How God Wins the World II
Pastor Shannon Rucker
30 September 2015
The world is so full of rage, horrible acts, indeed all manners of sins – how does God overcome all of this sin? A world were sin is glorified, a world that is now in a “post Christian” era, how does He win this world?
What we will see today in Acts 16:6-13 is: The God of the New Testament was omniscient and all powerful, but God is not different today, He can work in the same ways today as he did in the New Testament.
- Acts 16:6-7 – God directs where the gospel goes
- It is important to understand that the people of the New Testament were not different then us today, so what we see God doing with/in them can be done with/in us – Specifically, what the Spirit did in their hearts, the Spirit can do in ours
- We often question if the Spirit is at work because we don’t hear “yes, go here”. But as we see in Acts 16 the Spirit said “no” – when God is limiting us, we can know that he is at work in our lives
- Application: Are you led by the Spirit, is your heart attune to Him saying no, do you find joy and fulfillment in what the Spirit is saying? Are you concerned about pleasing or displeasing the Spirit? Do you even care about the Spirit being at work in you – if not, remember 1 Corinthians 2:12 – the Spirit is from God – He is omniscient
- Acts 16:8-9 – God sends to where the needs are
- As an interesting reminder, God can use the technology of the day to send people – Paul used the technology of his day – the Roman Roads – to spread the gospel
- There was a need for Paul to go to Macedonia – there was a need and God sent him there
- How did God tell Paul to go to Macedonia? He used a means that was outside the norm, that got Paul’s attention – do not be skeptical of how God may be leading you, He might use abnormal means. Caution: do be careful not to claim all unique experiences as the work of God – the message should be consistent with the Bible.
- We should all be looking for the man of Macedonia – the man of need – the man calling for help – a man calling for us to serve
- Application: Are you willing to respond to the man from Macedonia? Are you ready to respond?
- Acts 16:10 – Preaching of the gospel is central to the mission
- Our primary goal is to spread the gospel – are you doing this?
- Acts 16:11 – God uses people with a single minded focus
- Immediately Paul went to Macedonia – we too should act immediately upon hearing God’s call
- Paul knew what the need was and acted quickly to meet that need
- Application: Do you delay in preaching the gospel? Do you pray for others salvation? Be responsive to God’s call – do not delay.
- Acts 16:12 – God works where things are happening – in places we don’t think He will work
- Macedonia was a leading city of the time – yet it did not even have enough Jews to have a synagogue, it was not a place of religious action, it was a place of worldly action
- Yet God works in such places through the Holy Spirit
- God works where there are lost people – do not doubt what God can do
- Acts 16:13 – God can work even with small numbers
- There were just a few women who were available to talk to Paul – Don’t miss the fact that Paul was talking to women first – Paul was countercultural
- Numbers do not matter to God – He can start with one person
- Application: Do not look at numbers, do not be dissuaded by what the culture tells you to do, God can work. How? The Lord will open hearts – He will work through us – This is the beauty of sovereign grace.