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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 2:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for February the seventh. I'm mark, and I'm holding a hot cup of coffee. I've got some notes from yesterday. Sermon. I'm looking at my Bible reading schedule and the things that go with daily Bible reading as we spend the year with Paul and I'm ready to help you get the week off to a great start. Are you ready? Grab your Bible. Grab any notes you took from yesterday. Sermon grab that cup of coffee. Let's get started Yesterday, sermon in the 10 40 hour, which is available on the website. And you can click the show notes if you have not heard that sermon yet, that sermon came from Eccles ASEs , chapter 12 and verse one where Solomon says, remember also your creator in the days of your youth before the evil days come and the years drawn near , which you will say, I have no pleasure in them. That's a very powerful text . And it speaks to young people exactly where they are, but sometimes of course, young people are ducking the application of that. Just a little bit. Maybe young people are thinking I can do that whole, remember God, church, religion, Christianity thing later. I've got a lot of things going on in my life right now. And I've from that text. I drew three applications. First, you need to remember your creator in the days of your youth. You need to be doing that now, cuz these can be joyful years. I think that's something that's not often said that serving the Lord brings a measure of joy. Maybe not happiness in the way that many people think of happiness, but a measure of joy that is unparalleled and unequal in any other kind of experience. And I explored that some in that first point, the second point then is that we need to remember our creator in the days of our youth because these are distracted times. But as I developed that , those ideas, I began to talk a little bit about how these are really a decisive set of times, a decisive period of years in a young person's life, where they are ordering and arranging a lot of their life. Then the third point was that we need to remember our creator in the days of youth because these are strong years. This is when we have the most energy and vitality. We're not afraid of change. We're not afraid of new things. It's a great time to do things and serve the Lord in a great way. So those were the main ideas in yesterday's sermon. Let me add just one additional thought. Maybe you're the parent of a teenager or a young person. Maybe you're a young person listening to this. What else could be said about why I should remember my creator in the days of my youth? Why should I be doing that now? So busy, lots of things going on. I just get to get around to that some other time. I'll just do that later. Maybe the thing to be said here is these are evangelistic years. Our young people are always the very most evangelistic people in the entire church. They're always inviting their friends. If you look over, there are a bunch of young people sitting there there'll be two or three visitors at west side . They're always engaging in religious conversation. They're talking about the Bible. They're talking to their friends about the word of God, about being a Christian, being a disciple. If I am not living the life of a Christian, I can't be doing that. And while I do understand that's sometimes some of those young people conversations don't seem to get very far or even if they, they do develop into something and someone starts attending church regularly and maybe they even are obeying the gospel and becoming a Christian. Sometimes it's easy to think. That's not really gonna last. That's not gonna amount to much young people get passionate about things. They, it hot about something. And then they move on to the next thing. And, and , and we've seen that we've, we've seen young people who obey the gospel at Westsiders as the result of a friendship. And then after a period of time, they're not there anymore because they've moved on to the next thing in their life. But I would say this that's just not always the case. I know several people who as else now in their fifties or even older, if you ask them their conversion story, their conversion story started at 15 or 16 when God and his good Providence brought them into contact with a Christian who invited them to church, who invited them to stay to the Bible who helped them think through the basic principles of Christianity. And they became a Christian for life. As a result of that, think about it. Think about it. Maybe we think of that song. You never mentioned him to me. And that kind of plays on the angle of regret and guilt. We would just feel terrible that we missed an opportunity. Let's let's try the other side of that. What joy, what joy on the day of judgment to see someone from high school or college years enter into the joy of the Lord. And to know that we had a hand in helping them come to that great place, all glory, of course, to Jesus Christ, but what a joy to hug their neck and to say, I'm so thrilled that you are here and for them to say, I'm so grateful, you helped me