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A traditional church that is passionate about loving our community to the gospel.

Acts 16:11-15

Transcript

Speaker 1: Good morning and welcome this wonderful Sunday morning, if you would, please join with me, let's all stand together. We're going to sing here number twenty three to God be the glory, which is out to praise the Lord, to God be the glory.

Unidentified: Great things he has done so loved the world that he gave us. His son

Speaker 1: ended his life

Unidentified: and atone for sin and oh man, I

Speaker 1: like that all the. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let

Unidentified: the Earth hear his voice, praise the Lord. Let the people rejoice.

Speaker 1: Oh, come to the border through Jesus the sun and give him. Glory, great thing.

Unidentified: He had. Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of the. Ron.

Speaker 1: On my list, a vendor

Unidentified: who truly believes. From Jesus born. Spaceways. His voice raised. Praise the Lord. Rejoice. To the God through Jesus, the saw. And Doug. Three great big.

Speaker 1: I know, I know we're warming up here this morning, it might be a couple little early, let's all sing together on that third to God be the glory great things. He taught us great things. He had taught us

Unidentified: great things he has done. Rejoicing. Great. Amen. Praise the Lord. There is my. The father, Brodies son.

Speaker 1: At 9:00 a.m., let's go to the war in prayer, father, again, we are a very thankful people. Great things you have done in our life and God help us to reflect on those things as we go through the service. Remembering your the great God who takes care of us provides for us our every need. I pray, Lord, today, if there's someone here that doesn't know us, our Lord and Savior, today would be the day that they put their faith and trust in Jesus. Lord, bless our time together that you would come down, meet with us so we'd leave here. Changed and Jesus and I pray. Amen. He may be seated.

Speaker 2: Well, good morning. It is so good to have you here with us at the Baptist Tabernacle and I know we're down, but I'm really excited about how many of you all are here today. Memorial Day weekend is annually our least attended service of the year. But I am so glad to have all of you here with us today and hope that you've had a good weekend thus far. It is good to have guests with us today as well. And hopefully you received one of our weekly bulletins as you came in the door. And if so, on inside of that bulletin, you'll find a connection card. And we would appreciate it if you would fill that out with whatever information you feel comfortable sharing. That is for us to have a record of your visit with us here today. And if you're a techie person and you'd like to do that online on the back of it, you'll find a QR code and you can scan that with your phone and fill out the connection card online after the service. If you turn that in at the welcome desk, then we'll give you a gift to show our appreciation for you being here with us today. Let me go through a couple of announcements with you and then say a few things about this special weekend. But anyways, June 2nd, that's coming up this Wednesday, there's going to be a camp meeting for all of the teens and elementary kids that will be heading to South Christian camp later in the month of June. And that'll be after the Wednesday night service in the teen room. This is mandatory. If you are going to camp, you have to be there for that meeting. It's very, very important, good information that you're going to want to have. And so both you as a parent and your camper need to be there for that meeting on Wednesday, June 2nd, after the evening service in the teen room. And so please help us out with that June 6th. That's next Sunday. After the morning service, there will be a VBS workers meeting down by the keyboard section. I believe lots of things going to be putting into motion this week. Preparing for vacation, Bible school. I know Miss put out an announcement on the CBC Church Members Facebook group. And if you are available to help begin the decorating process, they're going to meet here Tuesday, I believe, at 10:00 a.m. And so if you are available this week, you can come. Thank you to all those of you who have been donating to the VBS store. I went into my office just a moment ago and saw several more bags of stuff. And so these kids don't even know how great this is going to be. They're going to have all kinds of stuff to pick from. And so we appreciate all of that. If you have not yet signed up to help and you would like to help, you can just come next week to that meeting and let Miss Liano and she'll make sure that you have a spot to help during the vacation Bible school week. We're very excited about it. I think I mentioned this on Wednesday, but cross timbers, uh, preschool, day care, they let us know that they are going to be bringing a group again this year and they're looking to bring 40 to 50 young kids to be a part of vacation Bible school. So that is great news. We're looking forward to a wonderful week, June 13th. We are going to be celebrating our church anniversary. Sixty six years of ministry here in the Collinsville area. So we want to celebrate what God has done, not only in the past, but also this past, not in the distant past, but also this past year, because it was definitely a year with unique challenges and yet God was faithful to us throughout. We got to missionaries coming that we want to let you know about. June 16th, the Jacob's missionaries to Pakistan will be with us. And then on June twenty third, the kitchen family military involved with military missions. They'll be with us as well. Lots of stuff coming up. Deegan's meeting next week. Things also on the schedule, but we're very excited about everything that God is doing here at our church and looking forward to a very interesting and fun, adventurous summer with lots of things to do for everyone in the family. Now, obviously, this weekend is a very special time in our country where we remember those that have given their lives in service to our country and to protect and preserve and secure our freedoms. And I think over the past year, we've all been reminded of just how precious our freedoms are. They are not guaranteed to us. They have to be repurchased every generation and something that has to be constantly protected. And so this this weekend, we understand, is not just a long weekend. It's not just a chance to be off work. It is a time for us to be grateful and to remember those who have paid the ultimate price to protect the freedoms that we love here in America. This is not a time to recognize veterans or current service members. This is a special weekend for those who have fallen in in service to our country. We're not gonna ask anybody to stand, but if you do. Someone friend, family loved, one that has given their life in service to our country. Would you raise your hand? OK, all of us have reason to be grateful this weekend and to praise God for those who are willing to pay that price at this time, we're going to lower the lights. We have a short video that we want to show just to remind us of what this weekend is all about. Would you all stand with me as we have a time of prayer and remember those that have given their lives in service to our country? Let's pray for the families and thank God for what they were willing to do on our behalf. Lord, we thank you for this time where we can stop and reflect for a moment on what it has cost for us to enjoy the freedoms and the blessings that we enjoy as Americans or thank you that we get to live in this great country and join the many privileges that you have allowed us to experience God. This morning, we want to offer thanks for those who are willing to give their lives so that we could be here today, so we could worship freely and without fear of foreign invader or intrusion into the service. Lord, I pray that we would never forget what a great privilege it is that we have because of what they were willing to give. Lord, I pray that you'd be with their families today. The families that we know, the families that are here who have lost a loved one, uh, in service to our country. Lord, we pray that you would comfort them, that you would fill them with your peace, Lord, that they would know this weekend that there are still those who remember the price that was paid, those who are aware of it and are thankful for it. God, I pray that you would draw them close to you or that they would be comforted, uh, by your Holy Spirit this weekend. Lord, we love you. We thank you for the blessings that you give to us. We thank you for the blessings that come in human form, Lord, in the in the form of the service men and women who have fought and died for this country in Jesus name that I pray. Amen.

