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If It's God's Will - Life of Paul Part 58

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2021 7:00 am

If It's God's Will - Life of Paul Part 58

So What? / Lon Solomon

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January 6, 2021 7:00 am

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You know it was the night of June 4, 1968, and Robert F. Kennedy had just won the Democratic primary for the state of California, making him a shoo-in to win the Democratic presidential nomination and every possibly the White House. That evening he came into the dining room of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles were 2000 of his supporters were waiting for him, and after a rousing victory speech where he laid out his plans for changing America changing the world. He ended his little speech with these words he said and now it's on to Chicago will little did Mr. Kennedy know that working in the hallway just outside the ballroom was a young man named Sirhan Sirhan a radical Palestinian and he stepped into Kennedy's path is Kennedy left and from a 22 caliber pistol shot eight times that in within a few hours. Robert F.

Kennedy was gone, along with all of his plans for the future. And then of course there's Michael Jordan who after playing his last game for the wizards you know why they changed their name to the wizards they used to be the bullets, but they were really the blanks anyway. Anyway, that's kind of my personal joke but anyway thought he was planning. You know to go back and take over as the president of the organization is which is where he was before he resumed his playing career, but also with a 30 minute meeting with club owner eight: all of his plans for the future were completely altered and finally, of course, let's think about the thousands of people who had it all for work on September 11, 2001, down to the trade center and most of those people had plans for the day.

The day before September 10.

They had said the other people they'll call you tomorrow or will meet for lunch tomorrow for me to the gym tomorrow right after work and as we know tragically. Both of those plans that they have for tomorrow never happened for so many of those people.

The point is friends planning for the future is something that we all have to do something we all do is important, but the Bible has when it comes to planning for the future. The Bible calls us as followers of Jesus Christ, to a unique mindset to a special worldview when it comes to future planning.

We want to talk about that together here today using an incident out of the life of the apostle Paul, and I hope this is going to change completely. How you plan for the future and bring all of us into a biblical worldview about this whole thing so let's work together little bit of background.

Remember, here in acts chapter 18.

The apostle Paul is on his second missionary journey look so young that the apostle Paul is crossed over from troll as here in Northwestern Turkey today across the Aegean Sea to the town of Philippi is preached in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea. Benny's going south to the city of Athens where he preached to the intellectual elite of the Roman Empire now is in Corinth, where the Bible says he stayed for 18 months, preaching and teaching the word of God while he was here in Corinth, the Jewish community in town one day instigated a law authorizing against Paul and they accused Paul of preaching of religion that was banned that was illegal in the Roman Empire. They dragged him down in front of the Roman governor of the province, a fellow named Galliano he was the proconsul of the God of the problems and eyes we saw last time Galliano refused even listen to their God accusations.

He threw them in the Holland amount court that Galileo friends is a well documented person in Roman historical records is a very well-known guy. As a matter fact, Roman records tell us the Galliano was proconsul here in Corinth between the years of 51 and 53 A.D. which is exactly the time that the chronology of the Bible has the apostle Paul in town once again when we compare history and the Bible. The Bible always stands the test as it does here. In fact, when they were doing archaeological digs here in Corinth that actually found the statue a marble statue that gives us a pretty good idea what this guy Galliano look like your look and see what you think anything I think he and I may be related somewhere anyway. This is our friend Galliano at the stars. We been so left the again showing verse 18. So Paul verse 18 stayed in Corinth sometime in other words, he finished up his 18 months there and then he left Corinth and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and equivalents go back to our map. Paul went down to the port city of 10 Creole right here are 7 miles east of Corinth and he sailed across the Aegean Sea on his way to Syria back to his home church in Antioch which is actually a little off the map, but he went by way of Ephesus is the minute he took one thing the Bible Priscilla and Tukwila.

The two people he partnered with in town making tense and who were partners in his ministry. But you don't try just as important here is is Lulu. Paul didn't call didn't take with them Silas and Timothy, if you remember they were two of his original team members who'd been with him in Corinth for the last 18 months. Ministry he didn't take them. He left them behind in Corinth to continue to work with the young church in the new believers in this town.

