so the word confirm is you're going to push forward, you're going to advance, they're confirming them.
They're taking these people who believed and then a few days later palindromist are run out of town. Well, now they've got this new faith. They don't know what to do with it. And what should I be doing now that I'm a follower of this? Jesus, I know next to nothing about him other than that he's saved me.
I always love hearing people's testimonies of when they got saved and things that they just started naturally doing because of the change that Jesus had made. Nobody taught them. Nobody told them anything. There was just something different about them because of the change Jesus had made.
Paul and Barnabas go back through and they're helping these new believers to move forward in their Christian life, and I think that's a great description of the believers ministry to other believers. When somebody gets saved, we just don't pat them on the back, shake their hand up here at the front of the church to say we're praying for you. When we come together, we are confirming one another, we are helping one another to move forward in our Christian lives. We don't gather to get torn down or discouraged. We gather to help each other.
I hope you're helped here today. Remember, I can't do all of it. I can't give every person that comes here today what they came here looking for. There is somebody in this this church. Who can be an encouragement to you? There is somebody in this church that you need to be an encouragement to.
Don't make a beeline for the back door and say, all right, done my duty.
Time to go home, what's for dinner, what's for lunch? See you next week, Pastor. Find somebody. That you can help move forward. If you say you're going to pray for somebody, follow up with them the next week.
You asked me to pray for this, I've been praying for it, how's it going?
Well, I don't. I don't really want to talk to anybody.
Good smile. Shake their hand.
There's a prayer sheet every Wednesday night you can say, hey, you have this now in the. I've been praying for it. Hey, how are your kids?
How are you doing after this trial that you've been through? I've been praying for you. Do something, interact with someone to encourage them to move forward in their lives. Oh, there's nobody here my age. That's that doesn't that doesn't fly.
If you look around here, there's plenty of people your age. You're young, we got young people, you're old, we got old people can't decide if you're young or old, we got them to.
You've got teenagers, we've got people, teenagers. You've got a baby. We got people, babies, you're an empty nester, we got empty nesters.
I have you been in small, small, small, small, small churches. Where you really are the only one there that's in that stage of life, I've been there. Growing up, I was the only teenage boy my age. I was the only teenager my age. In the youth group.
All it was left for my little brothers. You know how cool it is to have to hang out with your little brothers. Not very.
But we have got people here that are in similar life stages as you they're going through similar situations as you, and so find someone that you can encourage. Maybe you are the the unicorn here. Nobody else like you.
Well, Paul told the churches that the older should invest in the younger. And that the younger should have a relationship with the older. Even if you really are the only one in your age bracket, nobody else is exactly like you.
There's still people that can benefit from our relationship with you and you can benefit from a relationship with them. So let's confirm one another. Not only that, he says they exhorted one another and this one's not as happy, cheery, feel good about each other on the back because he exhorts them to continue in the faith.
Why do they have to be exhorted to continue in the faith? Well, because in verse number twenty two, he tells them that we must through much tribulation. Enter into the kingdom of God. Tribulation lies in front of every Christian. We have been blessed and privileged for the ease of life that we enjoy as Americans.
It really is an ease of life, especially as Christians here in this country, we're very privileged. Perhaps to our our own hurt. Right, we've been through something this last year, and how many of you learned some things about yourself having to go through that? I'm going to quote two people, as far as I know, neither neither of them are Christians, but I like what they said. Bruce Lee. The karate guy, yes. Bruce Lee said, do not pray for easier lives, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. JFK said this is not for easy lives, pray to be stronger men. You see, the problem is not that we face difficulties, the problem is that we give up too easily in the face of difficulties.
Paul is really starting this whole thought here, and number twenty two, he doesn't want them to let the circumstances around them derail them from following Jesus.
See, believers in each city had seen the tribulation that Paul had face and they had seen his faithfulness to continue and even to come back.
Though he faced difficulty, and so here, here's two things.
Remember, we're talking about what does God do for us? Well, God allows us to interact with other believers. I believe God brought you here today. You may not want to be here today. Somebody may have forced you to be here today. You may feel an obligation to be here today, but God saw fit for you to be here today, I believe, so that you could get something you need.
Confirmation from other believers, I believe that.
But God also orchestrates different things and allows everything to come into our life to to purify us to to to make us stronger, to remove some things that shouldn't be there.
