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Acts of Harvest   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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New helpers, new opprotunities, new Christians

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Title: New
Series: Acts of Harvest
What I want you to know:
What I want you to do:
How I want you to do it:
Series: Acts of Harvest
Text:
Date: March 25, 2018
Pastor Mike Ellis
Introduction:
We are going to be in this morning
Today we continue with our journey through the book of Acts
We find our theme from
John 4:35 CSB
“Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
And we are continuing today with a new missionary journey
Read
Acts 16:28–34 CSB
But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because we’re all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. He escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house. He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized. He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had come to believe in God with his entire household.
1. New Helpers
· Continuing on from
Acts 15:36–41 CSB
After some time had passed, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit the brothers and sisters in every town where we have preached the word of the Lord and see how they’re doing.” Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take along this man who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed off to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and departed, after being commended by the brothers and sisters to the grace of the Lord. He traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
o Last week we discussed the separation of Paul and Barnabas
· Today we are going to see how God continues to work, regardless of the choices we make.
o I do want to point out that Paul and Barnabas disagreed about the workers in the mission, not the mission itself.
o Neither of the men broke fellowship with God, just one another.
· We closed last week with Barnabas and Mark sailing off to Cyprus and Paul after choosing Silas went through Syria and Cilicia.
· We pick up in
· We find Paul back in Derbe and Lystra.
o Lystra was where Paul was stoned and left for dead outside the city. (chapter 14)
· We find with his return trip, Paul wanting to take along a young man named Timothy.
o We can read that Timothy was well known, and that he was well thought of in not just his home town of Lystra but also Iconium.
· It is always interesting when we recognize God working.
o Here we have this split between great friends
o But God is bringing new people together and all for His greater purpose.
· Let’s talk about the how and the why.
o First, we must always remember God’s will.
o We find in Scripture
§
1 Timothy 2:4 CSB
who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
§
2 Peter 3:9 CSB
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
o That God does not want any to perish but for all to come to Him.
§ This is not to say that all will be saved, but God’s love extends to all and that His gift of salvation is for all, but we know that all will not choose it.
o The how within these verses, is brought about in the new relationships being formed.
§ Instead of Paul and Barnabas we now have Paul, Silas, and Timothy.
§ Do you know what new people mean for the ministry; new workers?
o For Paul, this meant the work being continued, when he was called home.
§ Replacements
· Something that we all should be doing, is creating replacements.
· When we create replacements, we create new opportunities.
2. New Opportunities
· With new people in place, new opportunities became available
· Notice
Acts 16:6–8 CSB
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia; they had been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Passing by Mysia they went down to Troas.
Acts 16:6–10 CSB
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia; they had been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Passing by Mysia they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision in which a Macedonian man was standing and pleading with him, “Cross over to Macedonia and help us!” After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Acts 16:6–8 CSB
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia; they had been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Passing by Mysia they went down to Troas.
· For what ever reason Paul wanted to go east so as to spread the gospel in today’s Asia Minor
· But the Holy Spirit said no.
o We need to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit says to us.
o We dare not let our feelings lead what we do.
· With Paul listening to the Holy Spirit he ended up in Macedonia.
o This has a huge world impact when we think how the church has grown till now
· New opportunities will bring new Christians
3. New Christians
Acts 16:11–15 CSB
From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, a Roman colony and a leading city of the district of Macedonia. We stayed in that city for several days. On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate by the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women gathered there. A God-fearing woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
· A woman with an open heart
o Lydia, the first European convert
Acts 16:16–24 CSB
Once, as we were on our way to prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She made a large profit for her owners by fortune-telling. As she followed Paul and us she cried out, “These men, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation, are the servants of the Most High God.” She did this for many days. Paul was greatly annoyed. Turning to the spirit, he said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out right away. When her owners realized that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. Bringing them before the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are seriously disturbing our city. They are Jews and are promoting customs that are not legal for us as Romans to adopt or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had severely flogged them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to guard them carefully. Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.
· A girl with a possessed heart
o Satan always at work
Acts 16:25–40 CSB
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison standing open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because we’re all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. He escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house. He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized. He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had come to believe in God with his entire household. When daylight came, the chief magistrates sent the police to say, “Release those men.” The jailer reported these words to Paul: “The magistrates have sent orders for you to be released. So come out now and go in peace.” But Paul said to them, “They beat us in public without a trial, although we are Roman citizens, and threw us in jail. And now are they going to send us away secretly? Certainly not! On the contrary, let them come themselves and escort us out.” The police reported these words to the magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. So they came to appease them, and escorting them from prison, they urged them to leave town. After leaving the jail, they came to Lydia’s house, where they saw and encouraged the brothers and sisters, and departed.
· A man with a hard heart
o A Roman jailer
Conclusion:
2 Corinthians 5:16–6:2 CSB
From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive the grace of God in vain.” For he says: At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!
Sometimes things change
We need to recognize that God is still working regardless of that change
We need to see the new people that God has put in our lives.
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