Acts 14:19- 28

“But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.”

Sermon Transcript:

Morning, everybody. Morning. Please take in your bi, Take your Bibles to Acts. Chapter 14. Gonna be looking at Acts chapter 14 versus 19 to 28. This passage we’re gonna be looking at in a couple of minutes here. We have a guy from our church, uh, he was an intern with US Pastoral intern. His name is Matt. Matt has been out in Illinois.

Uh, he is between churches. He just got a call to, uh, another church. Really excited for him. Been in contact with him, and I had recently asked him because he’s, he’s now been attending the church, um, and started there I believe in August or September. They’ve called him to begin in December. And so I just wrote him a note and I said, What are you doing in preparation?

Of taking over this new ministry. And he wrote me back this week and I was really excited by the letter. Um, he said, you know, the first time I was going into my first pastorate, which ended up being a, a challenging ministry, um, he said, I spent all my time preparing. Uh, I got a sermon series prepared. I got, um, plans and, and ideas and programs and methodologies I was gonna do.

And he said, But this time, while I’m doing a little bit of sermon prep and getting a direction where I’m going with my sermons, he said, I’m just spending time with people. He said, We’re having couples over from the church. Uh, I’m spending time with the current pastor and just asking him to tell me about people so I can better know who’s who and what’s going on.

He said, I’m spending a lot of time with. Young guys that I see could be potential influencers here, and I’m trying to come alongside of them and, and build into their lives and just build relationships for future building into their lives. I was excited because I believe the perspective he’s bringing of developing people in their walk with Jesus and looking at developing future leaders is the greatest call of equipping people as pastors.

It lines up exactly with the heart of pastoral leadership. We see in these first two missionaries, Paul and Barnabas, in the passage we’re going to read this morning. We find that developing disciples was the foundational strategy of the early church leadership, and I’d like to read verse 19 to 28 here in Acts chapter 14.

but Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. And having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city. Supposing he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city. And on the next day, he went on with Barnabas to Derby. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lira and to I Iconium, and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith and saying that through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God.

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. . Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Cam Phi. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Italian. And from there they sailed to Antioch where they had been committed, commended to the grace of God for the work they had fulfilled.

And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles and there remained no little time with the disciples. Let’s pray.

Lord, this morning we wanna praise you for the privilege of just gathering this room, being able to express our songs, our praise to you. And Father, we now want to kneel before your word and be taught. God, I love this passage. I love the things that’s spoken into my own life. Lord, it is my desire as we prepare ourselves to partake in the Lord supp at the end of our service.

That Lord, you might enable us to be listeners to the truths that are in this passage today. In Jesus name, amen. Wanna just give some context to where we are. Uh, and I’m gonna do that via a map, my pointer this morning. Um, again, this Ben had up a similar map to this last week. We’ve been showing this. This is a map of the first missionary journey of Paul and his sidekick Barnabas.

They have left a place called Antioch, which is over here. This is a Jerusalem, this is Israel’s area. Up here is, uh, beyond Israel, but it is where the second large church has been started and has now become the center of the descending ministry. They’ve gone on to the island of, uh, Cypress and now they’re up in this area.

And where we’ve seen them recently is up in this area of Antioch. That was in, uh, chapter 13. Paul preached a great sermon. There was well received until the religious leaders, the Jewish leaders, began to be threatened by Paul and they eventually worked up the crowd and he was driven, They were driven out of Antioch by the people stirred up, They then went to I Iconium, which is the place right after that.

You could see I iconium there to the east and I, Iconium was, uh, a place. They had early success again in the beginning of chapter 14. But again, the religious leaders this time, interestingly, the Jewish leaders gathered with some of the Gentile leaders. I mean, they literally got together for nothing. But now they got together because they had a common foe in these two apostles.

And so they are driven out there because they get word that these guys are stirring up the crowd to stone them. And so there’s a Antioch driven out, I Iconium threatened to be stoned. They go down to the next city and you can see it there. Lira. And lira is the ultimate, um, from penthouse to outhouse experience.

You remember, uh, if you were here for Ben’s sermon last week, he talked about the first part of their experience in Lira was so. Resoundingly excited with the miracle that they did of healing this, this lame man that they actually gathered around him. And the people of Lister were declaring there were gods and he was Hermes and, and, uh, Barnabas was, was uh, uh, Jupiter.

