Rev. Clint Smith
Sermon Direct Link
Our lives are full of ups and downs. We never know when we might hear good news or bad news. Most fear the day when word comes, we have a terminal disease and/or only have a short time to live.
If we would change our focus to the Lord and His will daily, like Paul, we would walk with a much bolder walk. As we mature in Christ, we trust more.
Luke shared how Paul and his traveling companions left the elders in Ephesus. Paul told them he would never return. This was hard on all.
Paul and his band of disciples set sail, trusting God would make a way. They landed in Tyre (men would say to unload cargo – God knew the disciples at Tyre needed encouragement from Paul and knew Paul needed encouragement and rest from them).
Paul experienced another Church service on the beach with the men, women, and children of Tyre. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem. Paul understood the warning but set his mind on going anyway. He knelt with them, prayed, and then set sail. The Church returned home. We see the Church is bigger than just a local address.
God allowed Paul and his team to minister to another set of disciples in Ptolemais (tol-uh-mey-ik). God knows who needs what encouragement when they need it.
Paul traveled onto Caesarea. There he engaged with Philip; we know him as the deacon/evangelist (Acts 6:5; 8). Philip allowed Paul and his companions to lodge with him.
It had been over twenty years since Paul and Philip were in the same area. Philip served the Jerusalem Church as a Deacon when Paul sat in judgement and eventual martyrdom of Stephen, his friend and fellow Deacon. (Acts 6:5; 8-15; 7:1-60; 8:1,2). This encounter shows the ability to forgive when we have been hurt.
Philip had kept the faith and his fervor for the Gospel. Evidenced by his virgin daughters serving the Lord.
While at Philip’s home, Agabus the prophet from Judea came into Paul and proclaimed Paul would be bound in Jerusalem.
After hearing the prophecy, Luke, his fellow disciples, and those present begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. They knew his fate based on the prophesy from God.
Paul said to them, “stop crying, stop breaking my heart – I am willing to be bound by chains and I am even ready to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus!” Paul had bold faith!
When Paul would not be persuaded otherwise, the disciples declared, “the will of the Lord be done.” This is how we should live each day. Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-17