Speaker 1: Remain standing, sorry, erm five twenty three victory in Jesus.

Unidentified: Victory, as I heard it on. Sorry. Now saving. On Kalbarri. Wretch like me. I heard about. I repented of my sins and. Oh, victory. Jesus, I say. Yvonne. Hey, look. I mean. Victory, meaning the cleansing. I. This man. To. And on my to see. And then I cry, Dear Jesus,

Speaker 1: come in here,

Unidentified: my. Jesus came and brought. I say. And Yvonne. I am. And by the. Miss.

Speaker 1: Cleansing blood. That's a very convicting statement, and all my love is to. And all of our love is to him for what he's done for us. And I'm so thankful he died on the cross so we can have eternal life through his name. As we've seen this last verse. Let's think about that mansion will one day see up in heaven. I heard about.

Unidentified: Mantid has Milby. And Laura. And I heard about. Beyond the crystal. About the. And some sweet dancing up there, the song of big. Ramin. And he bought me with. But. And all my life. And skiing. To Victor.

Speaker 1: Meaning the glancingly. Amen, let's continue singing a wonderful song here. Rock of Ages, hymn number 12, Rock of Ages. Sing The First and the last. Rock of Ages

Unidentified: cleft for me, let me. Myself and the. Let. And the. Run by. BFC.

Speaker 1: Well, Lytro.

Unidentified: Leading right wing. When I saw. On.

Speaker 1: Of. Rock of Ages

Unidentified: cleft for me. Myself and the.

Speaker 1: And as the ushers make their way forward to take up the offering, I like to ask Brother Willie Short to come up and pray for offering.

Unidentified: Thank you today.

Speaker 1: Thank you for our freedoms. Did we celebrate tomorrow for. Memorializing those.

Unidentified: Giving us those freedom.

Speaker 1: Church here today, Lord, thank you. The delighted that it is help us to go forth and.

Unidentified: U.S. offering that we have here. Today, Lord.

Speaker 1: The community here to further your gospel, save souls and also the. Money will go. To further those works.

Unidentified: Many souls can be. Blessed, the offering blessed. Uh. Uh uh, uh, uh, uh, uh. Thank the Lord for that.

Speaker 1: This time, we'll have a special by Mrs. Shannon Costs. Urbino. God, you would have reached out and wiped your tears away, stepped in and saved the day, but once again I say, man, and it's still.

Unidentified: Amy. But I thought it was.

Speaker 1: Barely hear the through the. With. As merciful as

Unidentified: I raise my hands and praise the God who gives him takes away. Now, this. For you are. I have a patient with Mr.. I remember when I stole. You heard Mike. You raise me up again. My strength is. Oh, how can I carry? And as the thunder rolls.

Speaker 1: Mercyful.