come to know Jesus Christ. That's a huge benefit to saying, I'll do this now. I'll do this now, cuz I want to have influence on others. I want to invite others into the kingdom of God. So I need to be living this life. Now I want to help others get to know Jesus. I want to help others. Remember the, remember their creator in the days of their youth. Maybe that's an extra point that's worth thinking about let's turn our attention now to daily Bible reading. Let's talk about the apostle Paul In our Bible reading this week, we'll finish acts chapter 16, journey into acts chapter 17 and complete it and get ready. We're about to go read an EPIs because we're coming to a place in acts 18 where Paul composes his first epistle . So next week's reading. Won't just be act. We'll be heading over into the letters of Paul. It's an exciting time in Paul's life. And it's an exciting time for us to be reading this material. So Monday's reading is acts chapter 16 versus 16 to 24 where Paul helps this poor girl who's been possessed by a demon. There were in new Testament times, strange religions, kind of cults, mystery, religion were involved in strange behavior, fortune telling those kinds of things, trying to be a prophet . All of that, Paul doesn't seem to really want to engage with this, but in verse 17, she's always following them around saying these men are servants of the most high God and you can't have somebody like that. Being your PR. That's not gonna work because Paul doesn't want Christianity to appear to be some sort of mystery cult. So in verse 18, just as Jesus cast out demons. Now Paul, he turns and cast out demons by the power of Christ. Notice again, Jesus is continuing to work. Jesus is not dead . His power goes on through the new Testament church. The result of that is an economic loss . And when people get hurt in the pocket book , that's when persecution, lots of times shows up, they get beaten in verse 23, they inflicted many blows upon them. This probably refers to those bundles of rods that had an ax bound up in the middle of them. I think you can see those on the back of the old mercury dimes. If I remember correctly or in other kind of Roman Senate , Roman proconsul kind of imagery. And so these rods, they use these rods and they beat Paul terribly in Silas terribly and then put them in the inner prison and Fasten their feet in stocks. I think when we get to, at the end of our reading today, we ought to see two bloody pues who are just really hurting and now they're in jail and it really looks like the gospel has taken a licking. And we're wondering what God is gonna do about this because these two important servants have been terribly persecuted and now they find themselves in prison. How are they going to react to that? And how is God going to react to that? I'm a little on the edge of my seat for tomorrow's reading, but that's, today's reading acts 16, 16 to 24. Good an opportunity for us to think about the work of Jesus going on in the new Testament church to think about opposition. That's our second question to the new Testament church and to the preaching of the gospel to think about what the holy spirit is doing here. And to think especially about how Paul handles this kind of adversity, this kind of trial and tribulation Tuesday's reading then is act 16, 25 to 40. This is the conclusion of the story of this demon possessed girl that Paul liberates from this evil being and is then Paul and Silas then are persecuted for that and put in prison. And this is the story of the Philippian jailer being converted. It is a divine, a Livering story like we had in acts five. And like we had in acts chapter 12, you might wanna go back and reference those. We didn't read those as part of the Paul story because they are not part of his story, but they are part of the new Testament church's story. And the idea is that prison cannot and will not stop the gospel. You can't fight God . And when , and so the jailer of course, thinking that this earthquake has liberated everyone in the prison decides he's going to kill himself, cuz he is going to be killed for losing his charges. And Paul and Silas barely managed to keep him from doing that verse 28, don't harm yourself. And he calls for lights. He says, verse 30, what must I do to be safe in here? He's heard about Jesus. Paul and Silas have been in Philippi for a period of time here and preaching the gospel somewhere in there. He's coming to contact with this. He knows he needs salvation. And so Paul says act 16, verse 31. Believe in Lord Jesus. And you'll be saved. You and your household. Of course, I I'll just say a quick note here about faith only, especially since I preach on that. Uh, last Sunday we talked about the four spiritual laws. This is the kind of passage that people will pull out and try to say, see, there you go. You can believe and be saved first and foremost, that's a miserable misunderstanding of what believe or what faith means in the Bible. In the Bible. Faith includes obedience. It's a package word. Faith is in the box. Uh, faith has obedience in the box with it. Faith always does. And James chapter two makes that extremely clear. Maybe the other thing that