ONE MORE TIME
We are going to wrap up our look at the early church in Acts for now. Maybe we will look at more of what happened later, but this will be our last look at Acts for a while.
We see Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a husband and wife named Aquilla and Priscilla. They had moved to Corinth because Claudius, emperor of Rome, had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Apparently, Claudius had become so tired of the problems Jews were causing in Rome, he wanted them out. As had been the case at his other recent stops, Paul went the synagogue on every Sabbath and tried to convince both Jews and Greeks of who Jesus is and what he had done. Once Timothy and Silas arrived in town, it says Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching the Word to the Jews. But when the Jews opposed him, he symbolically shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood be on your heads.” He said, “I have tried my best. I am done with you. I am going to preach the word to the Gentiles from now on.” It is obvious that while most of the Jews rejected the message, some received it. We read Crispus, a synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord and many others in Corinth also believed and were baptized.
We saw Paul, Silas and Timothy had not stayed in the other cities long. However, on this occasion, God, in a vision, encouraged them to stay in Corinth where they would be safe. We see they stayed for a year and a half teaching and proclaiming the word. The Jews that had rejected his message in Corinth did not forget about Paul. They came against him using the legal system of the day and took him to court. They argued Paul was trying to convince Jews in Corinth to believe things contrary to the law. The prosecuting attorney in Corinth, however, said that this has nothing to do with the region’s laws. It has to do with Jewish rules and laws and that is not my problem. In other words, you settle this yourselves. Do not bother us with it in Corinth courts.
What happened next is a typical reaction when people feel they have been made to look bad. The Jews that made a big deal in court got mad at the Jewish synagogue ruler at this time. They were so mad that the Corinthian prosecutor threw out their complaint that right there on the spot they grabbed Sosthenes, the synagogue ruler, and beat him in front of the court because they felt he had made them look like fools.
So, what lessons can we learn from what happened at Corinth? First, we see Paul wanted to give the Jews one more chance at receiving the gospel. After all, Paul was also a Jew and he had a special place in his heart for his fellow Jews. But when they refused to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading through Paul’s teaching, what was his reaction? He said, “I will no longer waste my time on people that refuse to hear anything I am saying.”
What about us? Some of you have probably tried time and again to convince people of things. All of us have at different times. Whether it is the gospel or something else, you probably have had good compelling arguments, but they have refused to listen. What is God saying to us then? As much as we might not want to, we see God saying that it is alright to move on. I am sure Paul never stopped loving his fellow Jews, but he came to realize there comes a time I can be more useful to God elsewhere. If we have conflicts and disagreements with friends or family especially, I am convinced God does not want us to stop loving them, but maybe it is time to fully turn it over to God and move on to other opportunities that God puts before us.
We are also reminded in the verses we read today that some people may try to do ugly things to us over the disagreements we have. They tried dragging Paul into court over the things they were not happy about. We see God’s hand of protection was with Paul on this occasion and not only was he let go, but those who were accusing him of something wrong, when it did not go the way they wanted, turned on each other. We should be reminded of the fact when we do things, to make sure we are doing whatever it might be for the right reasons. Things have a way of coming back around to bite us when we are not on solid ground.
The message today is entitled “One More Time”. I am convinced there are times God wants us to give some things one more try, one more time. If we see God bringing the success we are praying for, rejoice that your patience has been rewarded. If not, God is telling us it is time to move on. If you have done your best, that is all God ever asks of you. Always leave the door open as best you can for future opportunities, however. We must always remember that with God all things are possible. God may be asking some of us today to try something one more time. At times when we are feeling discouraged and thinking what is the use, that is the time God will bring the victory.
Every Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study. All are invited to attend.
Submissions for November newsletter due to Carol by 10/29
November 11 Board Meeting
November 15 Council Meeting immediately after worship
Executive Committee made the decision to cancel this year’s Christmas Vespers.
The Lord’s Storehouse is asking for donations for Thanksgiving Baskets. Suggested donation is $25 per basket. Donations may be placed in the bucket in the back of the sanctuary. Checks to The Lord’s Storehouse. Last day for donations is 11/8.
Please place your offering in the plates at the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!
Thank you for wearing masks and helping contain the spread of the virus. Extra masks are at the back of the sanctuary if you don’t have one. Remember: the cloth masks are washable.
Donation Box October: The Lord’s Storehouse
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.
District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link)
Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook
Keep in Your Prayers
Shirley Krall; Tim Lynch; MariBeth Pflum; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Bertha Eveland and Betty Moore; Evelyn Eads; Mike Gentry; Anna Gentry Thompson; Larry Cripe; Arnold Schultz; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo and Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 225,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; wildfire and hurricane victims; District of IL/WI; nursing home residents; the harvest; peaceful election
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.