When It's My Time To Speak
WHEN IT’S MY TIME TO SPEAK
Sermon Outline By Terry Siverd
Cortland Church of Christ / June 25, 2017
I want to thank David & Lara for all of the time they have spent preparing for this year’s SYR.
Camp 2:52 doesn’t just happen and that’s especially true with this year’s change of venue.
Many hours have been spent in planning, making calls, sending emails. It takes real orchestration.
This will be David & Lara’s eleventh year and we thank them dearly for their dedication to this ministry.
David & Lara would be the first to say that it takes a team effort.
Michelle Maas and our Cooks … Counselors … Cargo-carriers … Contributors … Campers.
Be sure to express your gratitude to others throughout the week.
This year’s Camp 2:52 theme is, “I Am Not Ashamed”.
Of course it draws from the words of Paul in his letter to the church at Rome (Rom.1:16) - -
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The daily Bible classes taught by Michael & Carrie Donnell.
Along with the evening campfire devos taught by David Black, Steve Corp, Jeff Drummond and Logan Pitney.
Likewise for our memory work and Bible Bee.
Also, one of the strengths of the Brazles (von Trapp family) is their intent to introduce us to new songs.
All of us, but young people in particular, are shaped by the music.
¯ I Won’t Be Frightened / By Jaylene Johnson ¯
I want to direct all of our adults to read the words of Jeremy Camp’s song, I’m Not Ashamed.
See today’s FamilyMatters supplement.
This is not pabulum (baby food). There is MEAT that accompanies this theme.
This morning I have the honor of introducing our theme.
For my sermon title I have borrowed a phrase from another song titled, I’m Not Ashamed, by Abigail Duhon:
When It’s My Time To Speak.
Our older campers will also be viewing a movie about Rachel Joy Scott and the Columbine massacre (April 1999).
I want to speak this morning about the apostle Paul.
I also want to reference four others New Testament characters:
Timothy … Epaphroditus … and Priscilla & Aquila.
All five of these connect beautifully with our camp theme.
All of them are noteworthy examples of braveness and boldness.
Each one of them displays a faith in God that is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Before Paul became a disciple of Christ, he was known at Saul of Tarsus.
We first encounter him in the closing verses of Acts chapter seven.
Saul appears to be a ringleader among some who are determined to snuff out Christianity.
Steven is stoned to death. Acts 7:58 states - -
When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him,
And the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
If there’s any question about Saul’s role in this event, Acts 8:1 removes all doubt - -
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death.
This signals the beginning of a great persecution against the Christians who comprised the church in Jerusalem.
They were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.
This is a euphemistic way of saying they were made fugitives (put on a “hit list”) and had to run for their lives.
As strange as it may sound, this turn of events proved to be providential in two particular ways.
(1) Note that the phrase “except the apostles”.
For some seemingly inexplicable reason, the apostles were immune to this persecution.
This proved to be a great blessing for the stability and further growth of the Jerusalem church.
Remember that Jesus declared: I will build My church…and the gate of hell will not overpower it (Mt.16:18).
(2) A second unseen blessing came when those who were scattered went about preaching the word (Acts 8:4).
Saul and his cohorts intended to strike fear into the hearts of Jesus’ disciples but they would not be silenced.
Here we note hundreds (thousands) of ordinary believers who went forth in extremely difficult times standing strong.
We don’t even know their names, but what we do know is that THEY WERE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL.
Saul intensified his efforts. Acts 8:3 says that he began ravaging the church,
entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.
We can’t say with certainty how long Saul was in this terrorist-like state of mind.
Luke records Saul’s conversion in Acts 9.
Saul has a close encounter with Jesus and it brings about a radical change that alters his life forever.
Saul becomes a Christian. He is baptized into Christ Jesus (Acts 9:18), the very One he once longed to destroy.
From this point onward Saul becomes known as the apostle Paul. He speaks of his own conversion in Gal.2:20 - -
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; And the life
that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
Paul’s words speak loudly (Rom.1:16a) - -
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes….
Sometimes we hear the expression “talk is cheap”. Paul truly meant what he said and his actions back up his words.
In 1Cor.11:22-28 Paul counters some false apostles who are putting him down.
Are they servants of Christ (I speak as if insane) I more so; In far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without
Number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods,
once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys,
in dangers from rivers, robbers, my countryman, Gentiles … dangers in the city, wilderness, on the sea, from false brethren.
I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches.
I have spent one page on Paul (entire books have been written about his life).
Paul is the ultimate example of a life lived for Jesus, but I also want to briefly introduce us to a few others.
They are not as famous as Paul, but they also serve as examples of what it means to Not Be Ashamed.
Timothy is a young preacher.
He was the product of a a Christian grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2Tim.1:5). They instilled faith in him.
Timothy was apparently somewhat bashful and shy, more of an introvert and less of an extrovert.
Paul wrote a line to Timothy in one of his letters that seemed to change Timothy.
2Tim.4:7 / God has not given to us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
In Philp.2:19-22, Paul tells the Christians in Philippi - -
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I may also be encouraged when I learn of your condition. For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. But you know of his proven worth that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.
In Philp.2:25-30 Paul mentions another faithful disciple named Epaphroditus.
I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger
and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, lest I should have
sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly in order that when you see him again you may rejoice
and I may be less concerned about you. Therefore receive him in the Lord with all joy and hold men like him in high regard;
because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
PRISCILLA & AQUILA
Priscilla & Acquila are a married couple and both are dedicated to the work of the Lord.
They once lived in Rome (Acts 18:1-3), but became refugees when a Roman ruler Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome.
Subsequently, they worked as tentmakers with Paul in Corinth.
Later they labored for Christ in Ephesus (Acts 18:26) and helped teach Apollos the way of God more accurately.
When Paul writes to the church at Rome we discover that Priscilla & Acquila have returned to Rome.
Listen to Paul’s description of them in his closing chapter of his letter to the Roman Christians (Rom.16:3-5) - -
Greet Prisca & Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks, to whom not
only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house.
Exactly how “they risked their necks” we’re not told.
We could speculate that it might have been when they traveled to Ephesus with Paul.
Demetrius, a silversmith who headed upon an idol-making union of craftsmen, incited a riot.
This riot almost ended in disaster form two of Paul’s companions Gaius and Aristarchus (Acts 19:29).
Paul wanted to intervene but “the disciples would not let him” (Acts 19:30).
Ephesus was powder keg of anti-Jewish and anti-Christian hostility that might well have resulted in Paul’s death.
Acts 19:31, speaks of some Asiarchs (perhaps Aquila & Priscilla) who urged Paul not to venture into the theater.
Some have died for the cause of Christ.
Many others, short of death, have lived for Jesus in notable ways.
God is calling all of us to make our lives count for the cause of Christ.
We must rise up and be bold & brave as we declare with our words and deeds that we are not ashamed of the gospel.
As we strive to walk by faith help us to journey with a spirit of power, love and discipline as we stand tall for Jesus.
Give us strength, so that when it is our time to speak and act, we will not be timid, but rather bold and brave.
Through Christ, whose example we seek to follow and whose charge we have pledged to obey, we pray. Amen.