And and he doesn't just expect us to go through this saying, oh, well, I hope we make it through this coronavirus thing. Eventually it'll just get better. And, you know, the government's going to help us and they're going to show us the way through. And thank goodness the vaccines are all ready and we are good to go.
Also, there's another motivation for getting through difficult times. You know what it is? And well, I lost my place first number twenty two. He says that we have, through much tribulation, inner into the what? Kingdom of God. God has given all of us a hope in the future. We have hope right now. But there is also a pretty major hope in the future. There is a kingdom that he is preparing for his citizens, one of his citizens.
I'm actually an ambassador of his kingdom here today. You can be an ambassador, too, if you will take up the responsibility everywhere you go. You can be an ambassador to this kingdom. And when you're going through difficulty, you're going through trials. You're going through tribulation.
You always know God's got a place for me.
One of these days I'll be done with my assignment here and I'm going to get to go to his kingdom.
I mean, none of this. You know, sickness, no pain, no death, no sin, he is a lawyer for that. You're some time on my own. I'm ready to be done with it.
God is the one preparing a place for us. Let's move quickly on diversion or twenty three. That's our last verse. This is when they had ordained them. Elders in every church had prayed with fasting. They commanded them to the Lord on whom they believed ordaining elders. Every church. This is that word, elder. Don't get nervous. This is one of the Greek words that is used to describe the role of a pastor.
I may not look it, but because of the position that I'm in, I the Bible would call me an elder.
Because of the role of the pastor, it refers to the expectation that a pastor, even a young pastor, would operate with a certain level of gravity. You said you don't have to be old to be mature.
Teenagers, you don't have to be old to be mature.
I only say that because everybody likes it when you pick on the teenagers, uh, nasty teenagers, Gen Z.
But here's the flip side of that. Just because you're old doesn't mean you're mature.
So they're they're they're setting aside their ordaining means, they're they're they're setting them apart for this task, pastors in every church. And they don't just do this flippantly, this isn't something they're like, well, I like this guy's hair, he'll look good on a brochure.
They're taking it seriously, there's prayer and fasting going into these decisions, the selection of the pastor is serious business. The continuity of the ministry can be helped or hurt. By the selection of a pastor.
But then they come in them to the Lord. I was as a person between the they committed them to law to whom they had believed.
I believe what this means is they placed Paul and Barnabas, they placed the pastors and the churches in God's hands. You see, Paul wasn't interested in becoming a pope.
It wasn't interested in having authority to run all these charges, no doubt Paul did have influence with these churches. We see the letters that he wrote to them, telling them how they should act. None of that was based on Paul's opinion. It was based on God.
I saw the pope tweeted yesterday about the necessity for Mary in our not only redemption, but in the mediation between us and God. There's one mediator between God and man, the man Christ, Jesus is the only mediator, that's the only redeemer that we need. Mary has nothing to do with any of that.
Paul didn't want to stand between these churches and God, every church, every pastor is directly accountable to Jesus Christ. He is our head, not Paul.
So we commend them to the Lord. He hands them over to God's hands. He says, Lord, we've done what you've asked me to spread the gospel. These churches have started. Now they're in your hands.
Who does the church belong to? Jesus.
Who does the pastor work for and belong to? Jesus, there's a real big problem in American churches right now where congregations will say and believe, whether they say it or not, that the pastor belongs to them. You work for us.
That's just not true. We serve God, just like you do. You're not my flock. Your God's fluck. The flock of God among us. Who is ultimately responsible for not only building, but preserving the church? Me, the pastor. That's the case, we're all in trouble. What's God?
You see in every point of this passage, whether it's whether it's Paul's death and God saying, no, I'm not ready for you to die yet, whether it's God's kingdom being enough to motivate believers to endure tribulation or whether it's God's hands holding and protecting and increasing the ministry of the church, we cannot get away from God's involvement in all parts of our ministry.
Our ministry, I'm not the only one ministering here, there's a lot of ministers here in this church and God is central to what we do. We don't do this for our glory. We do it for his glory. We don't do this according to our plans, his plans. The ministry and serving God is about what God wants, what God has done, what God is doing and what God will do.
Too often we take too much on ourselves. Would you ever feel like you just carry carrying a whole lot of burdens around? Do you? Well, has a song go. Burdens are. They did at Calvary. You make me sing it. When Jesus said, take my burden or take my yoke upon you, what do you how did he classify it? It was.
So many of us are like, oh, man, we've got so much on my plate. Hey, brother, how are you doing? Oh, man, I just it's just so much I don't even know I don't even know how I'm going to get through the day.
