You hear of it occasionally: the family of the victim of a horrible crime appears in the courtroom at sentencing to speak to the one convicted. But instead of words of hate, they speak words of grace and forgiveness. How can they do that? Where's the justice? At the end of Acts 16, the apostle Paul and his companion Silas do something like that. Instead of seeking revenge on the man who wronged them, they demonstrated powerful grace. Where's the justice? Satisfied on Jesus' cross. Such grace pulls us here to worship. We’re glad you’re with us.
You know what it's like to groan. When what you feel is beyond words, a groan will have to do. In Romans 8, Paul writes about groaning. Paul, creation, and the Holy Spirit groan. But God not only knows about your groaning, he is eager to encourage you and remind you that you are not alone or empty. You have Jesus as your substitute now, and you have future glory. Through the Word and sacrament you receive today, God removes the heaviness of life and gives you grace, hope, and healing.
All rights reserved. Music used by permission under CCLI #1600166, OneLicense #A-709447, Worshipflow.com, and Bensound.com. Pre-service music all rights reserved by Koine (koinemusic.com) & Michael Schroeder.
Just a few miles into the continent, the apostle Paul and his missionary entourage met a group of God-fearing women near a river, praying, singing, and listening to God's Word. One of the women, Lydia, had a fascinating name, job, and social status. But the most interesting thing about her is how the Good News of Jesus changed her. The joy of the gospel still changes us and always, always, always for the better.
There's no shortage of advisors, commentators, or people with opinions who would love to "share" them with you. But whose voice do you listen to? You can't listen to all of them. Do you listen only to voices that agree with you? That could be dangerous. Do you listen only to voices that disagree with you? That sounds just as dangerous. We want to listen to the voice that speaks the truth. How do you find it? That was the dilemma for the apostle Paul in Acts 16:6-10. We're not given a litmus test to determine which voice to listen to, but we are given an example of a fellow follower of Christ seeking his voice. Let's learn from him. We’re glad you’re with us to seek God's voice.