Is your life a pre-planned course of events, already rigged, so the speak? Then what you do or don't do doesn't really matter. Is your life all up to you? Then what you do or don't do determines everything. Which is it? One view leads to complacency, the other to panic. This weekend we begin a three-week series on Acts 27—the storms in our lives. We all have had them, are having them, and will have them. We’re glad you’re with us to learn from how Paul dealt with a literal storm and to seek God’s wisdom for weathering the storms in our lives.
Ever since Aristotle, authors have offered their advice on how to persuade others. Most tell you to us fact, feelings, show humility, care for the other, etc. Persuasion is a complicated effort. If you say only empirical evidence proves anything, how do you prove that statement? If you say all we need are feelings, you've just created chaos. Paul stands before world powers, and his life is on the line. He lays out facts. He bares his heart. But he includes a third element in his attempt to persuade King Agrippa to believe in Christ that Aristotle and best-selling authors miss. Today, gathered in God’s very presence, we receive it. Glad you’re with us.
Welcome to St. Andrew. Today we continue our study of Acts with the meeting of Festus and King Agrippa II. We have very little in common with these ancient men of influence, but we do share one thing. In fact, we meet for the very same reason that Festus met with King Agrippa II. It’s the reason we live, love, hope, and sing. The reason? A certain Jesus was dead and now lives. In his name we teach and preach the gospel of the Living God. Thanks for joining us to worship him. May God bless our time together.
Sometimes, just a few words define a person. Here I stand. I have a dream. Give me liberty or give me death. Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country. See how it works? Big moments in life often provide the opportunity for such big words. In the last few chapters of Acts, the apostle Paul finds himself in one big moment after another. This week, in Acts 25:1-12, he's facing another threat and speaks defining words, "I appeal to Caesar." The funny thing about those defining moments and big words is that you don't usually see them coming: a child asks a question, a coworker expresses an openness to Jesus, etc. Jesus says to you, his child, "Don't worry about what you will say. I'll supply the words. You just stay faithful to me." We’re glad you’re a part of the fellowship of saints here today and pray that the Spirit uses the gospel to keep you faithful to him.