Also, not with him was Dr. Luke. One of the original members of his team. Dr. Luke was still up north here in Philippi where he had been for almost 2 years over two years working with the churches in northern Greece, strengthening the young believers. There you see the point for us to realize today is that the apostle Paul didn't just blow into town have a few tent meetings leave some people to Christ and it had also morel so no, Paul was a man who was committed to the long-term care. The long-term feeding and the long-term maturity of the people that he led the Christ. So even when he left the town. Notice what is model is he always made sure somebody who was mature in Christ stayed behind to keep nurturing and maturing the believers in the town to put it another way, the apostle Paul was not interested in a ministry that was a mile long and it gives Steve his goal with every single person he met was not just to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ. But then to disciple and mature them into a fully devoted follower of Christ, a person who had the highest level of marital dedication spiritual loyalty outspokenness for Jesus biblical obedience in their lives. He was out to turn them into totally new and totally better people.

Now you're here today. You've never trusted Jesus in real and personal way. I like to say that there's a lot more interesting. Christ, the just getting a fire escape from hell. There is there is that.

But there is also this idea of God, wanting to turn you into a new, different, and better human being. God wants to transform your worldview. Your attitude your lifestyle, your daily behavior patterns and make you into a healthy person right here.

This is what Paul was trying to do with all these people turn them into healthy people from unhealthy people and you know many of us here will never trusted Christ of them were on healthy people we know more on health and the wonderful thing about coming to Jesus Christ.

As you know, just in heaven. You also get to three turned into a healthy person who lives life down here. Some of the think about. We hope to make a decision what's going on what happens verse 18 continues and before Paul sailed.

He had his hair cut off down of the little port city of 10 Creole because of a valve that he had taken the Val the Bible talking about here was the Nazirite. Val responded in the Old Testament numbers chapter 6. Here's how it works. A person would make a valid dedication to God for certain period of time and during that time they wouldn't cut their hair at the end of that time when the bow was over and Dawn as they would ceremonially shave their head as an outward sign that the bow was over and Paul apparently somewhere during his two years in Greece had made a valve to God about his ministry there.

We don't know whether related when he was getting beat up in Philippi whether he was sick, not like the jail in Philippi when he was get run out of town in Thessalonica and Berea are maybe was when he arrived in Corinth and God appeared to him in a vision, and said everything is going to be okay.

We don't know when he made the bow, but now that his ministry in Greece is over.

He's leaving Greece's bow is obviously over, and as a sign of that. He saved his head back to the figure prominently.

Later, when he shows up in Jerusalem because you know that's not fair to go back and he obviously shows up in Jerusalem of all of his hair gone. That will figure later but that's why he shaved his head here in 10 Creole verse 19 and they arrived at Ephesus the day of course, meaning Paul and Tukwila and Priscilla. They arrived at Ephesus were Paul left Priscilla Tukwila and went by himself into the synagogue and reason with the Jewish people. There and when they asked him to spend more time with them. He declined, but as he left he said I will come back if it is God's will. And then he set sail from Ephesus not go back to the map Ephesus but so you was the capital city of the Roman province of Asia. Everything you see in the green Asia was the most populous.

The most influential and the most wealthy of all of the provinces of the Roman Empire making Ephesus.

Therefore, the second most influential city of the Roman Empire. Paul's day only behind Rome herself at the time of the apostle Paul Ephesus had a population of over 250,000 people.

It was the home of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The great Temple of Diana of the goddess Diana. But show you what it looks like today. You say what I mean. No big whoop will know that in the day, but let's show you what we think it look like at the time of the apostle Paul and in acts chapter 19 the Colts of Diana in this town is going to figure prominently into some events of Paul's life Ephesus. We did big on archaeological digs there today. Let's show you this is just part of it going down the main street towards the library or Celsius then the street turns and goes down through the Roman forum and all that you see here.

They have excavated less than 30% of the city of acts of Ephesus, meaning that the city was an absolutely enormous metropolis at the time of the apostle Paul is very significant. City and the Bible tells us that the Jewish community here in Ephesus.

Initially was very open to Paul's message about Jesus. They asked if would you please spend some more time with and for reasons the Bible never fully explains Paul said no we don't know why he was in such a hurry to get out of town but he said no I can't. But he did. It's interesting he did leave town alone. Priscilla Tukwila stayed behind in Ephesus that was called standard operating procedure so that they were there to preach and they were there to teach and they were there to answer questions and leave them alone.

