God Invites Us to Go Lower and Lower

October 20, 2011

 

Throughout the Book of Acts, we see very clear illustrations of Jesus’ disciples taking the path of humility as they live out their mission of bringing the Gospel message to the world.

This week, we explore the passage that describes the first of many acts of great humility lived out by Saul- aka the Apostle Paul.

After he had recovered from his glorious and supernatural encounter with Jesus, Paul immediately went public with his newfound revelation that Jesus is the Christ.  For some time, he was able to freely communicate in Damascus, and led many people to Jesus.

However, when his opponents could take it no more, they set up a plot to kill him. They closely watched every entrance to the City to block his escape.

That’s when Paul was lowered over the wall of the City in the dark of night in a basket.

Before meeting Jesus, Paul’s life was about earning honor and accolades.  But after meeting Jesus, he would learn how to go lower and lower. 

As we seek to follow Jesus more fully, we come to the recognition that we must each go lower and lower.  The things we previously thought were beneath us become more and more commonplace as we shift our expectation and commitment from living for us to living for Jesus.

A generation before, John the Baptist had made this proclamation in reference to Jesus: “He must increase, but I must decrease”.   Through the pages of the Book of Acts, Paul and the rest of the early disciples lived out this truth in living color. We have the opportunity to do the same.

Join us at 5 PM on Sunday as we meet in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff and share a message called “God Invites Us to Go Lower and Lower” based on Acts 9:23-25.

By the way, the setting of today’s message is the wall around Damascus, Syria.  Above is a photograph of the wall as it appears today.

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If God calls you “Qualified”, then you are Qualified!

October 15, 2011

 

Throughout history God has surprised many of us by calling us “Qualified” to do things we didn’t particularly feel qualified to do.

This is easy to see in the case of Saul, aka the Apostle Paul.

Before meeting Jesus, Saul’s life goal was to persecute and kill Christians.  His passion was to snuff out the church.

But when Jesus appeared to Saul, in a moment he turned his life around.  In the passage we are studying this week, we see that Saul’s  response to his calling as a Christian evangelist was to “immediately” proclaim Jesus in a very public way.

What can we learn from this part of the story of the early church?

1)  Jesus turns his enemies into friends.
2)  Being qualified by God is a measure of grace, and not anything else.
3)  In God’s economy, nothing in our lives is wasted.  God can even use our mistakes to advance the mission of love and reconciliation.

Join us at 5 PM on Sunday as we meet in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff and share a message called If God calls you ‘Qualified’, then you are Qualified! based on Acts 9:19-22.