5.1.16 All In
Well as we continue in our preaching series through the book of acts year kirk motley washes a video about the type of impact that we might be on the make in other people’s lives who. We would commit ourselves to ministering to them in jesus christ name of course the impact that we make it though isn’t made just by our own effort our own accord our own abilities the video is clear to us that it’s god that moves. When we step out and say. God moves. When we are all in. And we will put the video for you because we’re about to look at a couple of characters in the bible who when it comes to ministering to other people in jesus christ name were indeed. All in when it comes to serving. Other people. But i’m here at the table to start before we go up in look at the scripture and talk about a couple of other people who are all in. We are to remind ourselves that the only reason the people in the bible who we’re going to look at were all in and. For ministering to others is because they recognize that their lord and savior jesus christ when it came to ministering to them. Was all in for them. And we would do well to recognize that this morning as we get started as well. The table which will have the opportunity to participate together and in a few moments. Will reminds us that christ was indeed. All in for us when it came to minister to us. It was him who left the heavens above. It was he who knew perfect union with the father. All of heaven’s glory. All of its splendor all of its perfection and he left. All of that. To come down and to minister and to rescue. You and i it is indeed true to say he was all in. When it came to rescuing us. For he was willing to endure the hardships of this world. Sin. The temptation of sin he was willing to endure it. He was willing to endure. Hunger and thirst. In want and need. He was willing to endure all of that he was willing to endure. Even death. As the. She says even death. On the cross. He was in the. All in. When it came to rescuing us. And minister to you and i will take a look at our passes together. This morning it’s found in the book of acts chapter sixteen as we look at these couple of folks who are indeed all in when it came to ministering to other people. Now if you’re new with us or you just haven’t been here for a while. You know that we will let you know we are going through the book of acts in our preaching together. X. is the fifth book in the new testament it is the history of the early church especially what we’re saying is that christ at this time is no longer on the scene he’s come to earth he’s lived his life he’s been crucified. There’s a group of people who are who are convinced that he was crucified for their sins for the sins of the world that he. Not only was crucified but he rose from the dead and. Ascended into heaven and therefore. They rally behind this conviction in the early church. Is born. And by the time we get to acceptor sixteen the church is now. Thousands upon thousands and it’s beginning to spread geographically as well. And the primary person who’s helping. This thing to spread the news about jesus christ to spread geographically is this man named paul the apostle paul is going about in traveling around telling people about jesus christ and in the past we’ve looked at what people refer to as his first. Missionary journey. But now an acceptor sixteen we start looking at what they call his second. Missionary journey. And our passage of scripture is going to a bunch of cities and places and stuff we’re not going to get bogged down in discussing all the details of them. But it might suffice to say that paul began his second missionary journey in the holy land on the eastern side of the mediterranean sea he traveled north. Through modern day. Turkey. And then. Where he ministered. Again to people who he had already planted churches at on his first missionary journey. But then he crossed the. Agency crossed over into modern day greece. And he began sharing christ with people who had never heard about jesus christ before and then having ministered there eventually he travels across them and training and see. Back to the holy land. All right so. That’s the synopsis of his travels for a second missionary journey. Here’s what the scripture says starring him in the the book of acts chapter sixteen. Let’s read the first four verses together. He came to derby not together but he was reading to get the three that he came to derby in mental lystra. Where a disciple named. Timothy lived. Whose mother was a jewess and a believer. But whose father was a greek. The brothers at lystra and i kone him spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey. So he circumcised him. Because of the jews who lived in that area. For they all knew that his father was a greek. As they travelled from town to town they delivered the decisions. Reached by the apostles and elders in jerusalem. For the people to obey. All right let’s pause there. So the scripture tells us that. Paul is comes across a man named timothy. Timothy is known to be a brother in christ. We don’t know if paul knew timothy from one of his earlier trips maybe. He’s the one who