2020-06-28: Acts: Life In The Spirit — The Joy of the Harvest

Sermon Audio: The Joy of the Harvest
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Acts 17:1-15
Duration: 23:02
Size: 15.8 MB

Acts: Life In The Spirit
The Joy of the Harvest
Acts 17:1-15

If we ever want to see the harvest, we must faithfully plant the seeds and tend the garden!

I. If We Keep Sharing Our Faith, We Will See Results (Acts 17:1-4)
As we share our faith with others, and plant good seeds of truth in their lives, we need to hang in there and keep watering and nurturing and investing in them until we see the joy of the harvest!

We show our love for God by doing what He asked His followers to do–that is, tell others about Jesus, and the forgiveness and peace they can find in Him.

II. If We Keep Sharing Our Faith, We Will Face Resistance (Acts 17:5-9)
I’ve known people who did not want anything to do with Jesus or church because they thought it meant giving up some of the things they like.

However, it is also the most inclusive of all religions, because Jesus invites everyone who is willing to come to Him and share in His life.

Opposition will come if we keep sharing our faith, but we must still share it!

III. If We Want to Keep Sharing Our Faith, We Must Remain Flexible (Acts 17:10-15)
If Paul had not been willing to be flexible, he likely would have either been killed prematurely, or would have quit the ministry.

We need to take intentional steps to talk to our neighbors, our friends, and our family about Jesus. They need to see Jesus in our lives and by the way we love people.

2020-06-21: Acts: Life In The Spirit — Sharing Heaven’s Good News

Sermon Audio: Sharing Heaven’s Good News
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Acts 16:13-40
Duration: 26:15
Size: 18.0 MB

Acts: Life In The Spirit
Sharing Heaven’s Good News
Acts 16:13-40

All who receive God’s message of forgiveness should help share it with others.

I. Sharing the Good News Results in Changed Lives (Acts 16:13-15)
However, Paul’s message gave her the rest of the story–the promised Messiah had come and provided everything that was needed for people to know God and be in good favor with Him.

I was in Christ, and Christ was in me, changing me on the inside.

II. Sharing the Good News Can Bring Trouble (Acts 16:16-24)
Well, Paul and Silas paid dearly for standing up for the gospel. They were falsely accused, severely beaten/flogged, and thrown into prison, with their feet fastened in stocks.

III. Sharing the Good News Results in Freedom (Acts 16:25-34)
Regardless of the opposition that comes when we share the good news, it is always worth it!

When we share the good news about Jesus with others, they can find the freedom that they need so much; freedom from sin, freedom from hate, freedom from addictions, freedom to be who God created them to be.

IV. Sharing the Good News Requires Personal Sacrifice (Acts 16:35-40)
The good news about Jesus requires our investment, our priority, our energy, resources, and all that we have to offer.

Jesus was willing to sacrifice His life for us so that we could know God. Paul was willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of the good news about Jesus, so that others might know God.

2020-06-14: Acts: Life In The Spirit — Marks of an Effective Christ-Follower

Sermon Audio: Marks of an Effective Christ-Follower
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Acts 16:1-12
Duration: 24:19
Size: 16.7 MB

Acts: Life In The Spirit
Marks of an Effective Christ-Follower
Acts 16:1-12

That is what a Christian is supposed to be, and many are. However, those who say they are but act differently are clearly not following Christ.

I. Effective Christ-Followers Keep Paying it Forward (Acts 16:1-3)
After all, the very letter they were carrying to the various churches from the elders and apostles in Jerusalem essentially said that circumcision was not necessary for Gentiles.

Effective Christ-followers keep paying it forward, investing in others, and training them to share the good news about Jesus.

II. Effective Christ-Followers Work as a Team (Acts 16:4-5)
As we are on this journey together, it takes more than just me to know where God is leading us.

III. Effective Christ-Followers Listen to the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:6-8)
The dark night of the soul is one way God brings us into a hush, a stillness so He can do an inner work on our soul, taking us to newer and higher levels of intimacy with Him.

IV. Effective Christ-Followers Act on the Revelation They Receive (Acts 16:9-12)
God reveals His nature, His plan, and many other things to us through the Bible. God may also speak to us through impressions in our hearts or spirits.

We’ve covered a few different areas, but take just a moment of silence and ask God this one question: “Lord, what one thing do You want me to do in obedience to You?”

2020-06-07: Acts: Life In The Spirit — Handling Conflict Within God’s Family

Sermon Audio: Handling Conflict Within God’s Family
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Acts 15:36-41
Duration: 22:35
Size: 14.0 MB

Acts: Life In The Spirit
Handling Conflict Within God’s Family
Acts 15:36-41

Those who follow Christ can hold strong convictions without sacrificing good relationships.

I. Christ-Followers Need to Foster an Encouraging Environment (Acts 15:36)
It may be safe to say that we should always be on one end or the other of encouragement.

II. Christ-Followers Will Sometimes Disagree Strongly (Acts 15:37-40a)
God had called Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles, and if Mark didn’t really think Gentiles should get into God’s family without being circumcised and keeping the law of Moses, then he would cause more harm than good as they revisited the Gentiles they had led to Christ.

III. Christ-Followers Should Relate to One Another in Loving Humility (Acts 15:40)
Now, as we look at the dispute between Paul and Barnabas, it appears that neither one of them was guilty of an offense or a sin against each other, so in a sense, there was no reconciliation or forgiveness needed between them.

The important thing to remember is that even if we cannot agree with another believer, we can and must love them and be humble in our relationship with them.

IV. Christ-Followers Must Never Allow Conflict to Stop the Flow of God’s Grace (Acts 15:41)
This life will be filled with disagreements, arguments, problems, fights, embarrassment, stupidity, and other unpleasant things, but we must never let any of those negative things derail God’s plan for our lives.

Forgiveness and grace will preserve our relationships with one another–even when we disagree strongly.

2020-05-31: Acts: Life In The Spirit — A Model of Love

Sermon Audio: A Model of Love
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Acts 15:22-35
Duration: 21:29
Size: 9.83 MB

Acts: Life In The Spirit
A Model of Love
Acts 15:22-35

Point #1 is that there was the attitude that brought about this decree of salvation and that attitude was humility. Acts 15:22-23.

The leaders, the apostles and elders, placed themselves on an equal level with the brothers of the church.

Point #2. There was the declaration of the decree. Ritual and law are not necessary to salvation and the disputers of that were rebuked. Acts 15:24.

Salvation is by grace alone and nothing is to be added to it. God and God alone saves.

Point #3. There were men chosen to proclaim the truth. Acts 15:25-27.

This message was so important that it needed to be proclaimed also by word of mouth.

Point #4. There were a few rules that were necessary. Acts 15:28-29.

Point #5. There were glorious results. Acts 15:30-35.

Note how God took the dissension and its subsequent events and worked it all out for the good of the Antioch church and for the cause of Christ.

Personal involvement communicates a strong message of love.

But love finds what is praiseworthy, the evidence of God’s work, and encourages.