Heaven's Embassy

Manifesting God's Government on Earth

Posts Tagged ‘Paul’

A Peculiar Ministry for a Peculiar People

Posted by heavensembassy on August 27, 2010

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…”

1 Peter 2:9a

Ministry is not a one-size fit all deal. It encompasses dynamics that range from the group’s make-up to the service that the group demands from the minister. Therefore, the minister cannot be uniformly manufactured, because he or she is prepared by God through various circumstances, experiences, successes, victories, failures, and mistakes. Through these events the call of God prepares and equips one for the service of serving both God and humanity in the location that the Almighty places them. Location is inexpressibly important for the work of the preacher, because the preacher is called to a deliver a message to a people at a place.

Therein lies the peculiarity of ministry in a college context. The preacher must be malleable enough to the environment to become according to 1 Corinthians 9 like the people to gain the people. Hence, the college preacher (or a preacher in college) must embrace the ethic of the community to obtain the community. This may seem problematic, because one might say that God’s called are to be the standard bearer—this is accurate. However, the standard (and the standard bearer for the matter) mean nothing to those “without the law.” Hence, Paul insists that he became like those without the law to gain those without the law. This attitude dismantles hypocritical piety for the sake of being religious or perpetuating traditions. Rather it presents a human being called to “serve (their) present age” without pretense while inheriting chagrin, and this minister demonstrates that someone who is like “them” can be intimate with God, and despite their lawless and seemingly ungodly state God is still touching, calling, and listening for them because, they too are God’s peculiar people.

TA

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Encountering the Incredible Pt.5

Posted by heavensembassy on June 5, 2009

In this portion of Acts 26, Paul talks to Agrippa and realizes that he is challenged to make a decision on how to respond to an Encounter with the Incredible! 

Acts 26 V.26-30 Paul then Addresses Agrippa

Agrippa’s father had persecuted Christians and his grandfather had tried to kill Jesus, but Paul is still bold in his message–he had been stoned, shipwrecked, and robbed according to 2 Cor. 11:24-26, so he was not afraid because he had had an Encounter with the Incredible. Agrippa says, “Do you believe you could persuade me in such a short time to be a Christian?”

Picture this: Agrippa sat between Bernice on one side, she represented no commitment having been married several times. And Festus was on the other side representing friends and prestige. And Paul stood before him in chains. So Agrippa had a seemingly tough decision to make to accept Christ. And Paul knew that an argument was not enough to convince Agrippa, because Paul had heard enough preaching to save the world, especially as he held coats as the Jews stoned Stephen.

But Paul does not respond that I hope my argument can convince, but rather he says, “I would to God that you and all these around were like me, [and have an Encounter with the Incredible.] Except for these bonds,” because I may look bound to you, but I have been set free by my Encounter with the Incredible, because whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

How do you respond to an Encounter with the Incredible?

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Encountering the Incredible Pt. 4

Posted by heavensembassy on June 4, 2009

This post continues the series Encountering the Incredible. This post is about the last Element of an Encounter we see in Acts 26, which is responsibility. 

Acts Ch.26 V. 16b Responsibility

  • You become a Servant and a Witness of the Incredible.
  • As a servant you have a responsibility.
  • You can only be a witness to what you have encountered.

Paul immediately started preaching after his encounter.

 He didn’t know much—but he had had an encounter.  He couldn’t talk about the grandiose theology of justification, and predestination, but he could tell others what God had done for him.  It shouldn’t be hard to testify, you don’t have to know much, but you just have to tell others what God has done for you. The message of the cross then has a new meaning to you when you have encountered the Risen Christ. It is more than a story it is an experience, an incredible encounter.

The Responsibility of an Encounter with the Incredible…

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Encountering the Incredible Pt. 3

Posted by heavensembassy on June 3, 2009

Continuing with the Encountering the Incredible post series. You can read the other posts to catch up with the message from Acts 26 about the Apostle Paul’s Encounter with the Incredible. Today we discuss a couple more of the Elements of an Encounter

Elements of an Encounter continued:

Acts Ch.26 V. 14,15 Voice of God

  • Jesus spoke in Hebrew or Aramaic so that Paul/Saul could completely understand that.
  • If Jesus has to speak English, Ebonics, or text message he will.
  • If he needs to shoot you an email, or facebook, or myspace God will speak to you.
  • Jesus was so serious about getting Paul that he came and visited him himself. He is also concerned about your experience.
  • He will send somebody to be his voice.
  • The Voice asks a question, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me, don’t you know that its hard to kick against the pricks.”
  • Ox goad—The ox goad was a long sharp iron tool used by farmers to cause an ox to move forward; however, the animal would typically reply by kicking against the tool, which actually would drive the goad in harder hurting the animal more than ever.
  • Similarly, God is calling you to a higher place and His Voice is eternally echoing in your being, and your resistance is only hurting you.

