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When God Delays

When God Delays

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When God Delays

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  1. When God Delays Acts: The Unfinished Story of the Church Series [45] Acts 24:1-27 February 24, 2013 Pastor Paul K. Kim

  2. WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN GOD DELAYS • DON’T be fickle in your faith (James 1:12). Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

  3. WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN GOD DELAYS • DON’T be fickle in your faith (James 1:12). • DON’T try to fix it yourself (1 Samuel 13:8-13). 8 He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.... 13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly...” 1 Samuel 13:8-9, 13a

  4. WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN GOD DELAYS • DON’T be fickle in your faith (James 1:12). • DON’T try to fix it yourself (1 Samuel 13:8-13). • DON’T lose heart (Galatians 6:9). And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

  5. WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN GOD DELAYS • DON’T be fickle in your faith (James 1:12). • DON’T try to fix it yourself (1 Samuel 13:8-13). • DON’T lose heart (Galatians 6:9). • DON’T try to explain things away (Isaiah 55:8-9). 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

  6. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 1)   A Reality Check: What Christ promised us is not the absence of trouble but the peace of Christ amidst troubles in this world. 1 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul. 2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: “Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, 3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 4 But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. (vs. 1-4)

  7. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 1)   A Reality Check: What Christ promised us is not the absence of trouble but the peace of Christ amidst troubles in this world. 5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”9 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so. (vs. 5-9) • It is God’s providence that allows persecution. Jesus never promised us a trouble-free world; but his peace is ours.

  8. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

  9. 26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:26-31

  10. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 1)   A Reality Check: What Christ promised us is not the absence of trouble but the peace of Christ amidst troubles in this world. 5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”9 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so. (vs. 5-9) • It is God’s providence that allows persecution. Jesus never promised us a trouble-free world; but he promised his peace. • Paul was falsely accused for two things: (1) that he is a plague and a ringleader of riots; (2) that he profane the temple. • Even in our time, anyone who desires to live a godly life will face persecution/troubles in this godless world (2 Tim. 3:12).

  11. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 2)   Readiness to Face Troubles: Paul’s readiness was with both innocence of clear conscience and shrewdness of prudent mind. 10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and  they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.  16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. (vs. 10-16)

  12. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 2)   Readiness to Face Troubles: Paul’s readiness was with both innocence of clear conscience and shrewdness of prudent mind. 17 Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia— 19 they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’” (vs. 17-21) • In this trial, Paul was marked by two things: integrity (from his innocence) and boldness (from his shrewdness). • Paul’s defense was twofold: (1) that he didn’t profane the temple (no time); (2) that his beliefs in the Way is scriptural. • We are to have this readiness of innocence and shrewdness.

  13. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 3)   A Delay of Double-mindedness: Felix’s double-mindedness led him to delay the most important decision for his own soul. 22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.”23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs .24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. (vs. 22-24)

  14. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 3)   A Delay of Double-mindedness: Felix’s double-mindedness led him to delay the most important decision for his own soul. 25 And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him.  (vs. 25-26) • Felix had enough knowledge in the Way to be interested in it personally; but he was also tangled up with the worldly gain. • Felix’s delay may look a mere procrastination but the delay of his double-mindedness led him to lose his soul. • We must avoid this kind of delay in following Christ at all cost; the delay is momentary but the outcome is eternal.

  15. WHAT KEY LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY? 4)   A Delay of God: The delay of two years in Paul’s imprisonment was not God’s denial but God’s sovereign wisdom for Paul. 27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor,  Felix left Paul in prison. (v. 27) • Why did God delay two years of Paul’s time in prison? What was the purpose of the delay? What went on with Paul? • It’s easy to speculate or explain things away but the bottom line is that God was in control with his power and wisdom. • We must not see God’s delays in our lives as God’s denials of us; God, his the sovereign plan and purpose, desires us to wait on the LORD with confident expectation.

  16. So often we mistake God, and interpret his delays as denials. What a chapter might be written of God's delays. It is the mystery of the art of educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable. What searchings of heart, what analyzings of motives, what testings of the Word of God, what upliftings of the soul, 'searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of God signified.' All these are associated with these weary days of waiting which are, nevertheless, big with spiritual destiny. But such delays are not God's final answer to the soul that trusts him. F. B. Myer

  17. THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE • How can I be more ready for troubles in choosing to live a godly life for Christ? • What delay or procrastination do I need to face, knowing enough about what I need to choose and take a step for my own soul? • How will I wait for the LORD in my current circumstance in which God seems to delays change or answer? What is my first step?