He left Priscilla Tukwila Intel has Paul headed off for Syria. That's where will pick up the story. Next time, but we want to stop now and ask the question, it is our most important question and I know it's early and it's rainy but I'm you guys I know are just you just just ask this? You look jazz blessing our see how does ready. Here we go. 123 yards. You have got it all right Launcelot, that's wonderful that we have been calling you because they are union needed and you look stupid on union union.

What difference is any of this make in the my Lai Weller talk about that connection I want you to notice what Paul said to the Jewish people in Ephesus when you have very important, he said I will come back if it is God's will. Most of us here know the famous story about Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

He was driven off the Philippines.

Of course, in the March 1942 by the invading Japanese army, but trusting in the light of the American military machine and trusting in the pit does his own strategic abilities and tactical abilities as commander of the Pacific theater and trusting in the power of his own tenacity in his own grant. He made that famous wedge as he left the island. I shall return November the well it's interesting that here in chapter 18 we have another man. The apostle Paul who had just as much strategic ability is Gen. MacArthur just as much tactical skill is Gen. MacArthur just as much personal tenacity and grip as Gen. MacArthur but I want you to see the Paul's trust was an entirely different source. Watch MacArthur said I shall return. Paul said I shall return here it is God's will and when it came to making future plans presence was the apostle Paul's constant report refrain watch Romans Road chapter 1 verse 10, Paul says, I pray that by God's will. The way they be open for me to come to you, he said.

Romans 1532.

Please pray that by God's will. I may be able to come to you.

First Corinthians 419 but I will come to you very soon. Paul said give the Lord is willing every future plan.

The apostle Paul ever made was made the Lord willing, and in doing this. The apostle Paul was displaying for us and modeling for us.

A biblical worldview because you see the Bible says Proverbs 27 verse one do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. The Bible says James chapter 4 now listen you will say today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city and spend a year there, carry on business why you don't even know what will happen tomorrow instead.

James says you ought to say if the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that by not doing so, you boast and brag to be an arrogant, all such arrogance. He says is evil to see friends worldview of the Bible is that you and I are not the final authority in terms of what happens in this world worldview of the Bible says that you and I are not the captains of our own fate worldview of the Bible says that you and I are not the ultimate controllers of the events of life we can do all the planning we want the worldview of the Bible says that ultimately it is God who decides how the everyday events of life are going to play out for us and for every other human being and you know this is why the Bible says Proverbs 69 the mind of man plans his way, that's all right but the Lord is the one who determines his steps years ago when I was a brand-new follower of Christ, 1971 I came to the Washington area began working for the good news mission in Arlington, Virginia. They placed the chaplains in local jails and prisons and it was a lady there named minibar meeting was that she was the office manager and I was a janitor so we got to talk a lot of the two of us and I would always say what should we do this or should we do that waiting… And many would always answer me and say yes this and yes that is always animal on the end of the Lord will never know the Lord willing, the Lord willing, she began to drive me crazy with this.

Praise the Lord will and the Lord will and the Lord will and I was 22 years old and I said to her one day. Why do you always say that and she open the Bible and showed me James chapter 4, I've never read James chapter 4 that point and she said lawn. I say that because you see it doesn't matter what you and I are willing to happen in life. What matters is what God is willing to happen in life and then she said something I never forgot she said and I quote when a person really sees life through the lens of biblical truth. They never make a single statement about the future without adding the caviar lots. The Lord will you know I can say I never forgot what she said to me now. I drive people crazy, say, the Lord willing, we can do this. All we can do that.

Lord willing, I got my children crazy for will Lord will there was anything wacky. If you say yes or no. I gotta say, the Lord will fit well I'll tell you why kids and you never heard of a lady named minibar's me tell you what she said she's right. This is the biblical worldview. This is the biblical approach to life. Yes, we plan, but we make every plan, the Lord willing, why that's important. Why is having this mentality and this attitude, Lord willing, about future planning so critical to our lives as followers of Christ.

Three reasons they give you and then I'm done number one because it keeps us humble look what Jane said here. James four. He said it is nothing but sheer arrogance for us to make plans about the future and not not not make him the Lord willing, why the problem to be arrogant. Well James says will earlier in the chapter the dog resist the you don't want to be a person God resisting. But God gives grace to the humble and friends is when were willing to approach life with this attitude of the Lord willing. That's how we are one of the ways that we can demonstrate true humility before God and all life because it's a way of saying to God. God you're in charge. Not me. It's a way of saying God. You're the one who's ultimately going to make the decision not me. It's a way of saying Lord in all my planning I give and surrender to you.