And they’re just praising them as god’s and they are elevating them. And, and Paul and Barnabas are having to fight this off. Well, that changes in our text this morning where we find that people from Antioch and I, Iconium now have traveled after them. They’ve stirred up the people so much that the people that a moment ago were trying to declare them as God’s stone, Paul, and they leave him for dead.

They have intended him to be dead. They think he is dead. It and he’s lying there on the ground and it’s the, the disciples gather around him and he and he, he gets up, probably staggers up, goes into the city, and the next day he goes to this, this final town that’s called Derby and is not on this map, but this green dot right here is Derby.

Okay, so here they are, Aaron Derby. And this is a, this is, this is a, a key moment in the first missionary journey where in Derby they says they led many to the Lord. There were a number of, it says many disciples came to the Lord there, but both Paul and Barnabas clearly sensed from the spirit of God, this trip is over.

We’re now to return back to our original sending church, Antioch and Syria. But here is a really important decision that they have to make. Again, last time I pointed the map, Lera Derby is right there. If they went through the mountain pass right over to here, which would be just east of there. There would be lera, there would be derby.

I’m not sure why I’m shaking this much, and you would go right through a mountain pass, right about there is the city of Tarsus. Tarsus is Saul’s hometown. Paul’s hometown. He’s already preached there. We know that he was preached, he preached there. He’s safe there. This is a perfect place to recover from the wounds of rocks and, and the bruises and the brokenness that has affected his body.

But he chooses to go back and retrace his steps to Lera two, Iconium to Antioch, and then down to Perga and get on a ship again and go back home. Why? Why do that? I mean, the man has been physically. Incapacitated. Everybody thought he was dead. He’s gone back for one reason. He is passionate about developing the disciples that have recently come to know Jesus Christ in those places no matter what the personal cost, it is a, it is a powerful visual of what Paul is doing here.

He is committed to those who have embraced Jesus in those places who have become what the text calls disciples. So who are these disciples? My question really is this, what is a disciple? And I’ve spent quite a bit of time with this in the New Testament, just trying to crystallize when a person is given the Title Disciples, cuz it’s 30 times in the book of Acts, the word disciple is used.

What is a disciple? What does it mean? And there are three things that are clearly identifiable. I’m mentioning this now and I’m gonna come back to this at the very end of our study. A disciple has three characteristics. Here’s what they are. Number one, they have accepted Jesus salvation. They have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ.

Secondly, they have yielded to Jesus. Lordship the word, uh, disciple is actually the word that means a follower, a, a learner, a person that comes. It’s where Jesus said the disciples, follow me, follow me, follow me. Come after me. He is a follower. She is a follower. A disciple is one who yields to Jesus as Lord.

When you follow somebody, it means you’re saying you’re in charge. You’re leading the way, you’re choosing the path. And the third thing is they are someone who has joined Jesus mission. We’re gonna come back to that. So now we look, and where I wanna focus this morning is in verse 22, because verse 22 is the center of this passage.

And basically verse 22 is telling us why Paul and Barnabas took this, risked a venture to go back through these cities who have just left him for dead. I mean, every reason we would think is they’re gonna be thinking, Oh, alright, he’s still alive. We can take care of that. Simple enough, he goes back to those places because he has a three part ministry in developing these disciples who have recently embraced Jesus as savior Lord and are identifying now with the mission of Jesus on earth, we find three things that he does in this phrase.

First of all, it says in verse 22, they were strengthening disciples. The word strengthen here is a, is a very pregnant term. It is a term that actually was used of plants that you would, you would stake them up if you have h ranges. Uh, I should have had a picture, so you know what I’m talking about. Um, Hs are these big bushy plants that when first getting larger, they get a big head of, of, of, of blossoms.

And, and if you don’t stake them up, here’s what happens with a hygeia when they’re in bloom. Mm. And you’ll see the whole plant just dropped all types. You have to stake them. Now the happy thing is once you steak es for a few years or couple years, they get strong enough when they come back that they don’t droop over again.

But initially you have to prop ’em up. This word literally means strengthen, means to prop up, to support, to enable to stand. The idea is, They were going back to help these believers be able to stand on their own. This is what discipling is about. They were strengthening the name, propping them up. Okay, what does that mean?

What does that look like? So we look at the word, and the word is used a number of times in the books vax. It is also used in the gospels. It is continually a, a, a verb that is associated with building up disciples, both in the ministry of Jesus and in the ministry of, of the spiritual leaders. In the Book of Acts, Jesus followers, there are three characteristics that I think are, are, are focused on, and I’d like to just highlight them quickly by three verses of what it means to prop up or to enable a believer to stand Three things.

