Call to Worship
(This week) we worship God who gave His Son as the Friend of sinners. The Psalmist lamented about the deceitful people who surrounded him. So, he cried out to the Lord for peace. Paul witnessed the same type of crowds in the last few years of his life, especially among the unbelieving Jews. They lied about him with deceitful tongues and did not want peace. They only wanted Paul executed. Amid trials Paul was sent to Rome to stand before Caesar. As if the prospects of the hearing were not enough to contend with, the trip was completely abysmal. Paul and his shipmates encountered terrible weather for sailing, including a shipwreck, and the possibility of being lost at sea. During all of this Paul never lost Godly biblical perspective. He believed the words the Lord gave him and he trusted in the Lord Jesus in repentance in faith. No matter who spoke against him, or what trials he faced, Paul was constantly pressed to turn to the Lord. Subsequently, Paul’s actions and reactions were shaped by his trust in the friend of sinners. Paul encouraged the others, by and in God’s grace, during their frustrations at sea. Paul encouraged the others from the comfort which God had given him through his many trials. Paul kept an eternal perspective to aid him in the trials of life. His perspective was to be a friend to sinners just as the Lord Jesus was on the earth. Paul did not coddle the men, but he spoke directly to their issues. Yet, at the same time Paul comforted them according to the truth of God.
Pastor Brandon F Smith