A Place Of Grace
  • Song God is Love
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  • Song gem dust
  • Reflecting back to last week, we as the church are now:
    Out of the stands, no longer spectators… RIGHT!?
    We have come together today to prepare ourselves for ACTION!!!
    It’s time to HUDDLE and prepare and be equipped for the work of the Gospel...
    There is an obligation given in the great commission Matthew 28:19-20 of the concept of GO… (As you go…) “make disciples”
    Matthew 28:19–20 NASB95
    “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    Up to this point much of the Gospel movement had been:
    Very localized to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria
    Most of the movement was brought on by persecution predominatly
    The crowds had been Jewish with Gentiles being more in the moment situations
    About 15 years have passed since Pentecost.... AND NOW!!!
    We begin to see an intentional movement for the Gospel… PLANNING
    A church body is sending out a mission team for the purpose of missions
    We will see an intentional approach to what is done
    There is a PLANNED Path of direction with an INTENTIONAL PURPOSE!
    World populations are increasingly moving from rural to urban centers, making for larger cities with greater population density than ever before. This is a global phenomenon across the spectrum of developed and developing economies. We are increasingly becoming an urban world....
    The data is eye-opening. The United Nations in 2009 and the International Organization for Migration in 2015 both estimated that around 3 million people are moving to cities every week. Approximately 54% of people worldwide now live in cities, up from 30% in 1950. Sources estimate this will grow to 2/3 of world population in the next 15-30 years. … A Yale research group projects that urban land coverage will expand by 463,000 square miles by 2030 to cover just under 10% of the planet’s land, … Today, 82% of North Americans live in urban areas and are increasingly concentrating in mid-sized and large cities.
    USA Today was listing the top growing cities in America, out of the top 50 Colorado has 4!
    I just returned this week from the IFCA Presidents Council retreat where we as an association looked directly at this data… The greatest need for churches has now shifted from the urban areas where there was need in the 1960’s and has now shifted to the cities having the greatest needs for churches. This takes strategy and planning!

    Paul’s Strategy...

    MAP… Notice as Paul and Barnabas go, SENT BY THE CHURCH, there is intention. They bypass many towns around them and move outward.
    Short of the persecution spreading out believers there had been no gospel message taken to these areas
    Consider the importance of their strategy (mind you this is being done in about a years time)
    Cyprus… key to any and all sailing vessels during its time, They canvas the Island reaching its two major ports with emphasis
    Perga & Attalia (on way back) Paul and Barnabas do not spend much time but we do see here is where John Mark leaves and goes back home
    Good leadership should always be preparing the next generation to lead
    Maybe difficulties in reaching people or conflicts in ministry team either way not much is said
    Pisidian Antioch had high status of being a “Roman Colony”. Luke here gives us a great example of Paul’s approach:
    Preach the Old Testament promises of the Messiah, preach Jesus as the Messiah, His death, burial, and Resurrection!
    The people wanted to hear more! Begging them to speak the next sabbath… Acts 13:44-50
    Acts 13:44–50 NASB95
    The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. “For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’ ” When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.
    There is opposition… this should be expected Luke 21:16-17
    Luke 21:16–17 NASB95
    “But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name.
    We see here the real emphasis and strategy change to reach the Gentiles
    Paul desired to reach the Jews always, but they consistently pushed the truth away
    Iconium (90 Miles away) They spend a “great time there”… teaching and discipling. MANY believe!!! Opposition comes they move on. Acts 14:1-7
    Acts 14:1–7 NASB95
    In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; and there they continued to preach the gospel.
    Lystra (20 Miles away) key cities in the trade market mostly Gentile no synagogue. But the people thought they were gods because of the healings!
    Paul and Barnabas refuse the worship and point to God Almighty!
    So easy to worship the messenger and miss the message!
    Look at this transition from Lystra to Derbe in Acts 14:19-23 what an amazing passion for the Gospel!!!
    Acts 14:19–23 NASB95
    But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
    Recall Ephesians 4:11-12 from last week…
    Ephesians 4:11–12 NASB95
    And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
    Paul goes back… equipping the saints, strengthening them, encouraging them in their faith!
    Persecution will come… be bold!
    They will do the work of spreading the gospel around them!!!
    They appoints Elders in each church (body of believers) for further equipping!
    Establishing local leadership was a crucial part of Paul and Barnabas’s strategy!
    They commended them to the Lord… “I will build my church”

    The Report

    Acts 14:24-27 is a very important aspect to this mission journey…
    Acts 14:24–27 NASB95
    They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia. When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
    God’s primary focus for the church is missions… taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world… REMEMBER they are the spectators in this!
    Swindoll tells a story: “A famous artist once was asked to paint a picture of a dying church. It was expected that he would paint a small and humble congregation in a dilapidated building. Instead, he painted a stately edifice with a rich pulpit and magnificent windows—and near the door, an offering box, marked “Missions,” with the contribution slot blocked by cobwebs.
    Paul and Barnabas return to report...
    All that God was doing… this church had sent them out (COMMENDED THEM) handed authority and extension of them!!!
    Reports of Faith… not the stoning, not the poor efforts by John Mark, but of faith! the Gospel going forth!
    CHURCH… you and I cannot have an inward focus as the body of Christ… we must reach the world with the gospel and it begins as soon as we leave here today!
    If you truly believe John 3:16 then we must declare it with a passion and urgency… HUDDLE over lets break GO TEAM… GO CHURCH!Engage in the plan God has laid out for His church!
    John 3:16 NASB95
    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
      • Matthew 28:19–20NLT

      • Acts 13:44–50NLT

      • Luke 21:16–17NLT

      • Acts 14:1–7NLT

      • Acts 14:19–23NLT

      • Ephesians 4:11–12NLT

      • Acts 14:24–27NLT

      • John 3:16NLT

  • Song gem dust
  • We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!) We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:
    He is a priest
    They are said to be considered righteous in the sight of God
    I am so glad God is watching!
    An angel will visit him
    God will work a miracle
    In the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…
    BUT FIRST! Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...


    Holman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.
    At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...
    Feelings of forgotten as a nation
    Zacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)
    Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no children
    When in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!
    & declare what God will do in the coming future...
    Malachi 3:1 NASB95
    1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
    Malachi 4:4–6 NASB95
    4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
    The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:
    Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would come
    Alexander the Great would come in… create one language Greek
    His empire would be divided four way among his generals
    Eventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!
    God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word! In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!

    God’s Promise

    The Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan
    Genesis 3:15 NASB95
    15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
    We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem
    Genesis 9:25–27 NASB95
    25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
    Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 15
    Genesis 12:3 NASB95
    3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
    Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.
    Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.
    Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)
    God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.
    Genesis 49:10 NASB95
    10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
    From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...
    2 Samuel 7:16 NASB95
    16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”
    The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!
    God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!
    NOW… back to Luke.

    We Can Take God at His Word!

    Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ time
    Selected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of Israel
    Luke 1:11–17 NASB95
    And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
    I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.
    Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!
    Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of Malachi
    Your son will prepare for the Promised Messiah
    It Is Time! The Messiah is coming!!!
    What God says WILL HAPPEN!
    Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.
    Did you miss it? Do you doubt God due to human limitations?
    The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…
    Luke 1:18–20 NASB95
    Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
    Several lessons here:
    Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!
    This was good news, not intended to create a problem
    The last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning God
    God has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His Word

    God’s Hand Working Deserves Praise

    “ His Name is John”
    These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…
    Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?
    NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!
    His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!
    Luke 1:67–79 NASB95
    And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
    Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…
    Luke 1:65–66 NASB95
    Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
    Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.” When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!

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