If you’re trying to disciple somebody into the state of that, they can stand on their own that are involved. Number one is this. You teach them truth. Acts 15, verse 32. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. Paul and Barnabas are doing that here.

They’re going back and they’re instructing, they’re teaching because these individuals are not yet able to, uh, to feed themselves, if you will. Their infants in the faith. He’s helping them. He’s, he’s, he’s feeding them truth. Now, that will continue even when a believer is strong enough to stand on their own.

But you’re now, they’re not just dependent on you utterly to give them food. The, the inferences, believers now can stand on their own. They can feed themselves. If, if you’ve known Christ for any period of time, hopefully you’re doing that, that, that you’re in the word, that you’re being fed by the word that you grow growing in the word, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for, for being taught by others or have other teaching.

There is still supplemental food, if you will. There is teaching of truth. Secondly, we find they were strengthened. They were propped up in their faith by personal sharing. I, Luke 22, verse 32. Jesus is talking to Peter and here’s what he says. Peter, I’ve prayed for you that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned again, here’s that word, strengthen your brothers.

That seems ominous. . Okay? What? Okay, now you’re in the unenviable role that you have to. Okay. Okay, so they here, the second one is by personal sharing. He says, Peter, you’re gonna strengthen your brother. Same word. You’re gonna help your brothers be propped up in your faith. How’s that gonna happen? He tells us, he says, Peter, I’m praying for your faith that it won’t fail because I know what you’re gonna do.

You’re gonna screw up big time. Now we could look at that and say, Man, Jesus prayer didn’t work. He did fail. Peter did deny Jesus three times in the most humiliating way for Peter, the most abject, betraying way. So what happened? The word fail. Here is a very important word. When Jesus says, I’m praying, your faith will not fail.

It’s actually a word that means to cease, to be completely wiped out. It’s used, for instance, when it says, darkness covered the earth, that Jesus death. And it says, The sunlight failed. What did it mean? It went out. It was obliterated. Nobody saw sunlight. It was utterly dark. And so it was utterly scary. But that’s what happened at, at the, at the death of Jesus.

And he’s saying, I’m praying that your faith, the light of your faith won’t go out. It’s gonna de diminished. It’s gonna be hurting, it’s gonna stagger. But I’m praying that and, and his faith didn’t fail. His faith was hurt. He was broken. He was sad. He was ashamed. . But when Jesus called out to the, to, uh, the, to Mary and he says, Go and tell the disciples and Peter that I’m here.

Peter and John and Peter were the first guys to get there. They ran back to see Christ. His faith didn’t fail. It wasn’t obliterated. But here’s why I’m saying all this. So what did Jesus tell him to do? Here’s what he says in Luke 22, verse 32. I’ve prayed for you that faith may not fail and when you have turned, strengthened, the brothers, what’s he saying?

He says, When you have restored yourself, when you have embraced again my forgiveness, when you have been repentant and, and, and I’ve drawn you again to my heart, and you have sensed that I delight to show mercy Peter,

tell your story. Tell your story, you’ll strengthen your brothers when they hear the story of a God of grace. Tell your story when you’ve turned again. I read somewhere years ago. It was very impactful to me when I was really studying, How do you disciple people? One individual made this definition, they said Discipleship is actually life transference.

I really do like that. I really believe that’s true. You can’t disciple somebody beyond where you’ve lived. You share your story. Peter’s story was not one of Peter’s strength, was not one of Peter’s prowess. His story was of the beauty of Christ. He says, Peter, tell you a story. Often people will say, What would I say to anybody?

I mean, you, Yeah, I understand this idea. We should be discipling. Well, what do I, I mean, I’m not a teacher. I don’t know what do I know? You have your stories. They’re not stories about how wonderful you are, how great a Christian you are. The stories that people need to hear of, you know, what I’ve learned in my failures, that God has come alongside of me and what he’s shown me about himself.

I’ve learned in the hard times of life when I saw no way out, when, when it was difficult, that God somehow intervened. How do we strengthen one another? We share our stories because there’s stories of God. That’s what he says to pe. How do we strengthen others? How do we prop up their walk with God? How do we develop disciples?

So much of it as just telling our stories. Third, we do it by spilling our faith into them. Romans one 11 says this way, again, the word strengthen that I may impart to you. Paul says, I want to come to you to impart you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

He says, I, I’m writing to you, but man, I wanna be there. I wanna be with you guys because I wanna impart you something that’s gonna help you to be propped up and stronger in your faith and, and, and, and see you stronger in your relationship to Christ. And he says, Well, here’s what I’m saying. That is, That we may encourage each other by our faith, yours and mine.