led him at the to faith in jesus christ himself we don’t know exactly those details but. But he at this point in time is a brother in christ. And he has a good reputation among the church. And paul. Decides he wants to take him with them. To be a part of his ministry. Now the reason he’s looking for someone to join him is because at the end of action after fifteen. He had been traveling around with a man named barnabas. But him and barnum a sort of split ways. Barnabas takes john mark with it now mark some of you recognize that name. Mark the guy who travels with barnabas from here. Now is the one who wrote the gospel mark the book of the bible mark. But paul is now alone so he’s looking for someone to be his ministry partner. And he invites timothy to do so and apparently timothy is willing. But paul says. Before you go. Let’s have you be circumcised. Now for some of you that might not seem like anything but if you were here last week and. And i didn’t put you to sleep and presumably you were paying attention and you remember what we talked about. This is going to sound like paul is completely contradicting what we talked about in action after fifteen. Is anybody remember an x. fifteen what was happening was that the early church. Was infiltrated by a couple. Some people who were. They were indeed followers of christ but they were jewish people. And the message they were telling the other part of the church that wasn’t jewish was this. Hey if you want to be considered a real part of the church. A real follower of jesus christ. If you want to get to heaven some day. There we’re going to need you to be circumcised and obey the law of moses just like our people have had to for the last two thousand years. And paul. Thought that was a. Inappropriate inaccurate message he argued with them. And then eventually the topic went to the church. In jerusalem and they decided look. That is not true. Our only hope for salvation is found by grace. By trusting in jesus christ as our lord and savior not by any religious act or any religious behavior like circumcision or baptism or tithing or attendance or sunday school whatever else it might be right. That’s not how we get to heaven. By trusting in the grace that jesus christ offers us. So that’s the message that comes out of actually after fifteen. And now paul says timothy. I want you to get circumcised. This sounds like a complete contradiction. But notice what the scripture doesn’t say. The scripture doesn’t say that paul said. You know timothy. I know you. Siddur yourself to be a real christian and you know. A real follower of christ you probably think you’re going to go to heaven some day. But let me tell you something. You haven’t been circumcised and therefore you’re really not. The scripture doesn’t say that. That’s not why paul has him. Circumcised. If that’s why paul had had them circumcised he would be completely contradicting x. fifty. But why does paul have timothy circumcised was the say in your scripture. Why does paul have him circumcised. Because the people that they were going to minister to knew that timothy. Hadn’t been circumcised because his father was a greek. And to then. Circumcision. Really mattered and not show. What the passage is saying. Timothy would have been less effective at ministering to people of jesus’s name. Had he not been circumcised. And so paul says. We got a jus. We’ve got a debt and. This is consistent with paul’s teaching in the book of current things first corinthians chapter nine here is what paul says about his own life he says this. He says though i am free in belong to no man. I make myself a slave to everyone. To win as many as possible. To the jews i became like a jew too when the jews. To those under the law became white one under law. Though i myself would not under the law. So as to when those under the law. To those not having the law. Became like one not having the law. Though am. I am not free from god’s law but i’m under christ’s law. So as to when those not having. The law. And then finally to the weak i became weak. To win the weak. I have become. All things to all man so that by all possible means. I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel that i may share in its blessings. This is paul saying look i’m willing to adapt and adjust in change. If it will make me more effective at ministering to people. And apparently it wasn’t just paul. All. Let’s not give paul the credit after all timothy’s and heaven say hey pastor. I’m the one who got circumcised as an adult. All right. Let’s not forget how me i was all into. I was on board with this whole thing. I’m the one who really endured the pain i was willing to experience that as well. Even though i didn’t think it was necessary in it even though i didn’t think it was important because i knew it would make me more effective at ministering to other people. All right. I think it’s safe to say that paul. And timothy were people that were all in when it came to ministering to other people. And we might not be able to relate to circumcision. But we ask ourselves the question then what is the principle of this passage that carries over for us today. The