Sermon/Acts 14/10.30.11

Sunday morning message.

Title: Harnassing Power

Intro: Who moved my Cheese?


Understanding power is a critical skill set for those coming of age in the faith, for those just getting started in business or family, and for those interested in working in Christian service.
Power is inherent in all relationships

I. Understanding power

(1) The realities of human nature– Belief- obedience/ unbelief– disobedience.

Swindoll: Eli Black: copied!

(2) The Discernment in knowing the battles God wants us to fight/ much like the NFL quarterback who senses pressure and moves accordingly to complete the play

II. Managing power

(3) The lay of the land in Lystra/ Derbe/ Lycaoniam:
Helpful to know that in Pisidion Antioch, team dealing w/ people well Acquainted with Jewish doctrine/ thought. Here they are ignorant of Jewish doctrine and steeped in superstitious mythology.
Stott writes of the legend,

The Latin poet Ovid had narrated in his Metamorphoses an ancient local legend. The supreme god Jupiter ( Zeus to the Greeks) and his son, Mercury (Hermes) once visited the hill country of Phrygia, disguised as mortal men. In their incognito, they sought hospitality but were rebuffed a thousand times. At last, however they were offered lodging in a tiny cottage, thatched with straw and reeds from the marsh. Here they lived with an elderly peasant couple called Philemon and Baucis, who entertained them out of their poverty. Later the gods rewarded them, but destroyed by flood the homes which would not take them in.

Obviously, the Lycaonians anxious not not to repeat the same disaster.

(4) Discernment in knowing which type of medicine to apply and where. Care enough about the people we serve to talk with them and understand their symptoms before we cut off their leg and apply the tourniquet.

(5) We don’t possess a bag of tricks but tools, mighty in the hands of the practitioner and the discernment necessary to see how best to marshal God’s power to the source of the Hurt.

They shared a message and a framework that the Lycaonians could understand. A God who commands all others and controls the world. The God of heaven who can be known.

III. Surrendering to Sovereign Power

The Bigger/ better picture from Lystra:

  1. Reality: Hard things happen to sinners trying to do what God calls them to do. “The short end of the stick”
  2. Experience: Endurance and the race become the best gift standing at the end of the day. A theology of suffering must be part of our world view/ Lystra no place for wimps! ( out of body experience) : II Cor. 12
  3. Reflection: Joy is the constant companion while the bruises are healing…2 years on the road leaving many days to reflect upon the grace of God
  4. Retention: The take-away: The work worth leaving behind: churches started, people strengthened, leaders identified.


Discernment guards us from our weaknesses of our own nature and the destructive natures of others’

Dedication keeps us focused on the immediate task and bigger goals in route to a legacy.

Our delight with God keeps us enjoying the scenery while engaged in the journey.


Mark J. Congrove

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