A baby’s wet diaper Acts 20:13-38
This evening I want to talk to you about comfort and change
Mark Twain once said, “The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.”
Comfort does not allow for change -unless that change enhances our comfort or increases it.
Getting out of our comfort, physically, mentally, and spiritually requires change!
In 1927 two brothers in Monroe Michigan gave us a right to be comfortable.
The introduced the Lazy boy- you have worked so hard all day or all week, grab a drink, put your legs up, watch tv and stay comfortable – and from there it went down hill
Today, our society is doing everything to make sure that we preserve our comfort
- Convenience (comfort) has become our number on desire.
- Drive through coffee and food
- Tesla – self driving cars
There is no issue with these services (I use them) The real issue is that one discipline translates to another.
When it comes to our spiritual growth, we seek comfort
* a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
* the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [a]daily, and follow Me.
God is asking us to die to self
John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [a]grain.
How are we to do this if in every other area of our lives, we are trying to do the bare minimum
In the Bible, we have promises of comfort – but its only after an affliction or when we are about to go through one.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any [a]trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalms 119:76 Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, According to Your word to Your servant.
Psalms 119:50 – This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.
Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
No one is comforted for their own gain. Its all about suffering, serving etc
Isaiah 49:13 – Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.
To get rid of spiritual comfort and welcome Godly change: we MUST do the following – we learn this from Paul
- There MUST be an urgency to do the will of God
Acts 20:13 -Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had [a]given orders, intending himself to go on foot
Acts 20:16 (AMP) – For Paul had determined to sail on past Ephesus, lest he might have to spend time
in [the province of] Asia; for he was hastening on so that he might reach Jerusalem, if at all possible, by the day of Pentecost
- Paul knew that he was going into hardship, imprisonment and such, but did not shy away from what God was calling Him to do
I wonder today is I asked you to head out to San Francisco, where you will be imprisoned, persecuted and possibly killed- how fast would you be willing to get there
For me – I would fry to New York- London – Kenya -Asia – back to Seattle and then take the train to San Francisco
If we avoided our comfortable situation, we would be willing to do what God called us to do immediately
It not comfortable to go towards persecution and death. But if we are driven more by the need to do the will of God, then we will run towards Gods calling
Where is God calling you to go? Is there an urgency?
- We MUST be Transparent
Its uncomfortable to be transparent.
Acts 20:18 (AMPC) And when they arrived, he said to them: You yourselves are well acquainted with my manner of living among you from the first day that I set foot in [the province of] Asia, and how I continued afterward,
Our society is so driven by privacy, and even though privacy is good, using it only when it suits us is not bringing us close to God
We are Facebooking God!! – We choose what we need to post, we edit it to fit our “image” and share only when we want to
God, I will only do what I want, I will only let church people only see me on Wed and Sunday only …Just my edited version
1 John 1:7( AMP) But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].
Where in your life do you need to be transparent?
- We MUST be ready to Endure
Acts 20:22-24 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 [a]But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my [b]race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Ephesians 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
It didn’t matter what Paul went through, he endured
Jesus Himself even though all powerful – endured
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He
opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Daniel 3:25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the[a] Son of God.”
- Allow Him to be with you in the fire – But you gotta allow them to put you in the fire for Him to show up
Are you willing to lose you comfort in order to endure?
- We MUST be BOLD
Acts 20:20- 21 (AMP) How I did not shrink from telling you anything that was for your benefit and teaching you in public meetings and from house to house, But constantly and earnestly I bore testimony both to Jews and Greeks, urging them to turn in repentance [[a]that is due] to God and to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ
Acts 20:26- Therefore I testify and protest to you on this [our parting] day that I am clean and innocent and not responsible for the blood of any of you.
It takes boldness to speak the truth
To tell people that they are now responsible for their own outcome
What uncomfortable conversation do you need to have today? With you spouse, kids, neighbor, friend
Be Bold and let God see you through it.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
- We MUST be Obedient
Acts 20: 22-23 And now, you see, I am going to Jerusalem, bound by the [Holy] Spirit and obligated and compelled by the [convictions of my own] spirit, not knowing what will befall me there—Except that the Holy Spirit clearly and emphatically affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me.
Paul wanted to get there as soon as possible- Talk about immediate obedience
Obedience is better than sacrifice – God’s plan, better than our plan
Isaiah 55:8-9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Paul was already doing amazing work, and if there was someone who would have been justified to have a say on where to go next, it would have been Paul
What in your life is lacking immediate obedience?
- We MUST Be aware
Acts 20:28-29 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church [a]of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Know your environment, capability, your own heart
Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting
I see people walking oblivious to what is happening around them. Cell phones in their hands, heads down… this is the same way we are approaching everything else…
Stay alert people – The devil is looking to destroy your life – Every bit of it.
Cover you crack!
- Strive to be blameless before God
Colossians 1:20-23 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Acts 20:26 (AMP) – Therefore I testify and protest to you on this [our parting] day that I am clean and innocent and not responsible for the blood of any of you.
Paul says: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
I want us to be uncomfortable being comfortable in our wet spiritual diaper
Hebrews 5:13-14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are [a]of full age, that is, those who by reason of [b]use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil
Learn to be uncomfortable, otherwise you will not endure tomorrow! Have you read the book of Revelation
Jeremiah 12:5 if you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied
Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the [a]floodplain of the Jordan
Baby wet diaper these days consist of material that will soak in the wetness – it only after a while that the blue color stripe line shows- then its wet enough
We have become a people that hide our spiritual wetness very well,( A little sin here, little compromise, little doubling, no one can see that- diaper is still dry) and we can only see it when things finally fall apart
Don’t be caught unaware, be uncomfortable in the slightest wetness – Demand change in your life (Like a baby that cries when they are wet) – Demand searching in your life, Yell and cry to be in the presence of God
Psalms 18:6 In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears
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