You Are Out of Your Mind, Paul! (Acts 26:16-29) March 4, 2012
When Paul testifies at the Roman court for the Jews of the Christ he met (Acts 26:24), a governor named Festus says, “You are out of your mind, Paul.” When someone says that to you, it usually carries a negative connotation as if he really means “You are crazy,” or “You must be insane.” However, it has a completely opposite meaning on a positive note. When you want to say you are in love with something to a great extent, you can use this expression (I am crazy about). “Let’s all-in” and “Let’s stake our lives” mean the same. How can we stake our lives for something we cannot fall in love with? We can say we stake our lives for something only when we come to a conclusion that we find true happiness in it. When others look at us, they might think that we are indeed crazy. Even in this world, if you want to have success, you must immerse yourself in it to the extent you go crazy over it. A person like Steven Spielberg lived thinking only about films, and he confessed that he was happy every time he thought about making films. This is the level of being crazy over something.
1. If you enjoy Christ to this extent in your everyday life, all problems will really end (All-in for the Gospel).
1) Conflicts, trials, jealousy, and disputes persist because people dwell in the physical and secular pleasure.
a. They are all from our greed, and Col.3:5 reveals it to be idol worshipping. “Idol” literally means “something empty and in vain.” Losing our hearts and relying on worthless things are idol worshipping.
b. What is the true “value”? What is valuable and precious? It must be something that lasts forever and does not change over time. But there is nothing in this world that stays unchanged over time (money, fame, power, knowledge, and even people). People are all selfish. They change according to their needs. And they do not know when they are going to be deceived by Satan (Gen.3). Things of this world are for you to enjoy, not for you to go crazy over (lose your heart, rely on, conflict over, or receive scars from).
2) What is the reason why we must fall for the Gospel and all-in for Christ? It is because He is absolute, unique, and eternal.
a. Absolute – No one can block what God ought to do, and no one can overcome God. That is why we often say life and death, success and failure are all under His absolute sovereignty.
b. Unique – Because man could not solve his own life problems, God came down Himself as His own son. That is Christ. He is the one and only son of God (Jn.3:16). That was how He became our “only way” (Jn.14:6) and the “only name by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
c. Eternal – He is eternal. For proof, He resurrected. That resurrected Jesus would guide you from this land to eternity, and take full responsibility of you. That is why we call him our “Lord”. A lord takes care of those who call him lord. Things are difficult because you try to be the lord of your own life. Completely entrust your family, business, children, your life, and your future to Him, and enjoy.
3) How did He save you? Paul confesses and proclaims in Acts 26:18.
He let you come out from darkness into the light (Gen.1:2 – solved the spiritual problem), rescued you from Satan’s authority and made you His child (Jn.8:44 – solved the fundamental problem), allowed you to believe in Him, cleansed all of your sins, and led you into His holiness (Rom.8:1-2 – solved the curses), and promised you his inheritance (Jn.5:24 – solved the future problems).
2. The time in which you enjoy these blessings God gave you through Christ as your very own is prayer. All-in for the time of prayer.
1) Let yourself rest during prayer, and look only upon the absolute, unique, and eternal God. You must give Him some room to work. This is the time you acknowledge Christ as true Christ.
a. It says in Mt.11:28, “All of you who are weary and burdened, come to me, and I will give you rest.” Prayer is not labor. It is not a struggle to gain something. It is a time of rest after entrusting everything to God (1Pet.5:7-8).
b. It says in Phil.4:6, because God will reign over your heart and work upon it, “Do not be anxious, but pray in thanksgiving.” Prayer is the time in which you lay yourself down in your heart (your opinion, worries, calculations, and unbelief) and restore true rest, faith, and thanksgiving.
2) Through the five different types of prayer, taste the true prayer and all-in for it.
a. Worship prayer – Why is Sunday worship important? It is the time in which your body and thoughts rest while your spirit is filled with God. This is the core of Sabbath. It is not the concept of working hard for six days. You must rest well first, and let your soul be filled with faith and thanksgiving in God. That is why Sunday is the first day of the week. A time in which you praise and worship God on your own is tremendous. The spiritual happiness that comes from individual worship is indescribable.
b. Meditation prayer – You must meditate upon the Word God gave you (Pulpit message or Word of the Day). A moment of brief meditation will renew your spiritual state. That is when God’s power works upon you. You have no choice but to prosper if you begin here (Ps.1:1-3). The spiritual state of most people is empty, and people are lost in work, studies, solving problems, and physical pleasure. This happens when you go crazy over something wrong. You will ultimately face spiritual problems. You will have blessings and success only when you go crazy over a right thing.
c. Continuous prayer – As mentioned in Eph.6:18, you must pray continuously within the Holy Spirit. You must ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all events.
d. 24-hour prayer – As mentioned in 1The.5:16-18, Enjoy Immanuel while rejoicing, giving thanks, and praying.
e. Scheduled prayer – This is the time in which you specifically set aside for intensive prayer.
3) People of God in the Bible all tasted this and triumphed and conquered one age. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob built altars everywhere they went. Joshua, the main figure of the Canaan conquest, enjoyed meditation prayer, and Joseph, a slave” enjoyed Immanuel and 24-hour prayer. Deacon Philip always lived within the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit led their lives at all times. Daniel from the Old Testament and Peter and Paul from the New Testament enjoyed “all-in for prayer”.
3. You must enjoy the happiness, joy, and blessings that come from testifying this Christ to others (all-in for evangelism).
a. When people boast about something, they receive reward from it. They become happy and full of energy. Of course people may seem low level when they brag about the worldly things that are really not that valuable. When we boast of Christ, we receive the strength from above and spiritual energy. This is the blessing of evangelism camp. God may led you experience your own weaknesses and problems in order for you to experience Christ so that you may boast only in Him (2Cor.12:9).
b. The joy and the blessings that God will give you when someone’s life completely changes through you are indescribable. This is how Paul was able to boldly proclaim in Acts 26:29 in front of the king and everyone else in the court, “I pray God that all of you may become what I am.” Evangelize whenever the opportunity presents itself, plan for evangelism every day, and go somewhere you can evangelize together with others (evangelism camp).
2) You live only once, and you stand before God only once. Be connected with God (last week’s Pulpit), and all-in (this week’s Pulpit) for God (all-in for the Gospel, prayer, and evangelism). I hope you may enjoy the blessings of people who are crazy for Christ like Paul.
If you have any inquiries or feedback concerning this message, please contact:
One Mind Church of Washington
(703) 491-3797 <onemindchurch.org>