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Book of Acts: Finishing the Assigned Work

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Vision 2018: Forward Book of Acts Blueprint Psalm 127:1 Introduction: I. Finish the Assigned Work Acts 20:22“And now I [Paul] am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.   Acts 21:10And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” 12Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.” NLT A. Sometimes you walk into the storm. a. Paul was warned on several occasions of the persecution which awaited him in Jerusalem. The Prophetic word never forbid him to go. In fact, in Acts 20:22 Paul says, I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. He was only warned of what to expect. b. Interpretation was left to Paul as was the decision of what he should do. He apparently felt he could bring more glory to the LORD through his suffering & persecution. B. The message doesn’t change a. Chapter 22 Paul has the opportunity to declare the message of the transforming power of Christ to an entire group of unbelievers who were looking to kill him. b. Chapter 23 Paul stands before religious leaders declaring the message of the Gospel. c. Then in Chapter 24 Paul stands before Governor Felix proclaiming the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. C. Listen, God ALWAYS has a bigger plan than you can see in "real" time. You encounter & endure circumstances beyond your imagination of "how" it fits into the plan for your life. It is natural to question, while being reassured by faith that God will in Divine order receive greater glory. Trusting God has seen from the beginning the end affirms He is constantly aware of where you are & the heartbreak you may feel while moving forward to the greater accomplishment of finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus. aac D. The ultimate goal is Finishing the Assigned Work. a. You will have plenty of naysayers, even some who will believe you to be out of your mind! Along the journey understand there will be bumps, valleys, mountains, storms, trials & even tribulations. However, you overcome not by physical or mental strength, not by charisma & personality but by the power of the Spirit of the Most High God. b. Paul was well aware of his heavenly assignment that is why we have recorded his words, Philippians 3:13bfocus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 2 Corinthians 10:3We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. NLT Romans 8:32-38 c. You are called to Finish the Assigned Work. Not based on what you see, what you feel, what you even "think." VIDEO: Growth of a Chinese Bamboo Tree II. Finish the Work Remember the application: Never alone. A. Abraham a. He went alone to the mountain of sacrifice because the men with him would not understand why he was doing what he knew he was to do. b. The LORD spoke clearly to Abraham of what he was to do showing obedience, which is better than sacrifice. c. It didn't make any sense. Pastors, counselors & psychologists would have reported him to the authorities. But God had spoken! The Call is to Finish the Work. B. Elisha a. After revealing to Ahab the drought was ending, went to a solitude place with only his servant where he positioned himself with his face between his knees blocking out all obstacles to pray. b. What if Ahab or some of his cohort went with the man of God waiting for the rain? What a distraction. So much talk & gossip about this nut-job. The Call is to Finish the Work. C. David a. You are familiar with the testimony of young David. You read of how he was treated by his brothers, soldiers & the king. If he had told them what he was doing or asked some to go with him, he would have been killed or never faced the giant. The Call is to Finish the Work. D. Jesus a. In the Garden of Gethsemane with 11 of His Disciples asked His three closest to join Him in prayer where even then He went a "stone-throw" away to pray alone. Wiping the blood from His forehead found those three sleeping. None of the 11 could understand the Word that was in His heart to fulfill. b. Alone in the mock court room. Alone with Herod. Alone at the whipping post. Alone carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Alone on Calvary's Hill - All because no one else could understand the Word in His heart to fulfill. The Call is to Finish the Work. III. Way Maker A. Hebrews 11:32-40 (BIBLE) B. The reason we can do this is because of the resurrection of Christ. - He asks us to: * Repent * Live by Faith * Be Baptized * Be Filled with His Spirit Conclusion: PRESENT THE GOSPEL FOR SALVATION – EVERY WEEK – AND THE NEED TO COME FORWARD IN PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE OF CHRIST
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