God never intended you to do all that. Our service to him is dependent upon him.
But we try to take too much on ourselves when you serve, who are you depending on? I mean, from the Trace's right over here, he's on the very end, all the way to Brandon. He's on this end. We've got Servants'. Here in the search. Tracy does a lot with our son in school, keeping our air conditioners up if I have a problem. He's like, oh yes, OK, Brandon's over here. Brandon works in our video booth. Occasionally, what he's learning does a good job. That's service to God.
Doesn't matter from this side to this side, all those of you in between who are so active in different parts of this church, all of us need to depend upon God in our service. You know, it's easy to teach in your own strength. Believe me, I've heard the Bible stories enough I've sat through enough school classes, if somebody said, hey, Pastor So-and-so didn't show up, can you come teach the first through third grade Sunday school? Sure. I know you didn't study the.
I'll pull something out. I got an iPad full of sermons and lessons, I can do this.
It's easy to teach in your own strength, it's easy to give in your own strength. I mean, you even set up recurring giving. It's just another bill. You don't even think about it. It's easy to serve God in our own strength to start trying to it's easy to attend church in your own strength.
You've learned how to fulfill your obligation on autopilot.
And. He, uh.
So why bother some of you want someone to sit in your seat?
Like a GPS re computing, re computing error, error, error.
What would happen if we served independence on God's strength and not our own? What if we lived every day in reliance upon God, what if our Sunday school teachers who do a great job not bashing our Sunday school teachers, what if but what if? We each sought God diligently regarding what we should say in our class. Well, if we had Giver's and I believe we do, who let God set the amount that they contributed? I mean, we all know about the 10 percent. I think sometimes we take the 10 percent and say, oh, well, I've done it. When for some of us, God may be saying, yeah, but I would prefer that you do this. We pat ourselves on the back for the we're doing the minimum.
If we had a Tinder's who were eager for God to do something special in every service that they attended.
Now sitting up here telling you that. You're not doing enough knots trying to tell you you're not giving enough. I'm not trying to say that you need to come to church more.
Because this pastor and this church are in God's hands. It's not up to me telling you to do more. I am saying is this. If you are here. You are serving. And you are giving. Are you doing these things in his ability? Or in your ability. Maybe you need to do less. I said, maybe there's some of you who need to do less than what you're currently doing. Because you're doing it all in your strength.
And you need to take some things off your plate so that you can focus on relying on God in this one area. Maybe some of you need to take a break altogether. Not from church, I wouldn't I wouldn't advocate for that. But maybe I mean, come on, we all got a break last year. Except for me, I never missed a service. And really that he had to be here to accept when he had to coronavirus. Knock on wood, yeah, as far as I know, I haven't had it, so, uh, I'm just a carrier and you can all be mad at me for giving it to you.
But maybe we need to take a break from your ministry's. So that you can. Recuperate, reenergize, reload, to come back and serve the Lord and his strength. I believe when we read about all that Paul saw take place in his ministry, we are witnessing the effect of God's power at work, not Poles. I want that to be true of my life, I don't want to get to the end of my life and say, well, Gary boy did a lot. Now, I want to be able to say, you know what, God did a lot. It's not what you want. Try to picture what would happen. If the Baptist Tabernacle and its members depended fully on God's power and ability. I wrote down some things you can probably think of even more. If we were depending on God's power and everything we did, every person was operating in the power of God, I believe our church would. Minister to the hardest people to reach in our community. We would seek them out. I'm talking about the people who the world would classify as toxic. We would seek them out to try and minister to them, show them the gospel. They'd hurt us. And they lash out, they'd be rude, they'd slam the door in your face like Paul and Barnabas, and as we operate in Greece, we would go back.
Go back. To try and share the gospel with them again.
I believe we would be able to withstand persecution and tribulation. And stay faithful to the Lord.
If we were operating in God's power.
We may lose our tax exempt status one day, I shouldn't say we may we will lose our tax exempt status one day. And that'll be a chunk of the church's budget taken.
Well, we have to slow down. Well, we have to pull back. Well, we have to stop doing things for God because of that. Believe we were operating in God's power, we would see new servants commissioned and sent out into the harvest on a regular basis. Aren't you thankful for your brother, Mrs. Owens? Serving in Wales for so many years. I'm so excited for the Rick pastor in that church in Texas now.
