How to Stay the Course
Series: Back to the Basics
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
November 23, 2008
It's not easy to stay the course when your world is unraveling. So .. how do you stay the course in days of uncertainty? How do you withstand the winds of worry that tend to blow you off course? How do you stay the course that God has set for you?
We're going to hear Paul say today: "so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Paul stayed the course in the face of opposition and persecution. He later said in 2 Timothy 4.7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
That's my prayer for you! That you may finish your race with joy .." So .. how did he do it? More importantly .. how do we do it? How do we stay the course that God has set FOR US to follow as husbands and wives ... as Father's and Mother's ... as businessmen .. and businesswomen .. as Sunday School leaders and members ... as a Church family?
Well .. that's what I want to talk to you about today from Acts 20 as we continue getting back to the basics.
Now after the riot in Ephesus in chapter 19 .. Paul sailed to Macedonia and then had a seven day stay at Troas. Let's pick it up beginning in verse 7 "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. 9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him." 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted."
Poor ol'e Eutychus! Some of you can identify with him .. can't you: he fell asleep while listening to a sermon. I'm glad that doesn't happen around here! I'll make you a deal: I won't preach until midnight if you won't go to sleep! And remember .. if you end up going to sleep during the sermon and die .. that there are no apostles here to revive you! You're on your own!
Now beginning in verse 13 .. Paul sets sail again and he ends up 30 miles from Ephesus at Miletus. And what happened at Miletus helps us know how to stay the course God has set for us.
Let's begin reading in verse 17 as we consider together ..
How to Stay the Course
17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, ...
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