#4- Acts 14:19-28 Grace For God’s Call

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Acts, New Testament

2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Be strong- endunamoō- en-doo-nam-o’-o- to empower:—enable, (increase in) strength (-en), be (make) strong, to receive strength.

Acts 14:26 26From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.
Grace- God’s unmerited favor towards man; unmerited Divine assistance; the diving influence upon the heart; that which brings charm & loveliness

This missionary trip had started a year earlier, when Paul & Barnabus had been called by God.

I. Grace To Suffer

A. Paul Suffered Persecution

1. Just minutes before, they wanted to worship Paul as a god
2. Paul had done nothing to deserve this murderous attempt
3. God had warned Paul about suffering.
Acts 9:15, 16 15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
4. Paul seems to describe this event in
2 Cor. 12:2, 3 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows
5. Paul had God’s grace to be able to suffer many different things
6. 2 Cor 12:8, 9a 8Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
7. God’s grace enabled Paul to return to Lystra the next day & thereafter.

B. We Will Suffer Persecution

1. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2. To avoid persecution for Christ, don’t live a godly life.
3. Matthew 5:11, 12a “Blessed (happy) are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…
4. God’s grace is abundant towards you. Be strong in it.
5. Paul was strengthened by God’s grace for many different areas of life.

II. Grace To Influence

A. To Preach 14:21

1. Preach- to declare, to announce.
2. Don’t be afraid of another Lystra experience. Be strong in God’s grace.
3. Romans 1:16a For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…

B. To Strengthen 14:22

1. Strengthen- confirm, to establish, reaffirm, support further, render more firm
2. See Acts 15:32; 15:41; 18:23. We can strengthen others with our words.
3. Christians need strengthening in their faith. How good that is.
4. Would this ministry result in another attempt on his life?
5. Perhaps you might feel like it was too costly to carry on with Jesus, or to encourage others to continue to follow Him as well.
6. Perhaps you feel inadequate/intimidated.
7. Be strengthened in God’s grace.

C. To Exhort 14:22

1. Exhort- to come alongside to encourage, teach, comfort, warn
2. They exhorted them to continue in the faith
3. Paul’s convictions were deep. Remember what he had just gone thru.
4. Our suffering or lack of it doesn’t change the truth. Speak the truth.

D. To Report 14:27

1. Report- rehearse (KJV), to tell, to declare, bring back tidings.
2. Tired after the event, after the journey? Make the effort. God’s grace.
3. Tremendous blessing to hear reports of God’s work among people.

E. How To Do It?

In person, phone calls, card or letters, smiles and hugs.
In many cases, the method isn’t important. Ask God for grace to do it.

III. Grace To Lead 14:23

A. Paul Not Self Appointed

1. Gal. 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)…
2. 1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am…
3. Paul and Barnabus accomplished so much, but only because they were called to do it, and because they depended upon God’s grace to do it.

B. Paul Led Because Of And By God’s Grace

1. Leading isn’t always fun. Difficult in many ways.
2. Paul appointed elders.
3. Others weren’t appointed elders. Were there hurt feelings?
4. It required prayer and much consideration.
5. He loved these people. By God’s direction, some chosen, others not. Difficult emotionally.
6. Paul’s leadership almost cost him his life.
7. Leadership has unique suffering.
8. Turn to 2 Corinthians 11:22-33
9. When all is done, you have to trust others over to God. Difficult.
10. Yet, God’s grace was sufficient for Paul in all things.

IV. Grace To Finish 14:26

A. They Began In God’s Grace Acts 13:1-3
B. They Continued By God’s Grace 2 Cor. 12:1-10

2 Cor. 12:9 9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

C. They Finished By God’s Grace

1. They had been commended to God’s grace.
2. It had been recognized that God had called them to venture out.
3. They finished the task that God had called them to.
4. This missionary journey took 1 year to complete. Acts 13 & 14.
5. This journey included:

a. 9 cities where the Gospel was preached
b. Confrontation with a sorcerer who opposed them
c. They were threatened in three cities, and left under great opposition.

i. Antioch- expelled
ii. Iconium- heard of a plot and escaped
iii. Lystra- stoned and left for dead

d. 2 Timothy 3:10, 11 10But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
e. Departure of John Mark. He left before the stoning in Lystra
f. Later became a great contention between Paul & Barnabus.
g. People received Jesus in at least 5 cities
h. 2 miracles
i. Churches stared, elders appointed, saints strengthened
j. The sending church was blessed.

Extra consideration-
Whereas God will give us grace to accomplish whatever He has called us to…
He will not give us the grace to accomplish what He hasn’t called us to.

There are times when ministry relationships need to end.
When a ministry needs to be discontinued. When God has closed a door.

We are not unspiritual when we walk away from such events.
In fact, it takes a great deal of spiritual maturity to recognize when God hasn’t called you to something.

If we have put forth our best efforts, and things still are not fruitful or peaceable, it may that God has not or is no longer calling us to that.
But if we are sure that He is calling us to something, His is grace is sufficient.