You are my Lord. I'm the servant you make the call. This is humility in God honors that God blesses that God gives grace to people like that and by by approaching the life with the Lord willing mentality is a way of humbling ourselves before God in bringing the blessing of God on our life number two because having a an attitude of the Lord willing about our future plans a piece of second of all, flexible means we never get to locked it on any future plans because we realize that God is always free to redirect them.

This keeps us fluid. This piece of malleable in the hands of God.

It needs God can change directions for our life. Anytime he wants to at a moments notice and were okay with that because our plans were were not set in concrete anyway. They were all made the Lord willing I just got back from a trip to Israel and the interested. We flew to Rome on a Tuesday. We landed Tuesday morning in Rome and we were scheduled tomorrow all day and then hop on an evening flight up to go to Tel Aviv. What we were out for dinner just before we headed to the airport Tuesday night and we got a call from Tel Aviv saying you know there's a labor strike, all of a sudden going on here. The entire airport is shut down only one international Airport Israel. So when it shuts down. You don't get in and they said no planes leaving no planes are common in Scottsdale so where in row. The guy who leaves my source for me to look at a hotel room and will try to get there tomorrow, so we got a hotel room for the group and the 430 in the morning I get a phone call from this guy is part of it up this morning already called Israel airport shot again today is going to shut again.

The more they don't know when it's going to open what are we going to do. There's no rooms enrolled with Mayday enrolled in Europe and is no rooms anywhere where we going to do what you know.

On the way over. I got one of these little schedule both airlines, I love looking at those little books, we are like that. God is like looking out and so I've noticed that the airline we were flying also went to Cairo so I said to him, why don't we do this but show your map-why don't we go from Rome and set up line straight over here to Tel Aviv. Why don't we go to Cairo to send this to Cairo Wednesday morning and what will do his will go to Cairo will see the space will see the pyramids were built Egyptian Museum will see the treasures again thought and then will bust across the Sinai right here four hours and will come into southern Israel through the board land border here in a lot in the Sinai" will do Israel from the South going north instead of all the way around anything that's a great idea what we were able to get the airline to doing so off we went to Cairo and did all of that in a couple days later we were coming to this border in southern Israel right down here a lot now friends what you need to know is our original itinerary didn't call for us to get anywhere near the city of the law were coming through and because on the group leader. They always asked the group leader to come inside they give you a whole bunch of questions I mean I know the drill on the questions I can answer questions and answer but we do it because these are the Israelis so you don't all gotta use these and so don't argue with a guy woozy so anyway. Anyway, this young lady was interviewing me.

She could have been born 22 years old and she says so she says some about the group and I did and she said were you going in Israel that what were going to look to Jerusalem for four days a week and do their possible to see a bunch of cool stuff she said, what is there cool to see you Jerusalem hospital.

My God, there's the Wailing Wall of the Temple Mount in the garden of Gethsemane in the garden machines are. She said you know what's happening in Jerusalem she said you not afraid to go to Jerusalem to know why are you afraid to go to Jerusalem, she said, I'm terrified to go to Jerusalem, and for that moment I took off my sunglasses because my wife always say look people in the talk about my sunglasses unless I looked her right in the eyes and I said let me tell you something I know God in a real and personal way.