Unidentified: And praise the God who gives.

Speaker 1: And takes so.

Unidentified: Your. I lift my

Speaker 1: eyes unto the hills, where does my husband. From my home comes from

Unidentified: the lord maker of heaven and earth, I left my son to the. Does my. Man, thank you.

Speaker 2: All right, now be honest, how many of you are in the habit of lifting your hands to the Lord? Not many, you know, it's biblical for Timothy, two eight, I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting what is prays, but praying to God, exalting him. And so we shouldn't get nervous because the person next to you raises their hand. It's scriptural and I don't know about you, but there are certain physical acts that we engage in that are helpful when we pray. How many of you are taught to kneel when you pray? Definitely. OK, well, there in the Bible, Paul says, I would that everyone would pray lifting up holy hands under the Lord. Now you have to have holy hands. God's going to look down and say, you got some stuff to take care of, but when we come to the Lord as his children and we are right with him, we can lift our hands to God even in times of struggle and sorrow and say, God, I'm going to praise you for what I trust you will do. And I appreciate that song. Thank you for singing that for us here this morning. Take your Bibles if you have them, and turn to the Book of Acts Acts Chapter. No. 16. Acts chapter number 16 is where we're going to be this morning, and as you find your place there, if you wouldn't mind, join me in standing honor of reading God's word if you are physically able accept number 16. We're going to begin reading in verse number 11. Accept a number 16, verse 11. The Bible says it says, therefore, Lucene from Troas, we came with a straight course to Sambath Theresia the next day to Minneapolis and from thence to Phillipi, which is the cheap city, that part of Macedonia and a colony. We were in that city Abidin certain days. And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside where prayer was want to be made. We sat down, spake unto the women, which resorted to other. And a certain woman named Lydia, seller of Purple, the City of Tire Tirah, which worshiped God heard us, whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended under the things which were spoken of Paul. When she was baptized in her household, she saw us saying, we have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us. Let's pray. Lord, I ask that you be with us now as we look into your word, God, we do ask that you would speak to us. You would apply what we hear to our lives. We would leave here better equipped to serve. You be with us over these next few moments. It's in Jesus name. Amen. And you may be seated. I'm very excited to share this message with you because I think it's going to hit home or resonate with many of you that are here today throughout the Bible, there is a certain tendency that God has displayed to bless you's and magnify things that had small beginnings, things that are people that you would not normally point to or look at as someone who had great potential, and yet God was able to use their life to do an amazing work. Many of you might even rise up and say, you know, Joseph, Joseph is an example of something like this. Joseph is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. Remember, Joseph was at one time the youngest of Jacob's children. He was the bottom of the family pecking order, if you could say it that way. We only had four boys in my family, but I always felt sorry for Joseph because by the time Joseph got to anything, it had already been worn out. Joseph was away. OK, so I have a brother, Joseph, and we're talking about Joseph, that might have been confusing for you there. But the thing about David, how many of you love David, it was an awesome Bible character, I'm reading about him in my devotions right now. David was not the one that Samuel thought was going to be anointed the next king. Remember that we went through brother after brother after brother. And finally, Samuel's, like, surely got somebody else. And he's like, oh, yeah, David, your parents forget your church. David would have been forgotten at church. He's out in the pasture, so I'm going to go get David and think about him. But God takes these these people that that really everyone else would have just written off these people who, when you looked at them, they probably didn't have a lot going for them, that everyone would have just said, oh, yeah, that's the one who's going to be great and yet God does great things with them. When Jesus came into this this world, where was he born? Bethlehem, Bethlehem, a city that everyone else was like Bethlehem, just this tiny little backwater town, there's nothing special about Bethlehem other than the fact that David was born. From there, he was born in Bethlehem. He was raised in Nazareth, and when Jesus was an adult, started doing all of the wonderful things that he was doing. What did they say about him? Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? And God has a way about him to wear the things that are valued little or the things that we would say have no potential, God takes those things and uses them to do something magnificent. You look back at the history of our country, who would have thought that that small group of pilgrims who could barely survive the winter? That it would eventually be the country that you and I live in today. I mean, God can take something small and do something really amazing. God can take something that everyone else has written off and do something incredible, you know, uh. Just in my own ministry experience, there have been times where there are families or individuals that everyone else will say that person has no potential, that person's not going to do anything for the Lord God, God can't use them. There are too far gone. There have been situations, relationships that that people have looked at and said, oh, well, there's no hope there. And yet God is able to take that young person, use their life, God is able to take that relationship, rebuild it, make it stronger than it ever was before, God is a powerful God. Is anything too hard for the Lord. Our passage this morning, you may not have noticed it, but there are so many drawbacks to what's going on here. I mean, humanly speaking, what we see happening here in Acts Chapter 16, it's impossible. This would have been the kind of business venture that that you would have said, you know what, we just need to cut bait and go because we're not doing anything here. We just need to take our losses and move on to the next place, because this obviously isn't going to work. And yet it does work. It does work. So we're looking at this this first European city that is going to receive the gospel of Paul. Last week we saw it was called by God into Macedonia, the gateway to Europe. And we talk about Europe and Asia. Those are terms that they would have used as well. They would have referred to Europe and