principles. Is this it’s. It’s for us to be challenged by this idea. Are we all in as. Paul and timothy or. Are we as willing to adapt to change or. To endure hardship to experience. Levels of discomfort whatever it might be in order to make us more effective in ministering to other people. We should be asking ourselves the question when we read these verses. What is our circumcision. What is our timothy act. What is the thing that god wants us to do. So that we are showing. God that we are all in. And that committed to ministering to other people. What is our. Circumcision for. For some of you in might simply be. Be friending someone who doesn’t know jesus christ who you truthfully don’t really want to be friends but you know that god wants you to. He’ll use that friendship for you to minister to them. But you’re sort of dread that relationship. It’s not going to be mutually beneficial in your eyes but nonetheless. God’s calling him to do it. It’s core circumcision it’s going to make you uncomfortable it’s not you’re not going to enjoy it. But nonetheless god’s calling you to do it for some of you it might not be be friending someone might be forgiving that enemy of yours. That person who’s wronged you who doesn’t deserve your forgiveness at all. But nonetheless. God is calling you to do it it’s going to be heart. It’s going to be difficult. It’s not going to become full at all. But nonetheless. It’s your circumcision. God is calling you to do it. Some of you might not be forgiving someone maybe it’s giving its and bracing the idea that there’s a part of your life a financial part of your life. That you say you trust god with your life that you’re holding back to your resources. Your time your talents whatever it might be in your holding back on those things and god a saying look this is. This is your circumcision it’s going to be uncomfortable for you. It’s going to bring you out of your comfort zone but i’m calling you to do it. If you’re really about being. All in for ministering to people in my name. For some of you might be just sharing your faith actually being able to speak about your faith in jesus christ to someone. If we’re honest god has given us those opportunities he’s put those relationships in front of us. But we’ve been unwilling to take those because we’re too nervous. Or whatever it might be and that needs to be sort of our circumcision. Here it is god i’m all in. I want to start going down that road. Maybe for some of you it’s just and bracing living with. Putting up with some of the changes that have happened around here. You know. And bracing. Some of the things that are not exactly the way you would want them to be. But if you sense. As i do that. They’re helping us minister to people in the name of jesus christ then ok. It’s not exactly what you want it might make you so. Somewhat uncomfortable but maybe that’s your circumcision. I don’t know obese incredibly presumptuous for me to tell you what your circumcision is. That’s between you and god. But i can ask you i can challenge you to. Honestly come before him. Before we leave here to say in say god am i really. All in. When it comes to ministering to other people. And if not show me what my timothy act needs to be. What do i need to do what do i need to embrace. So that i might be more effective in ministering to other. People. You know. When we see people in other facets of life that are all and it’s always such a put off isn’t it. People who are participating. Things that are all and. I have three kids and nine year old eight year old and five year old as. Many of you know and. They all play soccer. And. At this age. When it comes to recreational soccer there are kids on the team who are clearly all in. And then there are kids on the team who are clearly. All out. Right i mean they’re on the field but they are not all in and all. I mean my daughter is she literally has teammates that will do cartwheels during the game on the field. Ok. Now my wife she seems to be able to put up with that a little bit better and i do but to me. I just can’t handle it. It stresses me out and. And my message to my kids and what i want to get up and say to him all is. You don’t have to be the best player. At all but if we’re going to sign you up for soccer am pay for it and buy the equipment in sit out in the rain and watch the game when you’re going to be out in the field and take some kid spot. You’ve got to try. You know. You’ve got to give it your all i mean that’s my mindset right and that’s how i think about most things in life and so i think. But. The church. Off. Is a beautiful thing. When it’s filled with people who are all in. But it is such a joke. Such a thing to laugh fads. And the sad and tragic way one is filled with people who really aren’t all. In.
Maybe you’re here this morning and you’re unchurched… and you don’t even claim to have a relationship with Jesus Christ at all… first I want to say, “We’re glad that you’re here. Welcome here.
I want you to hear both sides of what I’m saying… on the one hand I want you to hear, first and foremost, that Jesus Christ was indeed, ALL IN when it came to having a relationship with you.
