DATE: 23 June, 2002 PM PLACE: BBC Blarney
DATE: 28 July, 2002
PLACE: BBC Mallow
Introduction (Acts 20:24)
This passage is
the final words of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians pastors. There are great
many truths found in these words.
He gave the
mature Christians words of exhortation.
He gives them
words of warning especially with the false brethren that try to sneak into the
He shows them
exactly what a pastor and not a hireling does.
And he tells of
what he knows lay ahead for him – more prison, more troubles, and probable
death – what if YOU knew the future?
This brings me
to my text today. It is those first seven words in this verse that shows his
determination. “But none of these things move me” I want to be a blessing to
you today with some thoughts on the determination of a Christian.
Is this thought
that none of these things move me a new theme of Paul’s?
No, it is not. Let’s look at a few other places (Romans 8:35-39 ; 1
Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 2 Timothy 1:12)
By way of
introduction, I want to look at some things that did not move Paul.
To move means
to discourage, to remove you from your place of confidence, to be disheartened,
to cause you to slip, or even to fall
To be steadfast
is a Christian trait (1Cor 15:57,58).
things did not move, or discourage Paul (write these down):
did not move Paul.
times that the will of God was not crystal clear to Paul. In fact, it may have
been dark, but Paul would not allow the darkness to move him from his life of
serving the Lord Jesus.
There are times
that the darkness of not knowing the end of God’s will for our lives makes it
difficult to go on, but we should do like Paul and not allow that darkness to
move us out of God’s will.
What about the
darkness OF knowing God’s will – everything is not always bright and gay!
did not move Paul.
Paul was no
super Christian with a red “S” on his chest. Things discouraged him at times
like it does us. Christians
discouraged him, family discouraged him, his own people the Jews discouraged
One thing about
Paul - he didn’t stay in the path of discouragement
This is what
was a great characteristic of king David as well
did not move Paul.
Satan and his
crowd did not like the work that Paul was doing for the Lord so he threw darts
his way. The young lady possessed of the devil in Philippi did not move Paul. In
fact, her salvation and deliverance opened the door to a new church beginning in
attacks, demonic oppressions take their toll, but should never move us from our
course, or our place of rest (Isa 26:3,4)!
believers did not
Paul was moved to help disobedient believers in his epistles. Each
of his epistles deals with disobedience in some form or fashion that we face
today. Disobedient believers seem to be abounding in the church today. I am
speaking of the church as a whole now, not necessarily our church.
full of carnal, babyish, spoiled Christians who don’t read their Bibles,
don’t trust God, and don’t go out soul-winning, don’t stand up for right,
and don’t care about obeying God’s word!
and 16:25 apply to Christians as well - “There is a way which seemeth right
unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
disobedient Christians will get you down – don’t let it stop you
brethren did not
In his final
letter to Timothy, Paul mentions several names.
Only Luke was
It broke his
heart that they had departed but he did not get moved from the path of blessings
– Paul feared backsliding!
10’s of thousands pull out from
following Him! Thank God He stayed on track for the cross!
We have had our
share people come and go – only eternity will show the greatness of our
labours here in Blarney and Mallow
did not move Paul.
When the ship
carrying him and 253 other prisoners to Italy was destroyed by the storm, he was
not moved to quit. In fact, he used this as another opportunity to lead others
to Christ. Folks saw God alive in Paul’s life in the times of destruction.
Most of us
couldn’t handle destruction in our lives – why not? Is not Christ worth
more, and of greater joy than anything in this life?
did not move Paul.
In fact he
looked forward to it in some ways (2Co
5:6-8; Phil 1:20-24)
Not in a morbid
way. He was struck between a rock and a hard place so to speak. He wanted to go
home and be with Jesus. On the other hand, he wanted to be with the folks he led
Death was never
something he feared – and God help us not to fear death, but to see it for
what it is
If you are NOT
a born again child of God, it is the beginning of the end that never ends
If you are
saved, it is simply falling asleep, and the stepping into God’s eternity,
without anything that made this life miserable!
did not move Paul.
We are not sure
all the diseases that affected Paul. He
wasn’t like most people – always talking about problems. Some thinks it was
his eyes by what we wrote in several places. I am sure he was plagued with
arthritis. He was imprisoned in damp dungeons. Even I feel some arthritis in my
hands and other places in the cold weather. Think how much more would it
He had been
beaten on several occasions. Those areas would have been weakening by time and
discomfort and pain never took him away from his calling – rather it
strengthened his resolve to go on by the grace of God – his own strength gave
out long ago!
If these things
did not move him, what kept him on course? I want to give you a few thoughts on
his determination because it will work for all of us as well!
Message – The Determination of a Christian Requires the Following
He Had A
Solid Conversion (Acts 9:1-6)
Paul knew he
was saved. He knew that he had eternal salvation (1Ti 1:12)
hoping for forgiveness, or for heaven – he had it!
Most people are
hoping that heaven is even there – sad
People need to
hear the Bible, and know what the gospel is all about – quit telling people
“we are all the people of God, and in the family of God”
When he met the
Master on the road to Damascus, his life changed instantly.
in life was certainly changed.
determination was changed. He was determined to go forward for the Lord, no
matter the cost. He led more people
to Christ in his ignorance when he was first saved than most of us do on purpose
in our entire lifetime.