in Asia. And so they would have known that there was a transition that was taking place here. But there's nothing in the text that necessarily makes us believe that this was some monumental undertaking, that they were all aware of the gravity of what they were doing. But it is a very important point in history. I was reading this past week about a long, long time ago. Preacher, how many of you have heard of Charles Spurgeon? OK, how many of you have heard of Alexander McLaren? Oh, a lot fewer hands realize Charles Spurgeon and Alexander McLaren were contemporaries with one another. They both ministered the same country at the same time. But everybody knows Charles Spurgeon now. A lot of people know Alexander McLaren. In fact, Alexander McLaren pastored a very small church for the majority of his ministry. But Alexander McLaren wrote he wrote a lot of things down. He would transcribe all of his messages. He wrote a lot of books. And as a as a living human being, no one ever knew who Alexander McLaren was. Well, not nobody, but not a lot of people after he died, God took all of those writings and use them and magnified them. And today, Alexander McLarens writings are some of the most sought after commentaries and books that are available on the market. But nobody knew him when he was alive. Nobody cared who he was. Spurgeon was the big name. God can use something that small, something that no one else knows about to do something magnificent. The missionaries, they make that journey from church, as in my sister that we talked about last week over to Macedonia, and the first stop is in this city of Phillipi. And Luke tells us several things about Phillipi inversed number 12. If you go back and look there with me in verse 12, it says that Phillipi was the chief city of that part of Macedonia and a colony. All right. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, those two things, but it actually tells us quite a bit about what kind of a city Phillipi was. As the chief city of Macedonia, we we know from history that Macedonia are Phillipi was an ancient town and it actually existed long before it even was known as Phillipi. There had been people living there for centuries. Phillipi had been populated, but Phillipi was renamed in three hundred and sixty B.C. by a guy you might be familiar with named Alexander the Great. And he named it Phillipi after his dad. Now I know Father's Day is coming up, so if any of you you folks, you you love your dad, find a city, go conquer it and name and after him. There's tons of towns here in Oklahoma probably in need of a new name, so nobody can pronounce the one that has now maybe you can go in and rename some cities. But anyways, 360 Philip of Macedon became the namesake for the town of Phillipi. Phillipi was also special because Phillipi had been the site of a major battle in forty two B.C. right outside of the city gates. There had been a battle between Antony and Octavian and they've been on one side in Brutus and Cassius were on the other side, not Clay Cassius Clay, but an ancient Cassius. But anyways, a.. Antony and Octavian were after they were trying to catch up with Brutus and Cassius because Brutus and Cassius, you may remember from that ancient history that you paid such close attention to in high school, they were the ones responsible for the murder of my No. Julius Caesar. That's right, this great battle, which really would have decided kind of the history of that part of the world, was fought in front of the city of Phillipi. And Antony and Octavius obviously became the victors. And so the Roman army was victorious that day and kind of as a celebration or as a memorial to those who had fought and died in that battle. Phillipi, which had already received its name, became a Roman colony. On that occasion, you said, well, what's special about a Roman colony? Well, there's a lot that is special about the about being a Roman colony. It became a tax free, self-governing, basically, city, state. Now, they had to abide by Roman law, but they were a self-governing, tax free place. And the reason it was set up was to honor and allow all of the veterans of the Roman army to go move to Phillipi and they could live there tax free. Now, if you fought in the military, you served our country. Don't you like the idea of the veterans being tax free? And I saying. I wouldn't mind living in a town that was self-governing by veterans either. They tend to be a little more level headed than some of the folks that I've run into. But anyways, that was Phillipi. And so you can imagine as this tax haven, as this self-governing city, Phillipi attracted a certain crowd. It was a place that was very much populated by old soldiers, veterans of the Roman army. They would go they would move there. I'm sure it was a very organized town. It was a very formalized town, very militaristic in the way people conducted business, the way they behaved their lives. There wasn't a whole lot of, you know, partying and the kind of the atmosphere we think of, like with the Corinth or even a Thessalonika. Phillipi wasn't like that. It was a very well. You could tell that a bunch of military guys lived there. Now, part of the problem that we're going to see with Phillipi, though, is because of the high concentration of Roman soldier veterans. Jews weren't all that hot about living in Phillipi. I mean, you've watched the Chosin. OK, or you've read your Bible, you know that the Jews and the Romans, they weren't friends. They didn't appreciate the Roman soldiers that occupied their their country. And so because of that, we're going to see that the Jewish population of Phillipi was very small. We know this because in verse number 13, we find out that there is something missing in Phillipi, something that Paul was accustomed to leveraging whenever he'd go into a new city to try and reach people with the gospel. We've been studying them for a while, you know, by this point that whenever Paul goes into a new city, where is the first place he goes? The synagogue. Well, it appears that there is no synagog and Phillipi. There's no rent, no mention of it in the biblical record. There's there's there's no evidence for it in archeological digs that there was any kind of large Jewish presence in Phillipi. And so in order, we know that in order to have a synagogue in a town, there must be at least 10 Jewish men. The fact that there's a synagogue tells us there must not have been 10 Jewish men to organize, at least not 10 faithful Jewish men, maybe they were undercover hiding who they were. But Phillipi was not the type of town where a Jewish population would feel comfortable with exposing themselves and setting up a formalized place of worship. And so first, number 13, the Sabbath rolls around. And Paul and his team, which we know at least makes up now Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke, we know at least those four. There were probably others, but at least those four are present with Paul. And so Paul and his team head out of