There’s a visible reminder in a few moments of what He was willing to do, to have a relationship with you. I want you to enter into that relationships slowly, cautiously, and with thought and discernment, because once we do, He invites us not only to be his Savior, but also his Lord.
And to be all in for him in for his kingdom and for the things that are oriented towards his kingdom, not our life anymore.
All right so the rest of this chapter we don’t have as much time to look at as much details we just did these first four verses. But we want. I want to show you the premise of that video come alive in this passage. Which is that when we step out in faith. When we become. All in that god moves he. Honors those ministry efforts. And he moves in our life in which one of us here today. Doesn’t want god to move more and our life. He does that when we step out in faith and become all in it when it comes to ministering to other people the first sign of that is found the very next verse in chapter sixteen verse five. The scripture tells us this. So the churches were strengthened in faith and grew. Day only. In their numbers. This is the result of paul and tim of these efforts. What a beautiful description of a church. I can imagine a church out there that wouldn’t want this to be said about them. We don’t only want to be growing in numbers we want to be a part of the process of helping people to grow in their faith in jesus. But we don’t only want to be helping people who already have a relationship with jesus christ to grow in their relationship with him. We also want to be used by god to help new people come into a relationship but she says christ. That’s exactly what the scripture saying that. Between paul and timothy’s efforts happened but don’t mistake in the reality that this was on their own accord or power. It is through god. Moving in their midst. Next we see god. Show up and move. When they step. And faith. Is want to turn over diverse eleven invite you to see. The story of another woman who comes into a relationship with jesus christ. Starting in verse eleven. We hear this. Says from choice we put out to sea and sailed straight for same in threes. And the next day on to the opera lists. From there we travel. To fill a pie. A roman colony. And the leading city of the district of macedonia. And we stay there. Several days. On the sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river where we expected to find a place of prayer. Now some of you have. Maybe heard this before but. Back then for a jewish synagogue to be a stablished an actual church. If you will to be established and required. Ten jewish men to live in that community for them to establish a synagogue. So the fact that they’re looking just for a place of prayer outside. Lets us know that there in there is no synagogue. But they are well geographically. Beyond the influence of the jewish community in jerusalem. There are now so few jewish people that they cannot even have a synagogue. There. But nonetheless they find some jewish people who are praying. And they come along the scripture says we sat down. We began to speak to the women who gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named lydia. A dealer in purple cloth from the city if i a tyro. Who was a worshipper of god the lord. Opened her heart to respond to paul’s. Message. When she in the members of her household were baptized she invited us to her home. If you consider me a believer in the lord she said. Come and stay at my house. And she persuaded us. Here’s another instance of how. When we step out in faith. God moves and here. Here he is. Paul and silas are willing to share their faith in jesus christ with these people. And what’s the scripture say. The lord. Opened her heart. Can we just even just. Halls to just imagine. The people in our life. That we encounter on a regular basis even right now. Who god is prepared to open their heart. For the message of jesus christ that you share with them. Just as paul does here. God moves. When we step out in faith and minister. In his name. And then finally the scripture tells us that there’s another instance of this happening. And in verse starting in verse sixteen. And titled paul and silas are now in prison. And here’s what the scripture says. Once when we are going to the place of prayer. We were met by a slave girl who had a spirit. By which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune telling. She’s essentially demon possessed and as a result of it. She has some special powers that are raising her money and her parents’ money. This girl fall paul and the rest of us shouting. These men are servants of the most high god who are telling you the way to be saved. She kept this up for many days. Finally paul became so troubled. That he turned around and said to the spirit. In the name of jesus christ i command you to come out of her. And that moment the spirit. Left her. Maybe just because the stage i am in life but i couldn’t help but think about how many parents of. Want have wanted to do that to their children in the backseat of the car. Just in the name of jesus christ or. You know i say. Doesn’t work. Doesn’t work. When the owners of the slave grow realize that their hope of making money was gone they seized paul and silas and dragged them into the marked market place to face the authorities. They brought them before magistrates and said these men are jews and are throwing our city in an uproar. By advocating customs on lawful for us romans to accept