When God calls one, he calls a bunch.
JULY 10, 2023
When God calls one, he calls a bunch. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’ve been studying and we’ve done it since the flood of Noah, so it’s been a long time, we’ve been teaching Acts and we’re getting close. We’re in the 20th chapter of Acts, and it’s one of the most important chapters in the entire book and one of the most important chapters in the entire Bible, it’s moving and it’s memorable. And so, we’re going to spend two or three weeks looking at the 20th chapter of Acts. And if you have your Bible, you might want to open it to that 20th chapter. Before we get down and study, it’s our practice to pray, let’s do that. Father, we come into your presence, as always surprised we’re here. We aren’t good enough to be here. We don’t know enough to be here. We haven’t been faithful enough to be here. We probably should not be here, but by your invitation, welcome child, we’re here. And by the blood of Christ and his righteousness, we’re clean and we’re pure In your presence. Father, you know everyone who’s listening to this broadcast, you know the hard places and the soft places, you know the laughter and the tears, you know the pain and the joy. Remind us that you’re sovereign over every bit of that. That you’re good and you’re good all the time and that you’re sufficient for every need. Father, we thank you and praise you, and we worship you because you are worthy. As always, Father, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins cause there are many. We would see Jesus and Him only and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Well, if you were listening last week to Key Life, you know that we left Paul in Ephesus, where he caused a riot. In fact, one of the marks of the apostle Paul’s ministry is that he was looking for a riot. Wherever he went, a riot happened, and then after three years of ministry in Ephesus, Paul determined that it was time to move on. And in the first part of the 20th chapter of Acts, we see Paul traveling to Macedonia to visit the churches there, the churches he had established on a second missionary journey. He was like a mother with a child with those churches and he wanted to go by, see how they were doing, check on them and encourage them, and he did that. And then there is another incident that takes place in Miletus, and that is one of the most moving passages in the entire book of Acts. So, let’s dig in at least to that first incident where in the 20th chapter Dr. Luke write as follows.
After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and having exhorted them took leave of them and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through these parts and had given them much in encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia.
So, and then follows a number of verses listing the friends who were with him, as he went on his missionary journey. And then at the seventh verse, it says.
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber where they were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep and Paul talked still longer. And Eutychus overcome by sleep, fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, bent over him, and embracing him, said, “Don’t be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so then departed. And they took the lad away alive, and were not a little discomforted. But going ahead in the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. But when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after we came to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.
Now, there are a number of things that come to mind as you read those verses, the first incident that happened in the 20th chapter of Acts. And the first thing you ought to note about this particular passage is that Paul did not travel alone. And there’s a principle there and it’s really important. When God calls one, he calls a bunch. If you have a vision from God and you are the only one that has that vision, it’s probably not from God. If God has called you to make an impact on the world, and he only called you, leave the world alone because when God calls one, he calls a bunch. A number of years ago, Young Life started in my study in the Boston area where I was a pastor. In fact, the original committee for Young Life in New England happened in my study. As we began that ministry, we found the staff person with Young Life who was incredibly gifted. He was handsome, he was winsome, he was articulate, he loved Jesus, and he could hardly wait to get started. And so, we started Young Life. And you know what happened, after six months it died. I mean, it didn’t just die a little bit, it died dead. I mean, it never took off, that plane never got off the runway. And three or four years later, Young Life decided to try one more time. Now, my philosophy is if at first you don’t succeed, go do something else. But Young Life and one of the reasons God has used them in so many ways they don’t give up on kids and they don’t give up on ministry. So, they decided to start another Young Life movement in New England, and they did, but they learned from the first one, instead of one, they sent a bunch because they knew that you can’t do ministry by yourself. And Paul knew that too. As you read through the Book of Acts, you read some amazing things happening, but they never happened to one person doing one thing in one place for Jesus because that’s not the way God does it. The reason God formed the church, is because God created us in a way that I need you and you need me and Paul understood that. And as you read through those names in the 20th chapter of Acts, you’re absolutely amazed with the number of people who traveled with Paul, they always did because when God calls one, he always calls a bunch. And then you don’t want to miss Eutychus. Paul needed to take one of my homiletics classes frankly, you don’t preach from six in the afternoon to midnight. The posterior can only absorb so much sitting in a chair listening to a sermon. Long sermons are often more than three sermons and need to be divided up. And we’re going to talk about it tomorrow, but I suspect Eutychus wasn’t the only one who went to sleep, but he went to sleep and then fell three stories to his death. And Jesus fixed it and the apostle Paul was used and immediately went back to preaching. So, we see the importance of the word over the miracle. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown resuming our ongoing exploration of Acts today, ushering us into chapter 20. So much more to discover here, so we hope you will join us again tomorrow. I used to think I was a Christian, but I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve blown it so bad, is it possible I’ve never even known Jesus? Well, these are the kinds of questions we get all the time here at Key Life, assurance of salvation. Big questions for sure, but questions that do have answers. Well, Steve addressed these issues in a sermon called I’m Still Here and You are Too. In it, he gives four reasons we can be sure that Jesus will never let us go. If you struggle with these questions or maybe know someone who is, please let us send you this CD for free. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact for our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the CD called, I’m Still here and You are Too. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or pick up the phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 then follow the instructions. And as always, if you can’t give, we get it. But if you would, please do pray for us. Okay? Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.