town rather than to a synagogue on the Sabbath day. And the Bible tells us and verse number 13, they go to a riverside riverside. That was according to the passage, known to be a place where prayers were made. Now, why would they choose a riverside as a place for prayer or worship? Well, it could be just because being been by Riverside is kind of spiritual anyways. I mean, don't you enjoy just sitting there listening to the water go past that that tinkling sound as the water babbles down? I mean, you can all just close our eyes. Go to sleep right now. Maybe that's why, but more likely, it's because in Jewish worship, there are certain purification rituals which would have required water, and so having the water nearby would have made it much easier for them to ritualistically purify themselves before they went to the Lord in prayer. So that's probably why they were there. McPaul, no doubt when you got into town, he starts inquiring about, hey, where is there a synagogue in this city that we can worship? And when he finds out there is none, then he says, well, are there any Jews here in Phillipi? He finds out well. There's a little gathering that meets down by the river on Saturday, and so you're looking for some of the Jews, that's probably where you're going to find them. It's not a big group, but there's a few people down there. And so Paul and the others, they decide they're going to make their way out of town to this small gathering, not knowing at all what they're going to expect, what they're going to find. OK, so just just right off the bat, we've already seen some things that make this not really seem like a very promising mission ministry endeavor. You know, Phillipi is not exactly a town conducive for spirituality, especially not monotheistic spirituality. Phillipi, not a town where there's a lot of Jews. The Jews kind of have this foundation that they can build off of to introduce them to Jesus. And so now he's finding out there's not even a place of worship for them to go. You have to go out to the riverbank outside of town. It's not looking too good for Phillipi in the ministry there. Now they make their way to the river not knowing what to expect. And from the text in verse number. 13, it would seem that when they showed up, they found not a mixed group, but a group comprised solely of women. So as we sat down and spac under the women, which resorted further. Now for you and I. We don't have a. Any qualms about this, I mean, just a group of ladies that are meeting together to worship, study whatever scriptures they may have spent time in prayer? Oh, yeah, that's expected. But here's Paul, and as a man that's coming into this town trying to spread the gospel in their culture, he would have known that more likely a group of men converting are going to be more effective than a group of women converting. So there have been some who would have walked up to this group of ladies there at the riverbank and said, you know what? This isn't worth my time. You know what, guys, if this is all there is a group of ladies trying to tell people about the gospel, that's not going to work, we might as well just go on to the next town. We've talked about this. The gospel is not a male religion, it's not a female religion, it's not a Jewish religion, it's not a gentile religion. Gospel is for all people. If Paul had been of any other type of religion, he would have seen those women and he would have passed right on by. Paul knew that these ladies needed the gospel just as much as anybody else. And Paul knew that if God could take somebody like him and use him to to reach people with the gospel, then God was most definitely capable of taking this group of ladies and starting something really magnificent in the town of Phillipi, which spoiler alert is going to do. So they sat down, they start talking to the ladies, they share the gospel with them, just as they would if as if it had been a group of men in there at the at the river bank, there is a certain woman that the Bible points out to us named Lydia. Bible tells us that Lydia was from the city of tire Tyra. Tyra was situated in a region which get this was named Lydia. Yes, this is Lydia from Lydia. Lydia, not the lady, but that region was known for its production of purple silk and purple dye. Now, you've probably heard this before, but do you know where the purple dye comes from? Yeah, it's like a sea urchin thing that emitted this purple ooze that they were able to dye material in silk purple and it was very difficult to come by. And so it was a very expensive piece of clothing if you had something purple. It probably cost you a lot of money. And so Lydia is a seller of purple, and the Bible doesn't tell us whether or not it was purple fabric or purple dye, just that she was a seller of purple. She probably had all things purple. You know, you want a purple coat? I got a purple coat. You need a purple headband. I got a purple headband. You just need some purple paint for your purple pews in your church. I've got some purple dye. There are many assumptions that people make about this woman, the Bible doesn't really tell us much about her, aside from the fact of where she was and what her business was. But there are some who say, well, perhaps Lydia was unmarried. He said, well, why would you say that? Now, don't accuse me of being like, you know, backwards in and misunderstanding the current culture, but. They think she was unmarried because she's working. A woman of that day that was running a business was not that common. So it wasn't unheard of, she may have been married, but the fact that she's here selling people in their culture means she probably was not probably on her own. Perhaps she was a widow. Perhaps she never got married. Perhaps she was just just never had found someone that God would have her to marry. And so she'd been single her whole life working, running a business very successful by the fact that she's selling purple. And so here she is in Phillipi, most likely for work. Was she a Jew? Was she a gentile? Well, the Bible doesn't say she's there with these women. She is a woman who worshiped God, but some say perhaps she was a proselyte. She had seen the Jewish faith, it had been appealing to her, and so she had converted to Judaism, even though she was a gentile. The Bible does not say, but as they talked with the women, the Bible does tell us something that was going on inside the heart of Lydia. Isn't it funny sometimes what the Bible tells us and doesn't tell us? We don't know so much about Lydia, but we know what's going on in her heart. The Bible says that the Lord opened Lydia's heart. Well, what does that mean the lord opened her heart, how does God open someone's heart? I seem to remember a verse that says something like this faith cometh by. Hearing and hearing by the. We've got. So you don't get too cute with your explanations for how God opens somebody's heart. The Bible is pretty clear. God opens people's heart through the word of God. Paul is there