For (part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, January 14, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Acts 17:16-34.  This message was part 1 of the “For” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to online or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

For- part 1

 

To listen online, use the  media player below:

 

 

For (Part 1) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, January 14, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Acts 17:16-34.  This message was part one of the “For” sermon series.  Below you will find a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Acts 17:16-34
  3. What are some of the things that Christians are famous for being against?  Why do you think that the caricature of Christians is more about what they are against, and not what they are For?
  4. Why do you think Christians hesitate in talking about Jesus with their non-Christian friends?  What were some of the reasons why Paul might have been hesitant to share his faith with the Athenians?  How do you draw encouragement from his example?
  5. Who “happens to be there” in your life right now (in the “marketplace”/neighborhood/natural rhythms of your life?
  6. What are some of the ways you can “open your mouth” and talk to them about Jesus?  Think about where they are at, what they are dealing with, and how Jesus meets their deepest needs.
  7. Who are some of the people God is prompting you toward having the “second conversation” with right now?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

“For” (part 1) Preview

All too often, Christians are known by what they are against.  I have heard it described as the  “fun police.”  In other words, if there is something that looks fun, Christians are probably against it.  This (of course) is a caricature.  The true followers of Jesus I know do not define themselves by what they are against, but primarily by what they are FOR . . . based on who is ultimately FOR them. 

Think about it:

FOR God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

“‘FOR I know the plans I have FOR you, declares the Lord, plans FOR welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

“And we know that FOR those who love God all things work together for good, FOR those who are called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

FOR I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:38-39)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life FOR the sheep.”  (John 10:10-11)

If God is FOR us (something that is dramatically and factually proven by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection FOR us), then (as His followers), we are invited to join Him in being FOR others.

Being FOR someone, obviously involves steering them clear of destructive behaviors and patterns (as any parent could attest to), but this kind of correction is constructive, not destructive.  It’s desire is not just to make a stand, but to make a difference.

As followers of Jesus, we exist to be FOR Him . . . FOR His glory . . . FOR His direction.  Following Him wherever He goes.  As we follow Him, we find that Jesus invites us to join Him in serving those around us by helping them follow Jesus as well.  As we walk into 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, we are reminded of “Four FORs.”  These represent four spheres of people that we can be FOR as a church in 2018 – four groups we can help follow Jesus.  These four groups include:

  • Neighbors
  • Norman
  • Nations
  • Next Generation

Over the next four weeks at Wildwood in our Sunday morning worship services (8:30, 9:45, and 11:00), we will be looking at these four spheres, remembering our mission, and what we are here FOR.  Join us this Sunday, January 14 as we look at part of what it means to be FOR OUR NEIGHBORS (using Acts 17:22-33 as our guide.)  Hope to see you Sunday!