There are times when you find out why meeting with other believers and having relationships with other believers is so vital because you’re hurting and you’re confused and you’re beat up and you think, I don’t, I don’t have faith right now. Been times in my life, in my ministry here where I’ve had to gather a few guys to just come and say, Man, I’m struggling right now.

I just need others to just pray with me. My wife and I have had to gather other couples. Maybe you’re here and you’d say, Wow. Um, it doesn’t seem right for a pastor. I mean, you’re supposed, Well, I don’t know what you’re looking for. But the pastors around here are just a bunch of broken guys that are desperate for God, and we need at times other people to spill their faith into us.

I love the story of Charles Spurgeon. You can always use Spurgeon as a big one. Uh, Spurgeon is truly probably the greatest preacher in the English history. The hi, his English language. If you haven’t read his morning by morning or his evening by evening devotionals, they’re just beautiful. But Spurgeon by his own admission, struggle with depression at times and discouragement for sure.

And one day he was really laboring in the ministry and was very discouraged. And his wife, I’m not sure how she pulled this off. , but she actually got up above their bed and I guess she did it during the day. I mean, I’ve actually thought about how she pulled this off, but I guess it was during the day and then when it was nighttime, she just got ’em in bed and got ’em to go to sleep because what she had done was she had written a verse on the roof, on the ceiling so that when Charles woke up in the morning and looked up, the first thing he saw was the truth of God.

She at that moment, and it’s hard when your spouse is really reeling with discouragement to not get taken down too. When they’re struggling, you have two response, two natural responses. One, when they just feel beat up and, and discouraged or they’re upset or whatever it is, you know, they’re all worked up.

Whatever it looks like, one of your responses is to go down with them. The other one is to get ticked off. Look, you don’t have to take all of us down this, you know, don’t, don’t sink all the boats. But she had a faith that at that moment he needed. And so she wrote on that ceiling. Charles, look up.

We need other people doing that for us. No matter how much you’ve journeyed with Jesus, no matter how much you’ve got thick stalk and your plant seems to survive, there are going to be seasons when you need other people whose faith will spill into you. to keep your, your plant strong, to be strengthened.

All those things are what is involved.

The last two will be faster. That was all the first one. Strengthening his second phrase he uses verse 22, he says this in verse 22. The first phrase was strengthening those, Sorry, I’m looking it up. Strengthening the souls of disciples. Now it says, Encouraging them to continue in the faith. The word encourage in the New Testament is para, Oh, you’ve heard it before.

It’s the idea. Para means parallel lines to come alongside of callo means to, to call or to speak into. It’s the idea of coming alongside of someone and speaking into them. It is translated by two words in the New Testament, and it is translated numerous times. both ways. One is the word encourage, the other is the word exhort that follows parallel tracks.

To do the ministry of pering, to do the ministry of coming alongside. And speaking truth means you do speak words that encourage you also speak words that exhort both have the same idea. Sometimes you need to be a little more direct. Sometimes you just need to be a little gentler. But the idea is you’re trying to bolster them up.

You’re trying to stimulate their faith, and here’s what he says. I’m encouraging them to remain in the faith. The word in the faith, again, the phrase in the faith is a very prominent one. In the Book of Acts, it is talking about something specific, and as you study those passages, you find that the faith is basically the whole outliving of, of Christian truth.

It’s not just a body of truth, for instance. It does mean when he says, Remain in the faith, don’t turn from the faith. I I in first Timothy four, one, he says, Don’t turn from the faith to false teaching. Certainly he’s, he’s hoping that he can encourage these guys to, to not turn away, but it’s more than that.

It’s James chapter two, verse one where he says, People deny or people wander from the faith. when they show discrimination to various people in the church and treat some people one way and other people another way. It’s very practical there. It’s in, in a last example in, in first Timothy, he talks about don’t deny the faith.

He says, You deny the faith when you don’t care for your family’s needs, when you neglect your family. So here’s what he’s saying. To remain in the faith means that you are continually, practically out working the faith that is found in Jesus Christ. If we could say it this way, he’s saying this, Yeah, your doctrine is correct, but it’s more than that.

It’s when your walk matches your talk. It’s when you’re living it out. When you’re remaining in the faith means I don’t just have verbiage. I have. Lifestyle. It, My behavior matches that. And he said, I want to encourage and I want to exhort each other. Now, most of us need other people to support us in doing that.

