Sept 23, 2007
INTRODUCTION: The Apostle Paul has completed three missionary journeys. It all began on the Damascus Road in Syria. Here he was converted, called, and commissioned.
Acts 9:15-16, "But 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. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake.'"
In the book of Acts, four chapters later, we see the church sending out missionaries.
Acts 13:2-3, "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.'"
We believe that approximately 11 years has passed (AD46-AD57) since Paul started out on his first journey. The Lord has used him extensively all over Asia and Europe. However, Paul has felt from very early on that the Lord had a work for him to do in Rome.
Acts 23:11, "But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.'"
This sense of calling has provided Paul with confidence and courage. The Bible makes it clear that God's providence was a reality in this missionary's life. Have you, or do you, sense a divine compulsion in your life? There is something the Lord has placed you here to do that has not yet been realized? Is there a "yet" in your life?
I. DELAY OF THE LORD'S MISSIONARY. 1.
Paul had been in prison in Caesarea for 2 years.
Sometimes there is an obvious reason for our delay. He was ready for his next assignment, but was understandably delayed.
I often hear others talk about running, putting off, diverting, etc., that which they believe to be the undeniable call of the Lord on their life.
II. THE DETOUR OF THE LORD'S MISSIONARY. 2-6
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