I would say is if this is the template for how to be saved, why has Luke waited 16 chapters to tell us this? Why have we had to wait all this time before we learn, oh, this is how you become a Christian. Why is an acts 2 38, the controlling text. When we want to talk with someone and about how to become a Christian and what it means to be a Christian, why the first time the gospel has ever preached? Why isn't that? The text that we would appeal to? And if someone's just really convinced about this and is determined to stand on act 1631, maybe the question to ask is what's going on in 1633, took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. And he was baptized at once. He and all of his family, if baptism is not essential, why did they do it in the same hour of the night? Why are they being baptized? They'd have to go down to a river or something in the middle of the night. Why is it that important today? Baptism is said to be important, but it is not. Salvation is not the point of salvation. It's not where somebody is saying . You can do that later. Churches even schedule big baptisms once a quarter, once every six months and all the people who've made decisions for Christ. Come on that day in their Baptiz because as I said, most churches will say baptism matters, but they do not say what the new Testament says. That baptism is for the remission of sins. That baptism says first Peter 3 21, that baptism adds one to the body of Christ Galatians. The third chapter, they don't wanna say what the new Testament says about it. And this passage can be used to try to Dodge. Don't let somebody do that. Verse 31 clearly says you need to have faith. And, and we're not doubting that or disputing that. But part of faith is complete obedience. We see that in verse 33, we see immediate obedience because baptism really does matter. Of course, the story gets a little funny from here on in . They ask , uh , they ask them Paul to leave the city. I'm reminded of Jesus when he cast the gathering demons out of that man. And they asked him the gatherings asked Jesus to leave kind of a parallel there. And uh, here Paul cite his Roman citizenship. We have been wrongfully treated and I wish I could give you more details about that was well , is that like your passport, your driver's license. You carry that around your pocket and you flash your credentials and you say, Hey lookie here. We don't know. We do not know how you established your Roman citizenship, but the penalty was death. If you lied about it and were found out about it. So now verse 40 Paul leaves Philippi . This is a church he felt very deeply about. He writes the letter later on. We'll talk about that in its proper sequence here to the church at Philippi , because he cares so very much about them. And you should make a note. Luke seems to have stayed behind because the, we section startup in chapter 20 and verse five, when Paul comes back through Philippi and Timothy May have stayed here as well. He doesn't show up again until 17 chapter 17 in verse 14. So you might make a note of that out in the margin of your Bible, but without any question, the Philippine or the Philippine gracious, the Philippi work has done very, very well. There's a church established. Here you go , got Lydia and her household. You've got the Philippian jailer in his household and Paul will write this church. And this church cares about Paul. They will care for Paul in a wonderful, wonderful way. So it's exciting to see where this church got started. That's Tuesday's reading, I'll see you tomorrow. As we begin acts chapter 17, Wednesday's reading then is acts chapter 17 versus one to nine. And verse one sets the stage for that by saying when they had passed through amphibs and PolyOne they came to LAN ICA . Paul is on a major Roman road, the Ignatian way, and FIS is 30 miles down the Ignatian way. And a Pollyanna is another 30 and then lanica is 35 more. So lanica is where Paul is headed for because lanica is the capital of Macedonia. It is a free city where Romans allowed the Roman government and allowed the internal affairs of the city to be governed by their own walls . And it had received that status because it cited with Mark Anthony and Octavia against Cassius and Brutus and one its free city status. As a result. This is a very important city. It is the capital of bastonia. And again, we see Paul going to the most important city in the region where he can have a big effect as the gospel will radiate out from this trade and commercial and economic center. Paul is here verse two for quite some time, at least three Sabba. And he explains in proves verse three, that it is necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from dad . So he is using the scriptures here. He is reasoning from the scriptures verse two. These would be passages like Psalm two, Psalm 16, Psalm one , 10, Isaiah 53. Those kinds of passages are being brought to bear . And it's important to see here, the idea of making a coherent logical provable argument. Paul does not say, I know that Jesus has risen from the dead cuz I just feel it in my heart, he uses the scriptures and some of the terminology here literally means to place