sharing the gospel, those other men are there sharing the gospel and as the word of God is shared with Lydia, the word of God does the work. The Holy Spirit is using the word of God, and it is opening up Lydia's heart. So that person reporting in it says that she attended under the things which were spoken of Paul. Attended, think about that word, attend maybe not a word you use in this context that much, but you do use it for other things, which will give you a clue as to what it means. This morning, you had to decide whether or not you're going to want to attend church or not since you attended church, you are. Here, OK, you attend class, you attend services, you attend different things, you attend family events. It means you are present. And so when the Bible says that she attended under the things which are spoken of Paul, Lydia could have said something like this. Hey, Paul, I'm attending what you're saying. Or how about this, Paul? I'm right there with you now, that's something we might use if you if my wife's telling me something to say, I'm right there with you. What does that mean? I agree with her. OK, so here's Paul, he's telling her Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus has come, he lived a perfect life. He gave his life. He died on a cross so that anyone who believes on him can be saved. And Lydia attended, she agreed with what Paul was saying. What does that mean? Well, it means that that morning Lydia became a believer in Jesus Christ, Lydia got saved that morning by the river. That's pretty exciting. But still, somebody would have looked at and said. Really, this this this woman is the seed of the church in Phillipi. I mean, come on, Paul, there are better people you could have reached first besides Lydia. But that's where God started. Perhaps a single lady. Out by the river once one morning. Apparently, though, Lydia wasn't the only one who believed. I don't know if her household was there with her or whether she got her household and brought them. See, what Paul couldn't have known was how well connected Lydia was. You see, by reaching Lydia, you're not just exposing Lydia to the gospel, Lydia has got a whole household of people that are going to be exposed to the gospel. You see, you and I make judgments about people and what they can offer us, and we don't know the whole story. You know. You might hear a pastor have a couple come in and they're dressed really nice. I mean, he's got a suit on. She she's all done up and it looks very pretty. And he says, oh, man, look at that couple, man. If we could just have a couple like that in our church, man, that what a blessing they would be. I bet he sings. I bet I bet she would work in the nursery. I mean, look at them then we could really use a family like that. That same day, there could be another family coming in and they don't look the part. You know, they sit there quietly. I don't make a big show about being a church. They come and they go. Everybody gives their attention to that family that looks like a real catch. The family that nobody paid attention to leaves completely ignored. What you may not know. That family that maybe didn't look the part. They've got a lot of connections. The people that need to be reached. This family here. OK, don't be offended if this is you, but all their family already goes to church. They've already all been reached. You know, maybe they just move in here and they do need a church home and and all of that, and they will join and they will be a blessing. But we're not just called to reach the churched. Called to reach the unchurched. I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but the unchurched usually have a lot of unchurched connections. Do you have a lot of connections? The Bible says and verse number 15 when she was baptized and her what household what about what about the fact that you said she's unmarried? Maybe. Well, her household very well could have referred to her servants, her employees, the people who had moved to Phillipi with her to help her start her business. In other languages, when this verses is translated into different languages around the world, they will actually translate that word household into her, her men. What do you mean, her men? What kind of lady is this? Just the people that worked for her, it's her household, her employees, the people she was responsible for. They were all baptized to. Now, some have tried to say. That this baptism is proof of, you know, I mean, you don't really have to be saved to be baptized, baby could be mean, probably had a baby. Like what? There's nowhere in the Bible. There's nothing in the text that suggests she might have a baby and that that baby was baptized before it was a believer. You know, the people who say that and they say that about Cornelius's situation, too, that's incredibly offensive. That you would say that Paul or Peter? Would have just baptized anybody. You know, don't you think Paul had enough sense to say, OK? You don't really seem like you're on board with this. I'm not baptizing you. Lydia and the people of your household. We're baptized because they believed the gospel. Why did they believe the gospel, because they heard the gospel. So hearing led to believe, led to acceptance, led to baptism, and there's one last thing I want to point out to you, because there was another change that God was going to make in their lives. You see in the first 10 or 15 after the baptism, Lydia besought, saying she's she's going to bring this this proposition to Paul. She says, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide their. Now, Paul, even though he had a Christ approved mandate to stay with the first person that offered him a place to stay, if you go back and read Jesus's instructions for the evangelists, he said, hey, first person that offers you a place to stay. Take him up on it. Paul, that was not his is his M.O. as he went from place to place many times he would stay somewhere else, that he paid for himself so as not to be a burden or to be obligated to anybody in the town. So Paul, I think, probably resists at first, which is why Inversion 15 says and she constrained us. She continued to say, no, you have to stay at my house, don't go back and stay at that hotel, quit paying your money to that business owner, come stay at my house. I've got plenty of room. You guys can make your base there in my home. So Paul said, OK. We'll do that. Is he hearing the word of God turn to faith and acceptance, baptism, but then return to service? When Paul went that day to the river, he thought, hey, you know what time we go home, we're going to have a free place to stay. No. Lydia is going to become very influential to that church there in Phillipi, as I think about the lessons of this passage. There are so many things that we could point out. But the one thing that impresses me the most about what God does in Phillipi is that we are once again seeing God's ability to bless something that has small beginnings. Something that has small