Intro: Keep your eye on the ball. Golf, Baseball. When a person slices or strikes out. Usually it’s because he pulls his head out to see where it will go.
1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were,
he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.
Went from 6:1, tent making to ministry to the reverse.
Disciples and “going back to fishing”.
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
1. God puts his people in the right place at the right time.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Example: Hans declining pastor role several times.
11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Bottom line: Trust God with your vocation and it’s timing.
6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Paul had shaken the dust from his feet.
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
Then God says, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
2. Obedience is the safest place to be.
Example: Some people think Jonah thought he could do better things ‘for God’ in Tarshish than in Nineveh.
Why would a person quit on the word of the Lord?
Danger, Persecution, Fear.
It’s why Jesus says things like this:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
App. God will remove fear by giving you opportunities to choose courage or to cave to fear. Look for them. Decide in advance which way you’ll go when the opportunity to be courageous comes up.
12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.” 14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you.
15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever. 18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time…
Paul watched as God worked this in his favor.
Even the pagan proconsul knew it was something they should be handling themselves.
This is the letter Paul wrote from Ephesus to the Corinthians later on…
If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?
1 Corinthians 6:1-2
Settle things between yourselves…
After Corinth, Paul went to Ephesus…
20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
Paul trusted his timing to God, not people.
God-pleasing or people pleasing?
3. The fruit of a saint’s work is entirely up to God.
Example: Just because the people wanted him to stay didn’t mean it was God’s highest.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him.
When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.
~ Oswald Chambers (My Utmost November 15)
Beginning of Paul’s 3rd Missionary Journey:
23-28: …a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus…he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
Paul met Apollos
This is the letter written from Ephesus to the Corinthians.
4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:4-7
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
A saint is never consciously a saint—a saint is consciously dependent on God. ~ Oswald Chambers
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
4. The fear of the Lord is the best destination.
Benefits of trusting God with your timing and occupation.
1) Brings courage.
2) Keeps you out of error (fear of man, trusting in “princes”, running after money)
3) Keeps things simple.