beside. So he uses the scripture and then sets beside it, the fulfillment of those predictions so that these people can see exactly what the Bible had told, had foretold, what happened. And now indeed has happened in Jesus. The Christ. Unfortunately, once again, there is problems and they are charged with very serious, very serious charges in verse seven, they're acting against the decree of Caesar and saying there is another king king us. The charge here is political C edition and that charge can result in death, especially for a non-citizen. We wish we knew a little bit more about Silas . Where does he fit in all of this? It seems surely he was a Roman citizen too , if Paul was, but we just wonder as the brethren being caught up in this, Jason verse six is part of this lots going on here. This is a pivotal moment where the church is really in crisis. What's going to happen. Verse nine, they take money as a security from Jason and the rest and they let them go. It seems here that the posting of the bond meant that Paul and Silas had to leave and you can see that in a city government. It would make sense. Hey, you guys are the troublemakers. Well we want you to go. You have to go. But what is left behind here is the church Atlan IAH . And it is a very good church. It receives two letters, which we will read in the appropriate place in Paul's timeline. One is written from Athens. One is written from Corinth . So we'll be reading those letters shortly. But Paul is super concerned about these brethren. Persecution is going on there. Are they gonna wither and die under that? He cares about them and will write to them. But our reading today is just these first nine verses where we get the church in the lanica established again, there is trouble. And once again, pollen and Silas are run out of town. That's our reading for Wednesday. I'll see you tomorrow. Thursday's reading is acts chapter 17 versus 10 to 21. We get two important cities here be , and Athens be is act actually a little bit off the beaten track, but of course these folks are famous because of verse 11, they are more noble than those insin ANCA . They receive the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so Paul is citing old Testament passages again, and they are looking at them with an open mind. They are examining them to see if makes sense if this is right, if this is a proper use of the scripture. In fact, the verb for examine here is used of judicial investigations like when har examined Jesus or when the Sanh counsel examined Peter and John in acts chapter four. So they have faith in the word of God, that basic belief then causes them to examine the word of God from a new perspective, to examine it, to see, to make a investigation. If these things are so. And once again, Judi teachers become a problem. Verse 13 Jews from, and IICA now that's 40 miles up the road and here they come to oppose Christianity. It won't be hard to the question about opposition to the gospel here will it. In fact, as we journey along here a little bit further, Paul gets taken to Athens acts chapter 17 in verse 15. Please notice here. This is such an important note. I'm so glad to have the podcast to talk about this. This will help us so much to see this. And on Thursday, I don't really get any opportunity to talk with anybody about this. Paul in acts 17, verse 15 is by himself. Paul is alone. And we know that because in acts chapter 18 and verse five, make a note there a 18 five says that Silas and Timothy arrive from Macedonia. So Silas and Timothy had remained behind to continue to work with some of these churches in Macedonia. That's in the Northern part of Greece. Get your map out. There'll be a map in the back of your Bible of Paul's missionary journeys. Get it out, look at it. We want it to be real. We want to know where they are. Put your finger on it, trace it out, look at your map. And then think about Paul in Athens, all by himself. That's just difficult. Now Athens of course had a long history. It was a very important center of Greek culture. And in many ways it was still in intellectual center in new Testament times. But in some ways the city had lost some of its leadership and influence. It was not at its heyday as it had been before, but of course so many idle temples. And we think about the Acropolis and the Paron and all the things that go with that. So many famous landmarks there in Athens <affirmative> and Paul sees all of that as he journeys through the city, as he's there spending time in the city, waiting for Silas and Tim to catch up and it just bothers him. And so he's preaching about Jesus. He's preaching about the truth about God, and that gets the attention of the Athenians. And that leads to, to MA's dramatic sermon in acts chapter 17, where Paul preaches the gospel to a pagan audience in Athens, I'll see you tomorrow. Friday, we'll read act 17 beginning in verse 22. Welcome to Friday's reading acts chapter 17 versus 22 to 34 . What a famous sermon. This is as Paul preaches, verse 22 in the midst of the Aeropagus . The EOPS is much debated. Some have tried to say that this is a court of law and that Paul May be here in front of an official inquiry. Of