beginnings, something that other people would have discounted or devalued. God says, I see a lot of value there. I see a lot of potential there. I can do something really great here. Previously, when Paul went to a city, he would visit the sizable Jewish populations that were scattered throughout Asia, but in Phillipi. There was no sizable population of Jewish residents previously when Paul would address people for the first time in a city, he would leverage the crowd that was present in the synagogue. Philip, I didn't have a synagogue. Previously, Paul would address mixed crowds or even all male crowds or crowds that were made up of city leaders and important people, but in Phillipi, Paul goes outside of town to a river and finds a collection of ladies that have met there to pray and worship God. And so despite all of these seemingly drawbacks, God blesses the mission efforts there in Phillipi and over the next few weeks, we're going to see more amazing things that God will do as he forms the Philippine church. But this leads me to this question. How does this affect your life? What about you, have you seen God do something great with something small? Have you? Something great was something small. Maybe it's a personal experience, you have experienced this yourself firsthand, perhaps it's a time where you weren't really able to do much, you couldn't offer much, but God took what you could offer. And he did something great with it, like the widow with her two nights. And that offering monetarily didn't measure up to all the great gifts that were coming in. But God looked at her gift and said she's done more than all of them. Have you experienced God doing much with something that was little in the eyes of man? I like that song, we sing it from time to time, little as much when. God is in it. Maybe you look at your life. You look at your background. And you would say. I don't see anything there. For God to work with. Perhaps all the skills, talents or whatever that other people seem to have. You don't have. Maybe you didn't grow up in church. Do you think, well, I'm. We can't do anything for God, I wasn't prepared for this. Maybe you don't have the education somebody else does, and so you think, well. I'm not going to be able to do off or anything, I'm not going to teach a Sunday school class. I can't surrender to be a missionary. I'll never be able to be a youth worker. Maybe your home isn't as nice as somebody else's home. So you say, well, I could never host people at my house and never have people from church over. I could never give as much as so-and-so would give my offering is so small, my home is so small, my background experience is so small. What could God do with my little bit? Well. What did God do with the launch of a small boy? What it got to do with the youngest of the family. How about this one? What did God do with, God forbid, a left handed judge? I left handed judge, I'm not going to tell you have to go look at it. It's a great story for your boys, though, they'll love it, I promise. You see, God is not limited. By your limitations. God is not limited by the size of your offering. God is not limited by the disadvantages that humans would say you have. God can take you a little bit. And do something great with it. All he requires is for us to offer it to him. That's it, you're not responsible for the multiplication, Godey's. You just offer it. And see what God will do. I'm not musical. Right. It was a really emphatic that come from. Musical. You know, in preachin school. I did really bad at the preaching classes, not really bad, but pretty bad, bad for me. It was one of my worst classes. They gave me the opportunity to give a testimony one year and it was embarrassingly bad. There's. There are some things I'm good at. There are some things I'm really not good at. Was need to see how God can use even the things that I'm not good at. You can use them in the ministry. If I let him. There are some things that that you probably don't excel at. But God can use those things if we will just offer them to him. It's humbling. There's no doubt there's trepidation. God never lets us down. If there's something that God has been burning your heart about to do to give to him, maybe there's something something in your life that that God wants you to take this next step in your spiritual walk with him. And you think, God, I just don't think I can be good enough to do it. Look at Phillipi. All of the drawbacks that were there and what God did. Your life in God's hands. Can be an amazing thing. Don't you think God's more capable of using your life than you are? He sure is or we thank you for this day. Thank you for the reminder here in Phillipi. Of how you can work. Even when it seems like the odds are stacked against you. Even when it seems like the natural advantages are missing or you're never at a disadvantage. God, we may not have much to offer. But in your hands, a little gift is more than enough. Lord, I pray that you would encourage our hearts today by this example of your ability to do far beyond what we can do. Your ability to supersede our own doubts, the disadvantages that are present in. Lord, you are a great and mighty God. I asked to this morning that you would use your Holy Spirit to convince our hearts of your ability. That we would cease to rely on our own abilities, our own gifts and talents. Lord, we will offer you what we have and then watch what you can do or if there's somebody here. That is not saved. They've never accepted the gospel for themselves, they're still in their sins. Lord, I pray that today. They would give you their life, they would put their faith in you. Trust in what Jesus did for them. Lord, for their forgiveness and salvation. Got it. There's somebody here that is looking for a church home to get involved in to. To use their gifts for you, Lord, I pray that you would use your Holy Spirit to show them whether or not this church should be their church home. God, if there's a spiritual need in our lives today, I pray that you would do your work during this moment of invitation. In Jesus name, I ask these things. Amen. Let's all stand, we're going to sing a song. And as we sing this song, we want to give you opportunity to respond to God. God speaks to us through his word. He uses his Holy Spirit to to prick our hearts, to lead us closer to him. And this morning, if God has spoken to you, then it's only right that you would talk back to him. If you were to talk to your wife or your children and they didn't respond to you, you would think something is wrong. So many times God speaks to us and we are just silent in response. If God has spoken to you, don't worry about what somebody else is going to think about you, don't worry about the the potential embarrassment of being singled out. Nobody is going to single you out. No one's going to think less of you. But if God has spoken to your heart, you need to talk back to him, so his brother Matt sings, plays only trust him, you respond to God today.