Let me mean, this is the whole thing of Weight Watchers or every recovery program, many, uh, peon groups, peloton groups, crafting guilds, uh, rev well classes here, community groups are environments that are, provide positive accountability and support for things. We wanna do that we wanna be. And the Paul says, I’m, I’m trying to, to help these individuals remain in the faith to have their walk match their talk.

Most of us benefit from that external support for the church choices we make. We have many small groups here and many of them as community groups, but there are others as well. They are not just places to make friends. They are that they are not just places to know and be known, although it is essential that we do that, but that isn’t the goal ultimately of why we have community groups.

I do believe strongly that you really, if you’re gonna really do life in a community group and it’s going to serve what is the ultimate function of a community group, you will know people and you will be known. But the reason for the knowing and being. Is that we can more effectively provide encouragement and exhortation to godliness, that we can grow in our faith, that we can remain in the faith, if you will, living out by our walk.

What we say, by our talk, that the accountability, the support, the encouragement, the exhortation comes and pulses. These believers are gonna need this, and I want to help support this environment for them. I’m trying to help them be. to remain in their faith. I’m gonna say something here that I is on my heart.

There was a book written in 2001. It was a book called Bowling Alone. It was a very prominent best seller. Basically the story of the book is just simply that we have, as a culture moved away from real relationships and real community. And the idea is, you know, now people just bowl alone. And that was just his analogy.

And I think one of the ways that we have seen, even in CDO trying to fill the hole, Of people not really doing life together is through what is happening in social media, particularly in the political arena. I’ve just finished a book by called Reading the Times, which is a tremendous book in my opinion.

He talks about pseudo communities built around political persuasion. They’re not Christian communities, although some people feel they are, they’re not Christian communities founded around the historic faith. The same in all generations and centuries with the priority focused on Jesus kingdom in the world.

But political hot conversations where people flock to hear their side’s perspective. To jump on the enemy’s failings, there’s a title for this now that is out there in, in the, in the social science world. It’s called swarming. people swarm to those sites, many of them Christians, believers, evangel, they swarm and, and, and they’re spending their time and it’s like a pseudo community that we don’t really know each other, but we buy and yeah.

Did you see what he said there? Did you see what she said? And it’s just jump on. And it’s, that’s not community that we’re talking about. The community we’re talking about here is not just swarming and people can do this for hours, some days. It’s doing life in community where we’re knowing and being known and we’re saying, you know why I’m here while I’m doing life with this group of people.

I wanna know God, Yeah, I need Christian friends to support me, but I need an environment that is encouraging me and, and exhorting. To be godly and, and to see myself ultimately that my ultimate calling as a citizen is I’m a citizen of the kingdom of Christ in my generation. The third thing he says is this, I want these people to know about hardships, so I’m gonna keep it real about suffering,

saying that through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God. Why does he feel that’s important to prop up their faith for them to stand as disciples? One, because suffering. He wants them to know that suffering keeps you off the wrong path. Prosperity, success, no real bad news in our lives is a dangerous place for us.

because that invariably tends to lead us to pride, to self sufficiency, to a false sense of security. It is why CS Lewis made this beautiful statement. Sufferings are roadblocks on the way to hell. Now you wrestle with that. Sufferings are roadblocks on the path to hell and isn’t only true to unbelievers.

It’s true to us that the pathway to hell, we may not be going to hell, but we can living on the path of folly, which ultimately result is hell. We can be living that way and and suffering hardship causes to say, Wow, I don’t have my life. I don’t have things under control the way I thought he’d, God mercifully brings that.

He’s letting these people know there’s gonna be hardship and fall on Jesus. I mean, if you don’t. Know it. Just watch what happened to me and Lydia,

but understand that they are a beautiful part of the pathway, first of all, in keeping you away from the wrong path, but secondly, suffering leads you toward the path of God’s kingdom. Paul makes an amazing statement in second, chronic second Corinthians four, seven through nine, where he summarizes his own life experience.

Here’s what he says. Now we have this treasure in clay jars meaning himself, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed. We are perplex, but not in despair. We are persecuted but not abandoned. We are struck down but not destroyed. He says.

you won’t know God’s extraordinary power until you see your own weaknesses. Paul is saying, You know what? I didn’t know that I was a jar Clay until I was afflicted on every side, until I was perplexed completely confused about what was going on until I felt persecution and I felt struck down. But what I found in those things was that I had a clay jar in me, but I was filled with a treasure of surpassing greatness.