course, lots of folks think it's a place it's a hill Northwest of the Acropolis . I wonder how many people go to the part Ethan on and think Paul preached from there, that's not where Paul was. It's probably that hill north there of there in Athens. And I , I understand you can go and see that. And a lot of folks have, have been to Athens and have climbed that hill be pretty spine tingling to stand there and know that somewhere, maybe within 50 feet, Paul live one of the most powerful and important sermons of all time in acts chapter 17. This sermon is not about the Bible though. It's a very different sermon than anything that we have seen before. Paul does not cite scripture. He does not discuss the old Testament fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Instead he talks about how God is the creator of everything and everyone, and that God is near to us and wants us to know him and that God wants people to repent. And what Paul really wants to say here is U Athenians are very religious, but your religion is pointed in the wrong direction. You need to know the unknown God who actually now is known. He is the revealed God. And as Paul works down through here, you'll see a sharp rebuke of idolatry. The idea of the God who created everything, needing anything is just, well, in some ways that's a little silly. I mean, if God made everything, then what would he need from us? He could just make whatever he needed. That seems to Paul to be rather hard to buy into. How could God need anything when he's made everything. Instead, what he is seeking here is for us to come into a relationship with him, to know him. And of course the basis of that in this sermon is repentance. There is a marvelous quotation here in verse 27 and in verse 28 of some pagan poets. And that's pretty helpful to us as we think about our teaching tactics today, if you're quoting the Bible to people who don't believe in the able , you're probably wasting your time and theirs, these Athenians don't care about that old Jewish Bible. They wouldn't be impressed with a quote from Jeremiah or Isaiah , but he does quote pagan poets here to make his point and to push people towards Jesus Christ, whom all are accountable to. And it does seem like whole sermon is going pretty well until he gets to the moment where he talks about the resurrection of the dead verse, 32 people start hooting and mocking. And that's the end of that. And there really isn't much good that comes after that. It seems like a few folks are interested in the gospel and a few people believe verse 34, but actually not much anything. There isn't a church here in Athens that we read of later on, there's no epi to the Athenian church. It just doesn't seem like the gospel had much here, much impact here among people who were so in love with human philosophy and human thinking. That's hard soil. And even somebody like Paul had a hard of time getting the seed to penetrate that kind of soil. Well, that's our Bible reading then from acts chapter 17 versus 22 to 34 next week, we'll start acts 18, but only for a moment because Paul writes an, a pistol there and we're gonna go read that epi . It'd be helpful for us to just think about whole journey and how long Paul's been gone and how many times he's been beat up and mistreated and run outta town. All the things that have gone on and he's by himself in Athens and people won't respond to the preaching of the gospel. This must have been a hard time for Paul. We need to think more about the, the difficulty of being Paul. I think of Paul as being this amazing disciple, he's an apostle and people respect him. He goes over . People say , oh, that's impossible. And that's not really right. Is it? He was hunted and chased and pursued and mistreated. It was hard to be Paul. And we're gonna see more of that as we journey along into acts 18 next week. Thanks for reading the by Bible with me this week. I like this Bible reading with Paul. This has been, this to me has just been fascinating and I really think next week, we're gonna see how it opens up some things in the EPIs that he wrote in the middle of his difficult and sometimes adventurous life. Thank you for listening to the Monday morning coffee podcast. I appreciate it very, very much and am enjoying your feedback and encouragement. I really do appreciate that. If you like what you're hearing, please share it with someone else and please rate and review, follow or subscribe so that more people will hear about the podcast. So until next week, may your coffee be delightful? I hope your Friday is short and I hope that the Lord will be with you today, all day. Pour yourself another cup of coffee. I know that's what I'm gonna do. I'll see you, you on Monday.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the west side church of Christ podcast. Monday morning, copy with mark far more information about west side . You can connect with us through our website, just christian.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot I that's upbeat with two P's , U P P B E a T , where creators can get free music . Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a cup of coffee, of course, all on next Monday .