Jul 16 2018
“Three questions that overcome failure”
In Acts 21:17-40 Paul arrives in Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost knowing full well
from God that trouble awaited him. The trouble that awaited him was from being misunderstood by fellow Christians as well as nonbelievers. We are told that three things drove Paul to Jerusalem:
a. Acts 19:21 The holy Spirit had laid it upon his heart. God had guided
b. Second Paul was bringing an offering. He loved the people who hated him
c. The final reason Paul came, we are told in this chapter (verse 19), was to “tell
them in detail the things God had done among the gentiles.” He couldn’t wait
to share how great God is!
In verse 17 we are told that “When they had come to Jerusalem the brethren received them gladly.” This was most likely when Paul presented their Jewish brothers love gift! The following day Paul went into see James the 1⁄2 brother of Jesus where he literally “told them every single thing. Paul wanted to make sure that the believers in Jerusalem knew that God was the One that ought to receive the praise for the work. After this we are told in verses 27-29 that for several days Paul goes in and out of the temple showing the Jewish believers that he is still a good Jewish boy until some of the Jews from Asia spot him. Where they accused Paul of teaching all men everywhere against:
a. The people “Doesn’t like you!”
b. The law or the practice “Doesn’t like what you do!” c. The place “Doesn’t like where you do it!”
And according to them Paul showed that he had done this because they maintained that “he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” Paul had not done that nor would he. In verses 30-40 we see how the Lord protected Paul not through the Jewish believers in whom he had made his concession but through the Romans. But even in his rescue Paul was misunderstood because they thought he was an Egyptian false prophet who had gotten together several thousand followers and went over to the Mount of Olives saying that at his command the walls of Jerusalem were going to fall down and they could go in a defeat the Romans. It must have seemed to Paul that he couldn’t make a right turn as every one of them ended up in coming to a dead end. It’s easy to allow the circumstances to get to you where you feel like a failure. Pastor’s are not immune to failure either years ago this letter appeared in “Christianity Today”. “Every program I've started has failed. Our "Evangelism Explosion" didn't explode: it gave an embarrassed "pop" and rolled over and died. I attended a "Church Growth Seminar", and while I was gone, six families left the church. I tried "Dial-a-Prayer" and I got a wrong number. I have been told that failure could be the back door to success, but the door seems to be locked and I can't find a key. Any suggestions?”
Though I didn’t respond to this frustrated pastor’s letter if I had I’d say this about his “Every program that he started that failed”; make sure that Paul’s three things are your three things: That God has guided you; that your work is towards loving those who hate you and what you are desiring to communicate is how great God is and not how great you are or the program is!
This has ben Pastor Dale,