So that I can say that though, I have been afflicted in every way. I have been crushed. I’ve been perplexed. But I’m not in despair. I’ve been persecuted, but I never felt abandoned that I was struck down, but I have not been destroyed. I think he’s giving encouragement to these people in these cities and he says, Yeah, guys.

He said, There’s gonna be some really rough roads coming. There’s gonna be some hard things in your spiritual journey, but I want you to find the hope in this, that God does not waste those experiences. He is near the broken heart. He is ev and ever present help in trouble. He delivers those who are crushed in spirit, expect hardship and expect God to be active in them.

All those lessons are to help these disciples develop with Jesus. I’d like to now bring us to our table this morning, the Lord’s table. It’s a time for disciples to remember the work of Jesus Christ on their behalf. It’s a time to not only celebrate and remember, but to reflect. Paul says it this way in first Corinthians 11, Let a person examine himself then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. But if we judged ourselves truly we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. He says this judgment, what I’m calling judgment, is actually the discipline of God.

And he says, As you come to the table, realize this is the time to reflect. It’s for disciples to reflect, to ask questions. This table is to be a place where disciples celebrate Christ. So are we looking at our lives as disciples? Have I embraced Jesus Christ as my savior? This table, this communion is for those that have done that, Am I living under Jesus Lordship?

Am I following well? This table is for disciples. Am I joining Jesus’ mission? Am I available to him? Am I saying, Lord, send me to my office. Send me to my school, Send me to my soccer team. Send me to my neighborhood. Am I available for whatever you have for me? The beautiful reality of this table is, . The Lord doesn’t say, Get your life all straightened out, then you can participate at the Lord’s Supper.

No, he says, Get your life in such a place where you say, Lord, these are parts of my life. I just want to yield to you. I’m sorry. I’m not living as a disciple and I’m coming to this table realizing you paid the ultimate sacrifice so that I could become one. It is, as Micah the prophet said, his delight to show mercy.

There’s no place where this table, where that is declared more than at this table when we’re pointed to the cross. I love the old church father. There’s a woman that came and they were having communion and he, she had fallen into sin and. Was just overwhelmed with grief and shame because it was fairly well known.

And she wouldn’t even come to the Lord’s table. And he knew that the anguish she was feeling and this old father in the faith just went and he took the Lord’s elements and he went to, and he said, Woman, take it. It’s for sinners. It’s what it is. It’s for us. It’s for broken people. But it requires us to say, Yeah, I, when I was called to Jesus, I was called to be a disciple.

To say yes to Christ, to yield not, not only my eternal destiny, but my present lifestyle. And so as we come to the table this morning, and I invite you to take the elements out, I want to just take a few moments for you to quiet your heart and ask the question, Have you embraced Jesus Christ, Jesus, Jesus Savior.

Are you living as a follower of Jesus Christ? In all known areas of your life? Are you willing to be identified and join in Jesus’ mission? I’d like to just give you time. Let’s examine our hearts before we come to the table together.

So we come to first Corinthians 11. Here’s what we read. Paul is talking for, I receive from the Lord what I also deliver to you, that the Lord Jesus and the night he was betrayed took bread. And when he had given thanks, he broken and said, This is my body, which is for you. Invites you to take open the the part where there’s a little piece of bread in there and just rip the top off.

Take that piece of bread out.

We partake with this statement and Jesus said, This is my body, which is broken for you.

We’re told also that he took the cup and he said, This is the new covenant in my blood. Do this in remembrance of me. Let’s partake of the cup this morning.

Do this in remembrance of me.

Lord, we’d partake of these elements

in response to you who wanted us to that it was your broken body. It was your willingness to bear the lambs sacrifice, to shed your blood in your death. That we might be able to be forgiven and accepted with the Father, Lord, because of it. We wanna live like disciples. Thank you for the gift of one another in that journey to support us in that.

Thank you for the calling of your spirit through this passage to prompt us to say, God, do work in my life to prompt me up in you. Lord, I pray for people that are here whose faith needs others spilling into it. God provide those people I pray, I pray, Lord, for stories that you’ve written in our lives, that we would be sharing those with each other and encouraged by those stories.

Your stories. Lord, thank you for the beauty of the body, which is the place where we develop as disciples to the glory of Christ, in whose name I pray? Amen. Amen. Now go in peace to love and serve and enjoy the Lord.