And I said you know what when you know God in a real and personal way is nothing to be afraid of, and I said you know I'm Jewish you see my passport Solomon Shlomo estimate I thought I was born and raised Jewish, and it will. I was in college I was fearful just like you lonely and scared and I said somebody told me about Jesus Christ that he was the Messiah and challenge me to read the New Testament and read the New Testament and became convinced he was in the file and I gave my life to him and 32 years later he's transform a life member of the New Testament. She said no she said but I have thought about us a while, God sent me here to tell you you need to read the New Testament because he wants you to come to Jesus as your Messiah and she said okay I'll do it. Fair enough. I'll pray for you that you read it and I still cannot get back and asked the rest of questions about the tour that you need asked me her name is Lauren I want you to pray for this young girl. Anyway, we went to the board went on a wonderful time in Israel but I got to thinking. Later I will bet you friends, but I don't believe there's any such thing as a chance meeting probably was any such thing as an accidental conversation about Jesus Christ and I believe that God completely rerouted this store we were going to a lot. I believe God said okay I got a Darlene mentor will plan stores, the Lord willing, I do and in soul… Alright, so let's let that take him up on that it will condescending the Cairo bimbo condescended tour across the Sinai that will bring them up to a lot because as a young lady there. I need longer talk to. And you know what the reason that all work is because we really do plan the Lord will and we say if the Lord's will and for us to go to his room were going to do his will across to Cairo will go there to be his will and presto I Will Go There Hate Districts, Not My Plan Is God's Plan and Print the Same Is True in Your Life If You Plan Your Life, the Lord Willing. There Are Times God Is Going to Want to Shift You Quickly. He's Going to Need You to Respond Quickly to Do the Will of God for Your Life and Anything If Everything Is Set in Concrete Because You Planned It Me, Willing, Not the Lord Willing, You're Not Going to Be Available at Those Moments to Make the Switch and Go Where God Needs You to Go. Don't Be like the Pentagon Be like a Seal Team That What I'm Saying All Right Now. Number Three. And Finally, Why Is Having a Lord Willing Attitude so Important Because Number Three Keeps Us Depending on God and Not on Ourselves. Proverbs 3 Says Depend on the Lord with All Your Heart and Don't Lean on Your Own Understanding. In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him and He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

See, God Blesses and God Honors and God Personally God, Every Follower of Christ Who Is Willing to Depend on God and Not Themselves. And When We Demand from Ourselves the Discipline of Always Saying the Lord Willing, of Always Viewing Life with the Attitude of the Lord Willing, with What We Are Really Demanding from Ourselves. For Every Plan.

Every Dream and Every Hope We Have. We Are Demanding from Ourselves and Attitude of Dependence on God and Not on Ourselves Because What We Are Saying Is God. All of This Happening Depends on You. All of My Life Depends on You.

All of My Plans Depend on You. I'm Not Relying on My Own Life My Own Wisdom on My Own Strategy.

I'm When You God. The Lord Will Print God Honors the Bible Says God, God's People Were Willing to Plan Future. That Way, so That They Don't God Themselves Right on the Landline so They Don't Plan Themselves Right into an Alligator.

So That They Plan Themselves in Such a Way That They Don't Self-Destruct God Honors It When People Plan the Lord Willing to Make a Planter Still Yourself Right Straight into a Landline and God Needs to Say No, No, That's a Mistake.

Go This Way.

And If You Play of the Lord Will You Make the Tree You Know Mother Teresa Will You Remember This A Few Years Ago, Mother Teresa and Princess Di Both Passed Away on the Very Same Day and You Know Back Then You Remember the World Stop for a Little Bit Hiccuped and Then Just Kept Right on Going.

I Was in Jerusalem A Few Years Ago on the Very Night When Prime Minister Rabin Was Assassinated. The Next Morning We Stopped for Two Minutes at Noon and Had a Moment of Silence All across the Country and in the Country Just Kept Right on Going Pickup and Kept Right on Going Friend.

You Know What When You and I Leave Here the World Not Going Pickup, so She Probably Won't Go and What That Means Is Paul Said in Romans 12 Three Do Not Think of Yourself More Highly Than You Ought, Don't Overestimate Yourself Both You and I Aren't Running the Universe. You and I Are Not the Captains of Our Faith. You and I Are Not in Charge of the Events That Unfold in Our Lives. God Is, and If That's True When It Is Then Every Plan We May Every Dream We Have Has To Be Planned and Dreamed of the Lord Will You Plan a Dream That Way and God Will Honor Your Life and You Make Sure You Don't Step on Any Alligators.

May God Help You Do That for Jesus, Thanks for Talking to Us about Living Right down Here on Planet Earth Realized You Know Every One of Us Have To Make Plans Every Single Day Plans to Meet People for Lunch Plans to Go out for Dinner Plans to Go Shopping Plans to Carry out Business Plans, Plans, Plans, Plans, Plans Are Good As Long As There May with the Biblical Worldview. The Lord Willing, and God Make up for, People Who We End up Driving People Crazy like Minibar Because the Only Thing We Ever Say Is You Do That the Lord Will Say That the Discipline We Practice in Our Life. A Discipline That Brings Humility, Flexibility, and Dependence on God into Our Lives and We Ask All of These Things in Jesus Name. And We Pray That You Change the Way We Live Because of Our Being Here Today and All God's People Said Amen

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