We have been going through the book of Acts in a series called….
For Act 5 not only did I have to cut things from the sermon during the week but this one I had to cut 1/3 of it while I was speaking. In fact there was a whole ending section of the sermon I just didn’t preach.
You know the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies always come out with an extended edition that is often better and more complete than the version they put in the movie theaters. They contain some of the things they left out and when they put those sections back in they tie the story together, giving it more depth and significance.
Recently we went to see the Age of Ultron. I found out recently that 0ver an hour of footage was cut from the movie. That would explain some of the holes in the story line. Hopefully they will come out with an extended edition of that film. It is great when a move adds the scenes that were cut back into the movie for the DVD version.
We post the Sunday Sermons online… wouldn’t it be great if we could also post and extended edition of those so you could hear it as it was originally envisioned?
Some of you are saying maybe not – others maybe so…
I like the maybe so people.
The sermon on Sunday started with an illustration about my wife giving me a GPS about 10 years ago and how it changed my life. It continued with a story about us traveling to Rich Park and me insisting we use the GPS to get there and we wound up on the wrong side of the parkway and a pretty good distance away from our destination.
My wife was not happy.
Eventually we made it…
we are still married today.
There were also other similar illustrations through out the sermon. Some were cut from the final copy before Sunday, others were kept. These illustrations actually were meant to tie into the last 1/3 of the message you never heard.
In Acts 2 you have these 120 people that receive the Spirit of God. They immediately begin to speak and do things that are way beyond their own personal abilities. Empowered by the Holy Spirit they make quite the noise in the city of Jerusalem proclaiming the Mighty Works of God to all who will hear. Some of the people that are listening have questions concerning how this “noise” came to be. Peter steps forward to answer that question. The first part he speaks of how this moment was prophesied long ago by the Prophet Joel. The implications of the quote from the book of Joel means more than we may like it to mean, but that is a former sermon and another discussion.
Then, he (Peter) tells the Jews that are standing there that they are guilty of putting the Messiah to death. Yes, this Jesus from Nazareth was God’s Son the Messiah. In your zeal for God you put to death the very person you have looked for and that came to save you. You went down a path that took you to the you wrong place, though you thought at the time you were doing the right thing and even though, God preordained this to occur, the death of the Messiah lays at your feet because it was your choice to participate and make it happen.
You are responsible for killing God’s son.
He might not be happy about that.
A large portion of the people who heard this message were “cut to the heart”. They knew they were in the wrong and desired to make it right. They wondered how they could, so they asked Peter…
“What should we do?”
Peter responded – repent, be baptized, call on the name of the Lord Jesus and be saved. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit.
It is at this moment that over 3000 did so and were saved.
Many times in life, you and I go down the wrong path. Sometimes the wrong path we find ourselves on is a path we thought was the correct one. Though we thought we were being guided by the right things, the right morals, the right principles we find ourselves not where we intended to go. We find ourselves in the wrong location and far away from where God really wants us to be. It is only when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit. “Cut to the Heart” if you will. That we find ourselves opening our heart to change and do whatever it takes to get to where God wants us to be.
He is always gracious. Providing a way to return to Him even though we have lived another portion of our lives where we rejected him… knowingly or unknowingly.
As long as we are still breathing the air He gives us each day, there will always be a way back to Him.
If you have found yourself in a situation or spiritual place that you know is not the place God wants you to be make the decision to get back on the right path today.