3 Choices that Can Change the World
Sources of current pain
Sudden job loss
Death of a loved one OR miscarriage
Inability to have children
Unfulfilled desire to be married
The accidents of life
Loss of friends
Lack of love or attention from your own family
A lack of purpose in life
Betrayal from someone close
Loss of hope that anything will improve
Blending a second family
Grief that won’t go away
Constant anxiety and fear
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. Acts 16:22-24 NIV
3 TYPES OF SUFFERING EVERY CHRISTIAN CAN EXPECT
HOW TO ALLOW GOD TO USE MY PAIN
1. I WILL PRAISE GOD THROUGH MY PAIN.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 NIV
Praise brings personal relief and contentment.
Praise brings light to others.
Praise brings God’s power to the problem.
26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. Acts 16:26 NIV
2. I WILL WAIT ON GOD’S RELEASE.
27 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. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:27-30 NIV
3. I WILL LOOK FOR OPENINGS TO TALK ABOUT JESUS.
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. Acts 16:31-34 NIV
GOD CAN TURN MY TRASH INTO HIS TREASURE.
40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left. Acts 16:40 NIV
1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. Acts 13:1-12 (NIV)
- Men Who God can trust
Men who go deep with God.
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2 (NIV)
Men of serious prayer.
3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:3 (NIV)
Men on mission.
4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. Acts 13:4-5 (NIV)
Men with holy boldness.
9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?” Acts 13:9-10 (NIV)
1 About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2 He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword.3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4 Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate.7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12 When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16 Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. Acts 12:1-16 NLT
OPPORTUNITIES are usually followed by OPPOSITION
Your PRISON cannot contain your PRAYERS
DISTANCE never DEAFENS your prayers
Your PRISON cannot steal your PEACE
PEACE is not the absence of a STORM – PEACE is the PRESENCE of GOD
Your PRISON cannot limit God’s POWER
When you ESCAPE your PRISON you BECOME God’s PROOF
39 Love your neighbor, as you love yourself. Matthew 22:39
WHAT I DO WITH MY INTERSECTIONS WILL DETERMINE THE INFLUENCE OF MY LIFE.
Everyday, other people will cross my path.
Everyday, I have the opportunity to bless those people.
Everyday, I have the hope that I can point someone toward Jesus.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR INTERSECTIONS
“This is the covenant I will make … “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 NIV
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 NIB
Wind and Fire
5.3 Choices that Can Change the World