Sunday, November 20, 2011

Risk IT! Finish your Race
Delbert Enns Pastor
Acts 28 going through the book. This is the final chapter of the series. Messages available on-line.
Paul was also a human being. He had dark times. God, where are you in the darkness?
It is not about a destination. It's about the journey. Jer 29 God knows the path for us. He loves and cares for us.
Paul was on this ship with 1,000 tons of grain. They encountered a big storm and were smashed on the isle of Malta in St Paul's Bay. Every one was saved. The inhabitants welcomed them. Everything went wrong. There Paul got bitten by a poisonous snake. They decided Paul was a God.

How are you going to finish the race?
4 steps.
1. Hope for the future. Faithfulness. Acts begins with the story of the church and ends with Paul's journey. Each of us must finish our own race alone
2. Personal morally good people won't make it. Paul was on his own journey. Learn to live with troubles and pitfalls. Helen Keller said character cannot be developed in peace. Only in the difficult periods of life. Trust God in the storm. So much of life is inconvenient interruptions of life. They can lead us into deeper relationships. It's not over till it's over.
3. Inclusive I am not the only one going through the difficulties. God puts people into our lives. To help us walk through the difficulties. Some of our difficulties come from the community of faith. Sometimes our help comes from non-Christians. People who do not have faith. They can be kind and loving. We must learn to accept help from un-believers. We are all called to kindle a fire. Of justice passion and love.
4. Paul was expected to die. He had a further purpose. What is God teaching me right now. The mayor noted the miracle and soon there were many people who got healed and believed the gospel. A revival on Malta.
Paul said I finished the race.
1968 Olympics in Mexico. A single runner came in late - limping. He wanted to finish the race on his own. When he crossed the line he fell. my country sent me 7000 miles to finish the race. We are all called to finish the race no matter how unfair it all is.

Paul finished well. Not easy.

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