“What Can Happen Because People Watch Us” Acts 16:25-34

The Book of Acts chronicles the history of the early Church.  From the time of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, through Pentecost and the conversion of a zealous Pharisee named Saul, Dr. Luke continued to record how the gospel was being spread, largely because of persecution. Saul/Paul was selected to become the missionary to the Gentiles, those who were not Jewish, which expanded the gospel to the known world.  Paul took three missionary journeys sharing God’s love and establishing churches.  Our New Testament Lesson this morning takes place while Paul and Silas were on the second missionary journey.  Paul wanted to visit those new converts to Christianity and see how they were doing.  Paul, Silas, Luke, and Timothy encountered some Jewish women who were worshiping God near a river in Philippi.  Paul told them about Jesus; a specific woman named Lydia was singled out as a seller of purple, meaning that she was a person of means.  Lydia and her husband were baptized.  They created such a strong, quick relationship that the four missionaries were invited to stay with them in Philippi.

“Focusing on Fundamentals” I Peter 4:7-11

When directors begin the season of practices in band or chorus, they 
begin to address fundamentals.  Centering on the basics becomes the 
lesson plan for the earliest days of practice.  After any lengthy hiatus, a 
competent director seeks to renew practice patterns.  More time gets spent 
on warming up.  The director may utilize breathing exercises.  Those 
playing a brass instrument may participate in maneuvers for their lips to 
solidify the connection to the mouthpiece.  Through some research I 
learned that brass players renew the ability to buzz their lips.  (I’m not sure 
exactly what this means.)  Scales, major and minor, need to be mastered 
Our New Testament Lesson today presents the reminder of focusing 
on fundamentals.  We have to know the basics before we can seek to solve 
timeless theological conundrums.  While I want my understanding of God to 
be stretched, occasionally we need to be reminded of the basics, because 
frankly, none of us have mastered these fundamentals.  No matter how 
long we have been followers of Christ, we still sin; we still fall short; we still 
miss the mark;  we still don’t do everything as Christ would have us do.  
The letters of I and II Peter are considered to be persecution 
literature, meaning that those who first read these words needed 
encouragement.  When Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised his 
followers that he would return.     

“Jesus Christ, The Door to Leadership” John 10:11-18

The subject of leadership is one that we cannot take lightly. Leadership plays a central and critical role in life and ministry; leadership guru John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This is true at a personal level, the family/home level, the community level, the church level, and any governmental level. Leadership is a subject of value since each one of us is a leader; turn to your neighbor and tell them, “You are a leader.”
Today is the third sermon in this sermon series, Jesus Christ the Door. We have focused on Jesus Christ the Door to Light and Jesus Christ the Door to Liberty. Jesus Christ the Door to Leadership opens a way for us to understand what God desires to see in leadership and provides the model of good and godly leadership.