V. 16a, 18 Elevation of Mind

  • Though the glory knocked him down, Jesus still calls Paul up.
  • God is still lifting us despite our shortcomings, his grace is till available to a wretch like us.
  • An elevation of mind causes us to see things the way God sees them.
  • Paul thought that Gentiles were not apart of God’s covenant community; however, God charged him to see things the way He sees them.
  • Similarly God is calling us to look at sin and life the way He sees them. (e.g. God wants us to concentrate less on Flo Rida’s song and tasting the sugar of the lady’s lips, but tasting and seeing that the Lord is good and blessed is the one that trusts in Him!”)

Have You Encountered the Incredible?…

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Encountering the Incredible Pt. 2

Posted by heavensembassy on June 2, 2009

Continuing with the message. When Paul was on the Road to Damascus he had an Encounter with the Incredible. Acts 26:12-18 show the Elements of an Encounter, and the next couple of days we will discuss them.

Ch. 26 V. 12-18 Elements of an Encounter

  1.    V.12  Location
  • I want you to realize that Paul was not en route to worship service or to perform a good deed.
  • God has a way of capturing our intention, we are not even truly thinking about Him.
  • When we are doing wrong, God has a way speaking to us.
  • Location does not have to refer to a physical geographical place, but it can refer to abstract places like, health, finances, and family.  

        2.    V. 13  Enlightening Experience

  • God gives Paul an experience that knocks him off his feet, and God wants to give you an experience that knocks you off your fee.
  • This is a bit of paradox, because it is in knocking Paul down that he was able to see God better. It is in our being knocked off our feet and falling back that draws us closer to God.
  • The Glory of God makes you cognizant of your real status.

                     Paul was blinded physically to demonstrate his spiritual blindness.

                     God manipulates our circumstances so that He can demonstrate His strength being made perfect in our weaknesses. 

Encountering the Incredible….

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Encountering the Incredible Pt. 1

Posted by heavensembassy on June 2, 2009

We will attempt to add a post everyday from now until the Lord says otherwise. This first set of posts is the outline of a message that has been divided up into daily pieces. So, I would encourage you to read the passages along with the outline that you may get a message from the Messiah and experience an encounter with the incredible! Here is a link to a Bible website to assist you in your devotion. http://www.biblegateway.com

Encountering the Incredible is a message that expounds on Acts 26:1-14, so it would be helpful to read that before going farther. The outline’s verses are from Acts 26.

So from the text we see from:

Verses(v.) 3-5, 10,11 What caused a man, Paul, who was a Pharisee, according to the strictest sect of Pharisees a man who killed Christians, ravished synagogues, cast his vote for Christians to die, one who Kanye West would ask “how could you be so heartless?” to say these great quotes:

Romans 5:8 God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died.

I Cor. 15 Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump

II Cor. 5:7 We walk by faith and not by sight

Gal. 5:22,23 The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, faithfulness, and temperance.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Colossians 2:9 In [Christ] dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

I Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout

1 Timothy 4:12 –Let no man despise thy youth but be an example…

2 Timothy 3:16-All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

What caused this amazing transformation in Paul?

He had an Encounter with the Incredible!

Introduction

—In Acts 26 Paul is on trial making case before King Agrippa II, Bernice, and Prefect Festus.

v. 8 Thesis of His Argument—Why is it incredible that God can raise the dead?

  • Paul speaks of his hope in a God who had done it before.
  • God had done even more marvelous events in the Old Testament than raising somebody from the dead (for example parting the Red Sea.)

V. 9 Paul does not judge the people for not believing but identifies himself with them.

  • We would be wise to do the same.
  • There is a rift in the Church between the Old School and the New Generation
  • Rather than judging clothing styles and music, older saints should remember when they were in there place with an afro, bell bottom pants, and a gold fish in the platform shoe, with 45 records of the OJs and Isley Brothers and Temptations who were not always singing, ”Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow!”
  • If we are to save a dying world we must be able to identify with them, Paul records that I became all things to all people that I might save some!
  • We have to be able to say, “I don’t agree, but I understand.”
  • There are so many ex-sinners in the church, we truly don’t have the right to look down on anybody.

Paul agrees that I was like you, but I was on the Road to Damascus…

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