Thursday, October 15, 2015

Think Twice / Cut Once – Part One

Acts 19:28 -34 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

The other week, Pastor Kyle was continuing the Sunday Sermon series through book of Acts. He spoke of how many of us face questions and situations in our life that we react to and never think twice about … but now look back on when they went wrong because we missed something. And even though we may have family and friends that see something that we do not see, we believe that we know, so we never thought twice. These Ephesians had their goddess Artemis and it’s easy for us today to say how silly it was to have other gods and idols! But, by definition, a “god” (small “g”) is any person or thing exalted too much in estimation, or deified and honored as the chief good. Anything that comes between our face and (Large “G”) God’s face is a god. Someone, some thing, some position or some desire can become a god that draws us and our attention away from the one true God of heaven and earth. These false god distractions cause us to become divided against the things of God. When we come to know the Lord at the foot of the Cross, we need to stay united for the things of God. We never what to hear the words of Revelation 2:1-4 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Kyle gave us five instances when to think twice before saying yes to an opportunity. (1) When others are in it for the wrong reasons. Are they our intentions or others intentions, and do they align with God’s intentions? Some people are not here for God and look at what they have to gain or lose. Watch for hidden agendas. When it comes to Almighty God, it can be counted as nothing if a God can be deposed; then they are not God. Think twice. (2) When other have different motives and goals than mine. . It is unrealistic to think that everyone has the same motives and goals, but can get on the same page to prevent drifting. We naturally gravitate towards like-minded people. Look at the 12 close people that you surround yourself with, and look at the inner 3 of that circle. What do you see? Think twice. (3) When my Christian friends think it’s a bad idea. That’s a Stop sign. When we get into a situation where a close Christian friend sees something from the sideline and warns: “Don’t, for now.” Think twice. It's just another day for you and me in paradise.

Let’s pick up this great message of Pastor Kyle’s right here tomorrow.

In Christ, Brian

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