Faithlife Sermons

Unopened Gifts

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Intro;

Aren’t children precious? So innocent.

Illustration;

Ring bearer at wedding…

Ignorance may be bliss/dangerous.

I want to walk worthy of your calling.

To be able to have an answer/someone ask

The Word of God/Power Tool for life.

All tools/learn to use them

Drill/don’t plug it in/working harder.

Today I don’t want you to hear what Gods saying to you.

Today I want you to receive what Gods saying to you.

Slide:

1 Thessalonians 2: 13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
NKJV

Key words;

“received the Word of God which you heard”

Two different words

To receive/hear. Two meaning.

1.     Is to hear with your ears.

2.     Is to hear with your heart.

Paralamnano;

To casually taste something/hear with your ears.

Illustration;

Your teenage child setting/watching television

“Take out the trash”….. “OK” continues to sit there.

Did they hear it or receive it?

Decomai;

Receive/Hear it with your heart/to welcome/embrace it.

How do you receive Gods word?

Take what you want/discard the rest?

Accept the blessing/reject the burdens

Have you receive all of Gods word?

Stuff still lying under the tree from last year.

Put it all out on the table.

Are there any unopened gifts from last year/years before?

Slide;

“Unopened Gifts”

Re-Cap;

Chapter 17

Paul and Silas

Amphipolis to Apollonia to Thessolanica

“as was his custom” went to synagogue.

He shared the good news/gospel.

Which is the gift of Jesus Christ.

When you hear the Word of God, you can react in three ways.

1.     You reject the Word of God.

2.     You received the Word of God.

3.     You can respond to the Word of God.

Key question;

How do you receive the Word of God?

Paralambono; with your ears/teen taking out trash

Decomai; With your heart.

Illustration;

Couple dated for months/she wonders if he’ll ever pop the question/went out to eat/romantic restaurant/candles/violins.

Looks deep in her eyes, “Matilda” yes Throckmorton. Will you pass the catsup?

“Will you marry me?” Throws her arms around him/yes.

She received what he said in her heart.

God wants you to be His bride.

He’s given Himself to you.

How have you reacted?

1.     Rejected.

2.     Received.

3.     Respond.

Open the gift He’s given you.

Slide:

Acts 17: 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
NKJV

The “Received” the word.

Guess which word Paul used?

Decomai; They receive it with their hearts.

Sometimes you receive the word of God/only hear/never opened up.

Pathway from ear to heart

Something blocking it.

Blockage/lifestyle.

God created us to be like Him.

Not so much imitation/just and act.

But, transformation/in His image.

That happens when we receive His word.

God is speaking to you today/message for you today.

Slide:

Acts 17:12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds.
NKJV

The word of God always draws a crowd.

Some receive.

Some reject.

God is sending out Gospel

Satan is stirring up trouble.

Protect yourself from the wiles/devil.

Be like the Bereans.

1.     Receive the Word of God.

2.     Test the Word of God.

3.     Study the Word of God.

The word of God has…

Universal Power.

Universal Appeal.

Universal Power;

Completely suffecient.

Universal Appeal;

Young/Old/Rich/Poor/

Universal gift.

But not everyone opens it.

Slide:

Acts 17:14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there.
15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.
NKJV

Once again Paul running.

Whether he went to Athens by boat or land is not known.

Either case he called for Silas and Timothy join him.

Arrives in Athens.

Slide:

Acts 17: 16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.
17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.
NKJV

Athens, the intellectual capital of world.

Where thinkers went to think.

Beautiful city.

Great cultural center.

Architecture buildings

Famous university.

“Given over to idols”

Over run with idols.

As many idols as people.

Sacrifices continually.

Do you have idols in your house?

Garage.

Office.

Lawn.

Big Screen TV

Are you sharing your worship of God with other gods.

Are you being unfaithful.

Do you have unopened gifts not sharing with God?

Let’s take a hard look at ourselves.

Have you received all that God has for you?

Or have you rejected God when He convicts you?

Look into the mirror get home this afternoon.

Illustration:

Mountain man finding mirror.

Is there an area that needs to change?

Small pimple/new wrinkle/another chin.

Those you can cover up.

Look deeper.

Don’t cover it/correct it.

Open that area of your life to God.

Sometimes we come to church/don’t like what we hear.

Wrap it up;

Slide;

Acts 17:18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?
20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.”
NKJV

Epicurian philosophers;

Seek pleasure and happiness. Self fulfillment.

Stoic philosophers;

Great purpose in life. Direct mans destiny

Paul was sharing something totally foregn to them.

If you would open yourself to God.

He would open a whole new life to them.

Joy unspeakable.

Beyond all understaning.

“You bring something strange to our ears”

Slide:

Acts 17:21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;
23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Turning Point:

They heard the word of God/ears.

You’ve heard the word of God today.

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