Acts 20:28-38 | Part 42
Mediocrity kills the efforts of sacrifice
You can’t be both sacrificial and mediocre
I’m going to sacrifice for my family/job/health but be mediocre about it. Doesn’t work
Either you will sacrifice, which means pain, suffering, focus, saying no to other things OR…
You will give a halfway effort, and be mediocre. Which one are you? The better question is which one do you want to be?
Back to Acts!
1st Thessalonians 5:16-21 (written around AD 51) Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t stifle the Spirit. 20 Don’t despise prophecies, 21 but test all things. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
Pray. All the time
Give thanks for every situation. It’s God's will for you
LISTEN to the Holy Spirit
TEST thought and ideologies
Hold on to good things
Don’t get close to evil.
Acts 20:28-38 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Men will rise up even from your own number and distort the truth to lure the disciples into following them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I never stopped warning each one of you with tears.
For three years as Paul was discipling these people, he begged them to understand what principle? COMPLACENCY. The enemy of AWARENESS and PREPARATION
COMPLACENCY is the enemy of AWARENESS and PREPARATION
I’m a good person
I said a prayer of salvation
Identifying as the Savior instead of the saved
Acts 4:12 (Peter at the beginning of the church first arrest) There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”
Porn is not that bad (I’m not with a real person)
The movies you watch (I can decide)
The music you listen to (my call)
The books you read (It’s just a story)
The jokes you approve (I can handle them)
Philippians 1:20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all courage, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
My spouse my kids my job my health determines my happiness/joy
So what happens when they fail you?
The reality of your lack of substance in Christ will be exposed. This is a hard reality
Exodus 34:14 for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
4.) Health and Wealth
God has blessed me because I have earned it
God has cursed me because I’m a horrible person
5.) Ethics and Honesty
Important in church and how others treat you in your communities
Not as important how you treat them
6.) Mission work
Certain people are called to be missionaries. Not me
7.) Gossip is not a big deal
Gossip + mentality
This is your mentality if you are afraid to talk about just the Gospel
You don’t want others to think bad about you
You don’t want to be known as that person in the office
You have strong beliefs and you think its ok to keep these to yourself
Christ followers are called to fight the DRIFT, not follow the crowd
Fight the Drift:
1.) Scripture competency
Jeremiah 31:33b “I will put my teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Study scripture. Dig into it!
Stop listening to a high volume of internet preachers that are more sensational than provisional and YOU study the scriptures. YOU ask questions. Don’t be a follower. Be a leader.
2.) Crazy prayer life
Jeremiah 33:2-3 “The Lord who made the earth, the Lord who forms it to establish it, the Lord is his name, says this: 3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.
Want a good reason to pray? God will tell you things you don’t know!!
Pray about everything
Keep a running conversation going with your Savior all-day
Write down your prayer lists
Pray for missionaries
Pray for Pastors and ministry leaders
Pray for all of your family and friends by name
3.) Talk about Jesus (choose it)
DG, CG, family time, spouse time, hang with your friends that love Jesus time…
You can’t say you're committed to something that you don’t sacrifice for
If no sacrifice is evident, then no commitment has been made
32 “And now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that I worked with my own hands to support myself and those who are with me. 35 In every way I’ve shown you that it is necessary to help the weak by laboring like this and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Paul commits the people to the grace of God
Paul has worked among them, not asked them to do anything he wouldn’t do in ministry
Help the weak (others and..YOU!) by treating others as more important than yourself
36 After he said this, he knelt down and prayed with all of them. 37 There were many tears shed by everyone. They embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.
Paul would never see these people again until they reunited in Heaven
For the Christian today:
God is calling you to commit to something that you can not control
In this calling, King Jesus will never leave you
For His glory, the church, the body, is here for you
For the non-Christian today:
Are you living in complacency?
Are you speaking up, speaking out, and telling the truth?
You have to rock the boat a little bit. This is your calling
1st Timothy 4:1-2, 6, 15-16 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
People in church will depart from what the church teaches
They will be deceived and seek to deceive others IN THE CHURCH
Your responsibility is to speak up, speak out, and TELL THE TRUTH!
God uses our obedience in the lives of others
Conversely, God condemns are disobedience and takes it very seriously when we mislead