SERIES: The Book of Acts

TEXT: Acts 14:1-20

MESSAGE: Gospel Resilience

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“The Christian life is the practice of living in what God has done and is doing.” – Eugene H. Peterson

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13

TEXT: Acts 14:1-20

Resilience is built through…(1. Desperate Reliance 2. Intense Refinement 3. Higher Responsibility)

  1. Desperate Reliance (v. 2-4)

But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.”

“Brokenness is the stripping of self-reliance and independence from God.  The broken person has no confidence in his own righteousness or his own works, but he is cast in total dependence upon the grace of God working in and through him.” — Nancy Leigh Demoss

         2. Intense Refinement (v. 5-7; 19-20)

“When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel…19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.”

“For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” — Acts 9:16 (Jesus)

“In His infinite wisdom, God allows trials in order to develop perseverance in us and to cause us to fix our hopes on the glory that is yet to be revealed… Our faith and perseverance can grow only under the pain of trial.” — Jerry Bridges

           3. Higher Responsibility (v. 8-11;14-17)

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”… 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

“Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” — Leonard Ravenhill

 

TAKEAWAYS: How can we have a gospel resilience? 

* What am I trusting more than Jesus?

“Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” — John 6:29

* What would happen if God made me resilient?

“Learn this lesson…not to come to Christ because you have a broken heart, but to come to Him that He may give you a broken heart; not to come to Him because you are fit to come, but to come to Him because you are unfit to come. Your fitness is your unfitness. Your qualification is your lack of qualification.” — Charles Spurgeon

“You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.” — 2 Timothy 3:10-11