Speaker 1: OK, um, uh, very by sin. Uh, press. There's mercy with the Lord and he will surely give you rest by trusting in his uh, only trust him only trust him. Only trust him. Uh. Oh, he will save you. He will save you, he will save you. Oh, for Jesus shed his precious blood. Rich blessings to be so plunged now into the crimson flood that washes white as snow. Oh, oh, they trust him on they trust him on the trust in.

Unidentified: So he will save you his. We will save

Speaker 1: you, we will save you

Speaker 2: now. Well, thank you for your good attention here this morning, Maspero the Makhaya to come up and close prayer. I want to invite you back tonight. Uh, five thirty. We're going to continue with our new series that we started. It's a short series just on some of the the items that relate to our philosophy of youth ministry here at the Baptist Tabernacle. And we're excited to have the Clarence Nettle's joining us here in a few more weeks. He's going to be our new youth pastor. That's not going anywhere. He's just transitioning some of his responsibilities. The brother Clarence and Britney are going to be here on a couple of weeks and we want to try and help prepare the church for receiving them. And just so that we're all on the same page of what our desire is for the youth ministry, we're dealing with some of that on Sunday nights. So invite you back this evening? No, that'll be a blessing to you. And I hope that you have a good if I don't see you tonight, a good rest of your weekend, please. With all of the busyness and the enjoyment, don't forget why we are recognizing this weekend in particular. And so I know that you'll do that. But the Mechai, you come close in prayer and once he's done, you are dismissed. Father, we just want to thank you for the.

Speaker 1: Wonderful time you gave us here to worship together, I thank you for all. The things you've done for us in our lives. What pastor said. Just remember, just for a small moment of what tomorrow means for us. The freedoms that we have because of the ones who sacrificed and ultimately, Lord, that your sacrifice and the life. A view that you gave for us and we may have salvation or we thank you for it. All the things you've given us and your bosses with. Sempre Ayman.

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Acts 20:16-35