He did not want
to go back to the old life of dead religion. All his good works were dead. All
his sacrifices for sin were dead. All his fastings and tithings and best efforts
as a religionist was dead.
If your life
never changed, or keeps slipping back into old ways and old habits, with little
or no remorse, it may be that you never got saved or you are just very immature
in your Christian life and you need to get growing.
Standing On God’s Word (Ephesians 6:17)
I encourage you
to personalize scriptures. Let me do so for you today to show how Paul was able
to stand and not be moved.
Psalm 46:1 My
God is my refuge. My God is my strength. My God is my very present help in my
31:6 My Lord is my God. My God is he that goes with me. My God never fails or
This only can
happen if you are memorizing Scriptures, and believing them, and trusting the
Did He save you
by His great grace?
Did He save you
with a purpose in mind?
Do you know
that purpose? If you don’t then I am sad for you
Can God fail
you? Show me where he can fail the Christian!
Too many stand
on their own abilities and fall at the first breeze
This Book ought
to be more precious to us that food and life itself – if it is, it will show!
We won’t be so easily discouraged, AMEN!
He Had a
Schedule to Keep (Lk 2:49; 4:43; 13:31-33; Acts 19:21)
Not that every
hour was laid out and perfectly organized – as much as I wish I could do that
But that he
knew what he was to be doing
are drifters – just working from day to day with no course, or real focus to
their lives – so, when discouragement comes, it easily overwhelms them
have schedules, good schedules, but no God!
The kind of
schedule to keep
A job –
something that keeps us busy, and bettering ourselves
A family –
most of us need responsibility that presses us to trust God
A ministry in
Link up with
Kevin O’Keeffe for soul-winning
Link up with
Paul for teaching discipleship
Link up with me
for teaching a Sunday School class
Link up on your
own with others just for fellowship
A calling –
to know what GOD has saved you to do
We need to ask
ourselves these questions everyday
Did I read my
Bible today? Got to do it!
Did I spend any
time in prayer before God’s throne? Got to do it!
Did I tell
anyone about Jesus today yet? Got to do it!
Did I hug my
family today and tell them I love them? Got to do it!
Did I say AMEN
in church yet?
Did I look for
a way to be a special blessing to someone today yet?
Did I seek the
filling and power of the Holy Spirit of God yet today?
If your day is
filled with lots of other things while ignoring these, you will fall at the next
storm that blows our way!
He Had Songs
In The Night (Acts 16:25; Job 35:10) – the most important!
do not know what songs Paul and Silas may have sung but it may have been
“Amazing Grace”. Or he could have been “Under His Wings” and a host of
this room needs to spend about €100 on some godly music and discard all the
rubbish that does nothing for you but numbs you to the Spirit of God – I bet
many people in this room have hundreds of euros worth of worldly music, and they
don’t realise what they are missing!
Take you an old
hymnal home and review the hymns we sing – sing them all day in preparation
for the night times when they will become precious!
God help us to
get filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18,19)
He Had A
Supreme Commander. – Someone in Control!
He is the First
and Last, the Beginning and the End! He is the keeper of Creation and the
Creator of all! He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all
times. He always was, He always is, and He always will be... Unmoved, Unchanged,
Undefeated, and never Undone! He was bruised and brought healing! He was pierced
and yet eased pain! He was persecuted and yet brought freedom! He was dead and
He is risen and
brings power! He reigns and brings Peace! The world can’t understand him, The
armies can’t defeat Him, The schools can’t explain Him, and The leaders
can’t ignore Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him, The Pharisees couldn’t confuse
Him, and the people couldn’t hold Him! Nero couldn’t crush Him, Hitler
couldn’t silence Him, The New Age can’t replace Him, and Vincent Brown
can’t explain Him away!
He is light,
love, longevity, and Lord of all. He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His
mind is on me. He is my Redeemer, He is my Saviour, He is my guide, and He is my
peace! He is my Joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord, and He rules my life!
I serve Jesus
because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant
I follow Him
because He is the wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of
days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of leaders, the Overseer of the
overcomers, and the Sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.
And if that
seems impressive to you, try this for size. His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never
leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me, never forget me, never overlook
me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He
lifts me up! When I fail, He forgives! When I am weak, He is strong! When I am
lost, He is the way! When I am afraid, He is my courage! When I stumble, He
steadies me! When I am hurt, He heals me! When I am broken, He mends me! When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me! When I face trials, He is with me! When I face
persecution, He shields me! When I face problems, He comforts me! When I face
loss, He provides for me! When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and every way. He
is God. He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine! My Father in heaven can whip
the father of this world.
So, if you’re
wondering why I feel so secure, understand this . . . He said it and that
settles it. God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with
Will we be
moved by the events of our lives? or can we say like Paul “… none of these
things move me.” The choice is ours to make.
Have you had
the kind of conversion that helps you from being moved?
Getting saved is the greatest event of anyone’s life. I have been saved for 22
years. It is sweeter in many ways now than it was 22 years ago.
Is your stand
on the infallible Word of God or the wisdom of men? God’s Word is the
only tool that you have outside of the Holy Spirit that will help you stand and
not be moved by things and events.
Are there some songs
in the night that helps you in those lonely times in life? I am talking of some
sweet songs. Songs about heaven, about the blood of Jesus, about the Old Rugged
Cross, about prayer, about the Promises of God.
Do you have the
Supreme commander in your life that makes the difference.