our practice. Be patient with the passage because you’re going to see god moving through their efforts the crowd joined in the attack. Against paul and silas. And the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flawed they were thrown into prison and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. I can’t help but think in contrast of this whole idea of being all in for god. That the moment i was thrown into prison my faith was so we can fabled i would’ve said. I’m out. But thanks be to god paul. Is stronger than that. About midnight paul and silas were praying and singing hymns to god so there they are ministering. And singing and praising god right in the midst of these circumstances. And the other prisoners were listening to them suddenly there was such a violent. Earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. I once all the prison doors flew open and. Everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up. And when he saw the prison doors open he drew his sword. And was about to kill himself. Because he thought the prisoners had escaped but paul shouted don’t harm yourself. We are all here. The jailer called for lights rushed in and fell trembling before paul and silas. He then brought them out and asked. Servers. What must i do to be saved. They replied. Believe in the lord jesus. And you will be saved. You and your house will then they spoke the word of the lord to him and to all the others in his house. And at that hour of the night the jailer took them. Washed their rooms. Then immediately he and his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house. And so the meal before them. He was filled with joy because he had come to believe in god. He and his whole family. Now listen. If my faith was not the kind of faith that would have caused me to say. I’m out. I am confident my faith is weak enough that when i was freed from my. Chain’s i would have at least said. I’m out of here. Right. Gone. But have you ever stopped to consider if you’ve heard this passage before. Why’d paul even sticks around to have a conversation with this gar. This guards about to kill himself which would have actually only made it easier for paul to escape but instead he’s not concerned about his own physical well being he turns around and he says. Don’t do that. He’s so committed to ministering to other people and jesus is name here is his opportunity to leave and go run free. And he doesn’t sees it he doesn’t take it he’s. There it is ministering to someone else. And god moved in that reality. And the scripture says that he and his entire family. Believe in jesus christ as a result. When i’m telling you it would have been a really cool thing. It would be a really cool thing to experience god and the way. That paul experienced in. Which of us in this room. Doesn’t want to have god move more in their life. I can’t imagine there’s anyone so i know i think that’s not me i don’t want that. Church i believe the key to that reality is becoming all in. Stepping out in faith. And beginning to minister to other people. That god moves he honors those words and fact i would even suggest that until we embrace his desire to minister to other people. Our faith will always plateau. It will always have a ceiling over far lower than we really want it to be keeping us down in our experience of god until we open up that door of caring and ministering to others in jesus’s name. To we see our faith. Rise and see god work and move in magnificent and mighty ways in our life. What he did in paul’s life. To minister to others as what he can do in each and every one of our so lives. As well if we are willing to step out and be. All in. You know as a pastor people tell me things like. Well this is just what defines our church. Certain things define kerk mater certain things define. Church a church should be every church i’ve ever been that has said that and. And oftentimes it’s in the it’s to resist some of the change that we’re talking about. I don’t presume to know. Kerk monts. Entire rich history. Some of you know. Way better than me but what i do know is that this. Church was started as a as a church plant. Which is which means that someone had a vision to minister to this community. And jesus’s name. And they were all in. And apparently. A group of people rallied around them and were all in his well. That’s what defines. Kirk mott and makes kirk kirk mind. There was no other part of who we are which is on par with that part of who we are no service time no service style no specific way of doing a specific ministry nothing like that is on par with the reality that. This church was started. To minister to people in this community in jesus’s name. That’s what defines who we are. And as long as we continue to do that we are the people who have started this church and more importantly we honor the truth of god’s word that we look that together. This morning. We would like to see god move. More in our life. Indeed. By becoming all and. So we come to the table. And once again we are reminded that jesus was indeed. All and when it came to minister him to unite. There was nothing that he was holding back. Nothing. At. He wasn’t willing to give an order for you and i to be saved. I find that so challenging. And yet so incredibly encouraging as we come to the table. He experienced death. Even death. On a cross. But god the father moved as well. For he was raised from the dead. And is seated at the right hand of the father as we are gathered here this morning.