You know what that means. Means there's a spot open. In the missions family of the Baptist Tabernacle. We supported brother Rick Owens at six hundred dollars a month because he was our missionary. Sure, we could split that up among six missionaries. But I'm looking forward to the day that God calls somebody out of our church. It doesn't have to be a teenager. Be a married couple could be someone with kids, they would say, you know what? God's calling us to this field. And your church will be behind you. I look forward to that day. I believe we would see our community transformed. If we were operating in God's power. We can never do that. You're right, we never could. But he can. I want to see got move, I want to see his power on display. Means I've got to quit relying on my own power. And serve him in his ability.
So this morning, I can't tell you what you're doing, but is it possible that there's somebody here today who's been trying to serve and give and attend in their own strength? And they need to say this morning, you know what, I need to stop trying to do it myself and let God work in my life? That's the case. And this morning, you can make that decision. Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day. I thank you for the good attention that we've had for all the people that are here, those who are watching on the livestream. Or I should use your Holy Spirit during this time to speak to our hearts, to move us from where we are to where we need to be, or that you would do the work in our life, that we would. We would open ourselves up to your power being shown through us, your grace, working in us and through us to others, Lord, we want to see you do some great things. God, that means we've got to stop relying on ourselves. We have to stop depending upon our flesh and our flesh, his ability to do what only you can do. So, God, I pray that you would convince our hearts of that today, or if there's somebody here that needs to turn over a part of their life to you, I pray that today they'd make that decision. That you don't plan to be bold, not to fear.
But to trust in you. Maybe there's somebody in here today, Lord, that doesn't know you as their savior. They're trying to get to heaven on their own. We know that that can't happen. It's only through what your son did on the cross that we can be saved. Well, I pray that today would be the day that that they would trust you as their savior. Lord, we thank you for what you'll do in our hearts and what you have done in our hearts, be with us during this time of invitation. In Jesus name that I ask these things. Amen.
Let's all stand we're going to page to ninety three, Jesus paid it all, God has spoken to your heart. There's a decision that you need to make today. We open up the altar. You can come here and pray here at this altar. You can pray there at your seat for sure. And it's time to pray with you. Somebody will come and pray with you. There's a decision you need to make this morning. And you do that as Brother Matt seems.
I hear the save your say thy strength and it is small child of weakness. Watch and pray cried in me that all in all, Jesus made it o o to him.
I o said let crimsons.
Posted what is known as second verse.
Indeed, I find by Paul.
Chad. Leopard spots and. Jesus paid.
To him, oh, send back to cribs and still.
He was white as snow, the last third verse for the.
Thing would never fly when everybody agrees to play it out.
My garbage right in the.
Calgary's lamb Jesus made oh oh to him I'll sin had left crimsons state he was.
By Snow a.
Well thank you all so much for being here this morning. I'd like to invite you back tonight for 30. We have choir practice, uh, if you'd like to be part of the choir as they get ready for next week. And then also at four thirty, we're going to have our mission committee meeting and we're meeting in my office for 30 with some good projects that we're working on to reach out into our community and across the world.
And tonight, at five thirty, brother Matt will be preaching his his last message in his series on the life of Jonathan. And I've enjoyed hearing more about Jonathan. He's been one of my favorite Bible personalities for a long time. And so you come tonight and hear him as he finishes up that that's that series. And then we got the business meeting right after and the fellowship after that. So a lot going on tonight. We'd love for you to come and be a part of it. Maspero the Jerry Prader, if he doesn't mind to come and close us in a word of prayer and appreciate Brother Jerry, all that God has done in their lives and their faithfulness, uh, even through some some pretty significant tribulations. And so. Well, Jerry, you come close to some prayer and then after he's done, you'll be dismissed.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this beautiful day, thank you for our opportunity to come together in your name. Thank you for everyone sitting here in person and everyone who's watching on the livestream, please bless them as they go on about our week. And Lord, you know, and we know that many of us have faced our own sufferings, our own tribulations and our own difficulties in the last year, some maybe longer back than that, some maybe right now. And I just pray that you would take those events in their life and use them to work patience and through patients experience, through experience, hope so that they may overcome their anguish and minister to and disciple others. Who are lost, who are hurting, who are disoriented to show that you can do the things that we cannot thank you for this passage about the life of Paul. And I pray that you will use this story and the account of the miraculous event that we will be celebrating very soon to remind us the things that we should expect in this life right now. To remind us that you are here with us through it all. And to remind us what we can expect at the end of it, for that, you've done for us, too, and we thank you. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen.