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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 Monday, August the 29th. I'm mark and I am holding a cup of coffee, which is getting cold on me, way too fast. I have some sermon notes here and mostly I am ready to read in the book of acts. All of this is designed to push us forward into this week with a ton of spiritual energy. Let's started Yesterday. We resumed the new Testament church road tour by visiting a congregation that I had overlooked and had kind of forgotten about. However, it may be the most important church in the new Testament because yesterday we visited Jerusalem, the very first congregation ever. And there is so much to learn from that congregation, but I just want to remind you and pick up on the very last things that I was saying. It, it was not a perfect church. It was not a perfect church and acts five shows us that. And we need to hold onto that. Sometimes the church ends up being thought of being portrayed as some kind of amazing place where perfect people are. And that's just, that's just so wrong that that isn't what Jerusalem is about. And that can't be what Westside is about. It has been said before. I'm gonna say it again. The church is not a hall of fame for saints. It is a hospital for centers and you see the Jerusalem church struggling and trying and doing, and sometimes having some bad eggs amongst them, some bad apples in the barrel, if you will, but they still serve the Lord and did what was right. God works with imperfect people. It's the only kind of people he has to work with. And God is working with us today. Don't let your imperfections cause you to decide you can't be part of the people of God and don't get discouraged. Don't get discouraged. When sometimes we see some things in the church that just are not everything that we wish they, oh, it's gonna happen. It's gonna happen. Cuz the church is made up of people who are I M perfect. So there's your sermon notes from yesterday? Hope that helps you. Let's push into Bible reading. We are back in the book of acts, acts chapter 20 verse 17 to 27 is our reading for Monday. Hope you have that new Bible reading schedule. It's not dramatically different, but the questions particularly for acts have been tweaked a little bit there. Hope you picked one up from the information table yesterday. Or you can download that from just christians.com. Let's think about acts chapter 20 versus 17 to 27. Monday's reading begins. The important conversation that Paul has with the Ephesian elders. This is the only speech that Paul makes to Christians. Everything else is evangelistic or a defense speech. There are huge themes in this speech that Paul is always sounding like kingdom of God and the blood of Christ and repentance and faith and the danger of false teachers. And you need to watch lots of that is going on. Remember, Luke is here. He heard this speech and it is important to Paul. He is willing to wait. It probably took three days to get a messenger to Ephesus and get that message to those elders. And then for them to get back to Paul in melitis that's um, there's a lot of waiting going on here when Paul's in a hurry that tells you how significant this is. It does seem that there are some opponents already working in the area, trying to prejudice the church and emphasis against Paul. There's some opposition already going on and we just get so much here about what shepherds should be doing and even a little bit here about what preachers need to be doing. Look at verse 19, Paul says serving the Lord with all humility in tears and trials that happen to me through the plots of the Jews. So Paul is passionate about his work and you get this description. Preachers need to serve the Lord. They need to do that humbly. Don't put yourself first and make it about you. There's tears. There's a concern for people. It's not just a job. You're going through the motions and there's gonna be trials. There's gonna be difficulties as you do that. Preachers need that. I'm preaching to myself. I think here, as I'm talking about that, it's just good to be reminded about that. What it's all about is glorifying Christ over and over again. Paul pushes the idea of glorifying Christ. Even when there is trouble ahead. And the holy spirit is certainly saying to Paul, there is going to be some trouble. You're gonna need to get a map here in a minute as we watch Paul come home, but you're gonna need that map even more because Paul's gonna end up going to Rome in chains and, and he's gotta ship. And all kinds of things are happening in the spirits, telling him about that. Verse 23, afflictions and imprisonment are awaiting Kim. I think this is kind of like Jesus telling the disciples in Luke's gospel. I'm on the way to Jerusalem and this terrible thing is gonna happen to me. When I get there, those are called passion sayings. And here Paul has a passion saying in verse 23, I'm on my way to Jerusalem. Something terrible is going to happen to me there. Paul is being paralleled to Jesus. I think that's what is working here. He testifies everywhere about the grace of God. I'm going to talk about the kingdom verse 25. That's what matters. That's what I'm about. And then he uses in the end of our reading today, verse 26, he uses Watchman language. This sounds like an old Testament prophet. This reminds us of a Ezekiel chapter, 18 standing on the wall, watching I've done that. I have fulfilled my task. I'm innocent when the bad guys come, when the false teachers come, it isn't because I didn't warn you more of that warning. I didn't shrink verse 27 from declaring to you, the whole counsel of God. Be more of that warning in our reading. I will see you tomorrow on Tuesday, Paul's talking to these Ephesian elders. This is such a vital part of the book of acts. We wanna make certain that we sit down in this text and learn, learn, learn so much about what shepherds are all about. Don't rush. Take your time. Make sure you see what the holy spirit has to say about the work of shepherds and overseers. And that will be our focus tomorrow. See you on Tuesday. Welcome to Tuesday today. We read acts chapter 20 versus 28 to 38. As Paul continues to talk with the Ephesian elders and some of the material here is just absolutely priceless. It helps us so much in understanding the work of shepherds of elders. And in fact, I'm gonna say some things about how those terms are being used interchangeably here because Paul in verse 28 says pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock in which the holy spirit has made you overseers to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I'm not totally happy with my V there. I love the V a lot. And I've talked about that recently as in Sunday, but I think maybe the new American standard is a little bit better here beyond guard for your sales and for all the flock among which the holy spirit has made you overseers to shepherd the church of God, shepherd. The church of God, I think is better than the ESV care for the church of God. And what we have now is all the terms used in the new Testament, all the titles, if you will, that will be used for Shepherd's elders. All of that has now been employed because in verse 17, you get, he called the elders elders. There is the term presbyter it references age primarily. And then here we have overseers verse 28, which is a word for guardian. And it's actually the word Episcopal. I'm probably not saying that, right. Um, it means overseers are guardians and then to care for V or to shepherd the church of God, new American standard shepherd is from the word that we get the word pastor it's Poman. It's also used in verse Peter five in verse two. So here we have it. Elders overseers, shepherds, all being used interchangeably here as the emphasises on how the church is a flock and the church is the flock of God. And these shepherds they're really deputy shepherds. They're under shepherds from the chief shepherd Jesus. They protect the flock. They care for the flock. They guide the flock. They build the flock up. They may need to admonish the flock from time to time, lots of this shepherding emphasis here, super intended function. There would be part of this idea, being overseers, all of that is working together. Paul goes on from here to say that for three years for 31, I didn't see Schneider day to admonish you with tears. Paul is invested in these people. Paul is invested in this church. What is Paul's feeling? That's actually a question from when we're reading in an epistle, but you can just hear Paul raising his voice and stabbing the finger with his air. Paul cares about this. And then he says, I commend you to God. And to the word of his grace, look what the word can do. The word is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. It is the word that does the work. Paul, doesn't say that what the church needs to be about is involved in fun and games or the social gospel or lots of having social activities. And we'll call that fellowship and the church will get all caught up in. No, no, no. The church needs to preach and teach the word of God. It is the word of God that converts men and women to Jesus Christ. And it is the word of God that will build up disciples to be better and stronger. Disciples. Paul never says serving pizza and playing hoops is what will build you up. Paul says, it's the word of God that will build you up. And we don't ever wanna let the church get away from its focus on the word of God. When, when that happens, we just betray that we don't believe Paul. We don't believe Paul anymore. Then finally, verse 35 there he says the words of the Lord, Jesus. It is more blessed to give them to receive, go find that in your gospel. That is a yeah, that's a Nongo statement of Jesus. There are several of those in scripture. Uh, 1, 2, 3, I'm looking at my notes. Four or five. I think there are six others besides this one. And the point here is that a person who helps others is actually being helped by that. That makes us the kind of servant that we want to be. So then there is a very tearful departure scene here, very sorrowful because of the word that he had spoken, that they would not see his face. Again, this is a tough scene to see, and it is a tough scene to think about. But Paul here is ready to head to Jerusalem. You get that feeling of the destiny that awaits him, just like we got when we read in Luke and we read about Jesus as he set his face, Luke chapter nine to go to Jerusalem, I must go. And Paul says, I must go. And so tomorrow we'll see him begin that travel log, get your map ready. We'll be in acts chapter 21 on Wednesday. See you tomorrow. Welcome to Wednesday today. We're reading acts chapter 21 versus one to nine. And if you're getting ready to hear a sound clip from the fellow who will be speaking tonight in our summer series. Mm you're about to be disappointed. Our summer series has come to a close we'll be in Bible class tonight. I'll be teaching in the book of acts. It's a little weird. We're reading an acts and I'm teaching a little bit different place in acts. As we resume our Bible class is there. We'll have to make all of that work. It'll it'll it'll iron itself out. It'll it'll be okay. So let's get right to Bible reading. Then acts chapter 21 versus one to nine. The thing that we ought to hold onto here is the importance of looking at our map. Almost all Bibles have some maps in the back. And one of those maps is gonna be Paul's missionary journeys. And so you want to go look at that. We're looking here at the third missionary journey and we're watching Paul come home as he is hoofing it to get to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost. In fact, as we read today, he stays there. Verse four, seven days, the text tells us entire as they unload the cargo. And it seems like Paul is feeling like he is ahead of the curve. That he's got enough time that they can wait or maybe they just couldn't get another ship. Remember, this is not a time where you just run down the airport and buy yourself a ticket and go where you want. When you want to go. I do love verse five and six. Paul is again connecting with people again. Paul cares about people. Paul makes relationships with people a priority in his life. It did not take these people long to become very good friends with Paul. And I think verses five and six have a lot of detail in them that says, Luke is standing there watching this. And he is impressed with how much Paul cares about brethren in verse eight. Then here we are. We depart and we come to Caesarea and there's the house of Philip, the evangelist who was one of the seven. He stays there with him. Verse nine, he had four unmarried daughters who prophesy. It has probably been 20 years since Philip was run out of town by yes, by Paul who was persecuting, the church acts chapter eight versus one to four. So here Philip is in Caesarea prophets. That's um, that's fairly unusual. He has foreign married daughters who prophesy here, but Joel had spoken of this and that was quoted by Peter in X chapter two, quoting Joel, chapter two about the holy spirit coming upon young men and maidens. Then I think here, maybe, maybe this is a, a, a fair thing to say, there's no prophecy recorded here. They, they prophesied, but the text doesn't say anything about what they had to say. And if Luke was making things up, guess what you would have right there. Absolutely. You would have fill in the blank. This is what those daughters said. So this is just a little place. Another one of those places where the Bible bears the marks of integrity and veracity. You can trust your Bible. It's not full of human stories, legends and tales. This would be a great place to embellish the story with something from those four unmarried daughters who prophesy. I'll see you tonight. We'll talk more about the book of acts Wednesday night, Bible class, and then tomorrow we'll continue reading in chapter 21, beginning in verse 10. There's four Virgin daughters who prop who could prophesy. And there's another fellow there and he does prophesy and we do get the contents of that. Prophecy. We'll talk about that tomorrow. See you on Thursday. Let's get started with Thursday's reading today. We're reading chapter 21, acts chapter 21 versus 10 to 19. And this brings the close to the third missionary journey. Paul has been gone for three years. He's traveled over 3000 miles. This is the spring of ad 58. And that is a great thing to put in your Bible somewhere between versus 16 and 17, as Paul finally comes to Jerusalem, what else should we note here in our reading today? Agabus the prophet binds Paul's feet in hands and says, verse 11, this is what's going to happen when you get to Jerusalem. And again, this is a passion saying very similar to what we get from Jesus. Particularly deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. Jesus said that Paul's destiny is the same as Jesus's destiny. And what AGAs does here may strike you as a little odd, unless, unless you've read old Testament, prophets old Testament, prophets are always using some kind of visual aid, a Haja, the Chaite tore the cloak to show how the kingdom would be divided. In first King's 11 verse 29. Isaiah went about naked and barefoot. Isaiah chapter 20 Ezekiel made a model of Jerusalem and then hacked it into tiny pieces, a Ezekiel chapter four. And so this is very, FFY very old Testament. And that is a strong sign to Paul of this is absolutely what God is saying. And Paul says, I gotta go. Anyway, I have to go. He has a strong motivation to personally deliver these funds to the Gentil, uh, that the Gentiles had contributed to their Jewish brethren. He is determined to see it all the way through and he does. They arrive after staying in the house of Menin verse 16 and early disciple. Wow. What a source he must have been for Luke don't, you know, Luke got out a notebook and said, tell me more, tell me more. This would be a wealthy disciple. He has a house large enough to put everybody up for the night. And the fact that he is willing to let Gentiles stay in his house, says he is quite unusual for a Jewish person who is willing to do that. He's been affected by the gospel. Hasn't he? And now verse 17. Paul comes to Jerusalem. He has received there gladly. James is there verse 18. The last time we saw James is in acts 15 and he now seems to be a central figure in the Jerusalem church. And now verse 19 after greeting them, he related one by one, the things God has done among the Gentiles through his ministry. Mm I, I I'm feeling some squirms in the room here. The Jerusalem church would be coming increasingly uncomfortable or would be in an increasingly uncomfortable place. As Christianity gets more and more Gentile in its tone nature in flavor. And now the Jerusalem church is accepting money from Gentiles indicating solidarity with them. I wonder how many non-Christian Jews are beginning to question the, their Jewish friends, their Jewish Christian friends about where their allegiances lie. What exactly this Christianity thing is all about. I kind of thought, you know, that this was just like a sec of Judaism, like the Pharisees and the sades, but mm, you people hang out with Gentiles. You let Gentiles stay in your house. You eat with Gentiles. I, I can't, I can't tolerate that. The church and Jerusalem is really being put on the spot here and there's gonna be some discussion about what could we do so that, yeah. What could we do to kind of ease some of that tension that's tomorrow's reading, I'll see you on Friday, acts 21, 20 to 30 is what we are reading tomorrow. See you Friday. Hey, you made it. It is Friday. We're reading acts chapter 21 versus 20 to 30, and you made it, you made it through the week. And now we're at this place where Paul is gonna take care of some Jewish vows. And that, that has been very controversial and oftentimes very misunderstood in verse 21, Paul apparently has been accused and the brethren Jerusalem are saying, this is what some people say about you. That Paul goes around telling people to stop being Jewish, stop acting like a Jew. And we need to be mindful here. We need to be mindful that Judaism is not only a religion. It's a national identity, and you can be a national Jew doing Jewish things because that's your nation, that's your race. And that doesn't have anything to do with your religion. You're not doing these things to be saved. You're doing these things because these are your people. This is your tribe. This is how, this is how we act. I I'm gonna say some things about this and the Facebook video. And just talk a little bit about how, if somebody said you become a Christian, you can't shoot fireworks off on the 4th of July. We'd be saying, what, what are you talking about? I'm an American. So what we do on the 4th of July, this doesn't have anything to do with Christianity. We're just celebrating this country. And I think that understanding really helps us get past what is a bumpy place for some people here in the acts account. But Paul absolutely does not believe you have to graph the law onto Christianity. We read relations. We read Romans. We know better than that. And what they say to Paul about that beginning in verse 25, makes it clear that nobody thinks, Hey, we need to become good Jews in order to be saved. There's a six step to the plan of salvation. You hear the gospel. You believe you repent. You confess your baptized and you're circumcised. And you keep the old law. I guess that's six and seven. Nobody's buying that. They're not telling that to Paul. Paul doesn't believe that we know Paul doesn't believe that what he's doing is simply being a good Jew from the national side of things. One scholar, I love this podcast, cuz I'm able to give you some additional information. One scholar summarizes it like this. What exactly was the concern? It was not about the way of salvation. James and Paul were agreed that that way was through Christ and not through the law. It is about the way of discipleship. Secondly, it was not about what Paul taught Gentile converts. He did. He did teach them that circumcision was unnecessary and James and the Jerusalem council had said the very same thing in acts 15, but it is about teaching Jews who live among the Gentiles. Thirdly, it was not about the moral law. Paul and James were agreed that God's people had to live a holy life, but it was about Jewish customs, customs in a word should Jewish believers continue to observe Jewish cultural practices. The rumor was that Paul was teaching them not to do so. And of course that's the end of the quote. That is totally not true is a false charge, false circumcised, Timothy. Remember that? So there's no truth to the fact that Paul is trying to tell Jews, you have to stop acting like a Jew. You have to become some kind of Gentil. No, just like Gentiles don't have to become Jews. Jews don't have to become Gentiles. This is a purely Jewish act. Probably the shaving of heads. First 24 has to do with the NAZA aide vow. And Paul has no problem observing the Jewish law. He is all things to all men. Uh, and, and Paul, this is about people. Skills here is willing to do whatever he can to live in harmony with others. And so Paul took them in verse 26 and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple giving notice when the days of purification will be fulfilled and the offerings presented for each one of them. Wow. Paul thinks that he has poured oil on the troubled waters because this is the advice the elders have given to him. And so he is doing that. Paul gets criticized a lot of scholars and commentators criticize Paul for what he's doing here, but who can argue that the elders who were on site, who knew the situation, who knew what was being said about Paul didn't have wisdom and Paul's best interest at heart, go and do this. And that will calm these problems down. Will it? We'll see that on Monday when we see what happens in verse 27, when Paul goes to the temple to take care of this very Jewish custom, this does not turn out the way Paul had hoped it would. Well, there you go. There's Bible reading for the weeks kind of need to be back in ax. Isn't it? I loved reading enrollments. I think it's extremely cool that a church cares enough about what is viewed by many people to be a difficult doctrinal book to say, Hey, we're gonna engage with Paul's writings here in Romans. We're gonna engage with all of Paul's writing and we're gonna make a genuine effort to really understand it, understand in its context, work with it and understand Paul by reading what Paul wrote. So I loved it, loved it, loved it, but it is kind of neat to be back in a story and to be watching the action and maybe sitting on the edge of your seat just a little bit, what's gonna happen when Paul goes to the temple. We'll talk about that on Monday and I will. Yeah, I'll see you then until then. Thanks for listening to the Monday morning coffee podcast. Don't forget to subscribe, follow rate and review on whatever app you are listening on. That really helps people find the show and listen to the podcast. And of course, best of all, share the podcast with a friend, tell somebody about it, share it on social media. That is really where things are today. If you want people to find something and, and, and see that it has value you saying, Hey, this is helping me in my Bible reading. Why don't you give this a try? So until next time, may your coffee be delightful? May your Friday be delightful? And may the Lord be with you today? All day? I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with Mark. For our more information about Westside, you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot that's upbeat with two P'S U PP, 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 coffee, of course, on next Monday,