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Sermon Notes: 4/7/24

"I Never Saw It Coming"

Pastor Albert Almore


"This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


I want to preach a message this morning titled…


I NEVER SAW IT COMING 


This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News…


I know that verse may not sound like much to you, but that verse is a big deal. This book that we’re studying was to the Romans. Rome was a major deal during the time of our first church leaders. One of the major reasons why Rome was such a big deal, was because of their roads. I know that roads are EVERYWHERE today, but that wasn’t always the case. 


Most ancient roads were simple dirt paths for caravans, full of mud pits, and cave-ins. But Roman engineers discovered how to make roads that were actually long lasting and durable.


By the time of Jesus’ ministry, the Roman road system consisted of great highways radiating from Rome, running through dozens of provinces, territories, and client kingdoms. This road system eventually increased to as many as 29 great highways interconnected by 372 great road links. The two roads, Way of the Sea, and and Kings Highway, were paved systems connecting Africa and Asia for trade purposes.


In all, there was approximately 250,000 miles of road system, of which 50,000 miles was considered “stone-paved super-highway.”

This is where we got the expression, “All roads lead to Rome.” In the Roman Empire, that was literally true. ALL OF THIS JUST SO HAPPENED TO COME TOGETHER, DURING JESUS’S TIME ON EARTH. 


Rome was uniquely strategically positioned to reach all in that region as well as all who would come INTO that region FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD. Rome was in a class all by theirselves when it came to roads since no one else had the technology that Rome had at the time.


So now the question around the break room in Heaven was, who would God use to oversee this church? Who would God use to speak life into such an intricate part of the world to help show them the way? Back to Romans 1:1 we go….


"This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Hold up, this can’t be the same Paul that Acts 8:1 spoke about it when it said,


"Saul was one of the witnesses, AND HE AGREED completely with the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭8‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


this can’t be the same Paul where verse 2 says…


”(Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) BUT SAUL WAS GOING EVERYWHERE TO DESTROY THE CHURCH. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭8‬:‭2‬-‭3‬ ‭NLT‬‬


this can’t be the same Paul where Acts 9:1 says…


"Meanwhile, SAUL WAS UTTERING THREATS WITH EVERY BREATH AND WAS EAGER TO KILL THE LORD’S FOLLOWERS. So he went to the high priest.“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭9‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things THIS  MAN HAS DONE TO THE BELIEVERS in Jerusalem!“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭9‬:‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"And I PERSECUTED THE FOLLOWERS OF THE WAYHOUNDING SOME TO DEATH, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison.“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭22‬:‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬


What do you mean you want me to go back and preach there???


”“‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I IMPRISONED AND BEAT THOSE WHO BELIEVED IN YOU.“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭22‬:‭19‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"And I WAS IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT when your witness Stephen was killed. I STOOD BY AND KEPT THE COATS they took off when they stoned him.’“

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭22‬:‭20‬ ‭NLT‬‬


After ALLLLL of this, we still find Romans 1:1 declaring,


"THIS LETTER IS FROM PAULA SLAVE OF CHRIST JESUSCHOSEN BY GOD to be an apostle AND SENT OUT TO PREACH HIS GOOD NEWS.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


WHAT GOOD NEWS???


📝 You’re not TOO FAR.


Paul’s life is living proof to us all, YOU’RE NOT TOO FAR FROM GOD, TO BE LOVED, FORGIVEN, AND CALLED BY GOD! Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭39‬ says it like this…


"THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AND FOR ALL WHO ARE FAR OFF—for all whom THE LORD OUR GOD WILL CALL.”“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭39‬ ‭NIV‬‬


You’re not TOO FAR to be called. You’re not TOO FAR to be chosen. You’re not TOO FAR to be forgiven. You’re not TOO FAR to be reached by our Master Janitor, Jesus Christ! This is why Ephesians 2:13 says…


"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.” 

Ephesians‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Because of this you can do James 4:8….


"DRAW NEAR TO GOD and HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU...”

‭‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


📝 It’s not TOO LATE.


How is it too late, when you serve a God who renews? How is it too late, when you serve a God who redeems? How is it too late, when you serve a God who restores? 


GOD DOESN’T TAKE HIS ORDERS FROM TIME, TIME TAKES IT’S ORDERS FROM GOD.


This is why God says in Joel 2:25,


 "I WILL RESTORE TO YOU THE YEARS that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.“

‭‭Joel‬ ‭2‬:‭25‬ ‭ESV‬‬


"And THE LORD RESTORED JOB’S LOSSES when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.“

‭‭Job‬ ‭42‬:‭10‬ ‭NKJV‬


"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, REDEEMING THE TIME.“

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


When Paul wrote of “redeeming the time,” the word “time” is the Greek word kairos, which would be better translated as the word opportunity. This means God will help you recoup, recover, regain, and retrieve lost time and opportunities! One way that this phrase could be paraphrased is to buy back time. Only our wise God can do this. I say to you today….


📝 It’s never TOO LATE when you serve a God Who lives OUTSIDE OF TIME.


📝 You’re not TOO AGED.


Not too young, not too young.


""O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’M TOO YOUNG!” The Lord replied, "DON’T SAY, ‘I’M TOO YOUNG,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.“

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭NLT‬‬


""Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. TODAY I AM EIGHTY-FIVE YEARS OLD.“

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭14‬:‭10‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"I AM AS STRONG NOW AS I WAS WHEN MOSES SENT ME ON THAT JOURNEY, and I CAN STILL TRAVEL AND FIGHT as well as I could then.“

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭14‬:‭11‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 This news is TOO GOOD.


"For I am not ashamed of THIS GOOD NEWS ABOUT CHRIST. It is the power of God at work, saving EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭16‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 Who I am IN CHRIST, is greater than who I was OUTSIDE OF CHRIST


Paul came to DELIVER this Good News, because he was such a RECIPIENT of this Good News.


I’ve got Good News!!!!


WHAT GOOD NEWS ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT PAUL? I’M TALKING ABOUT….


📝 • The Good News of God’s UNQUENCHABLE LOVE.


If anyone should’ve quenched Gods love, it was Paul, BUT HE DIDN’T. In fact it was Paul who wrote, Romans 8:38-39,


"And I AM CONVINCED THAT NOTHING CAN EVER SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭38‬ ‭NLT‬‬


"No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, NOTHING IN ALL CREATION WILL EVER BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭39‬ ‭NLT‬‬


You can’t quench it. You can’t stop it. You can’t reduce it. You can’t terminate it. You can’t silence it. You can’t outrun it. I’ve got Good News! What’s that good news Paul?


📝 • The Good News of God’s UNPREDICTABLE GRACE.


Paul wanted to arrest the believers and bring them back in chains. Instead Paul himself, came back in chains as a servant for Jesus Christ. Paul left out to persecute them for following Christ, and in return He became a follower of Christ himself.  This is nothing more than unpredictable grace!


"You can make many plans, but THE LORD’S PURPOSE WILL PREVAIL.“

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19‬:‭21‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 • The Good News of God’s UNRESTRICTED MERCY.


"Surely goodness AND MERCY shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.“

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭6‬ ‭KJV‬‬


📝 • The Good News of God’s UNAPOLOGETIC CALL.


"For he saith to Moses, I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I WILL HAVE MERCY, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭9‬:‭15‬ ‭KJV‬‬


Paul, how did it make you feel to be knocked off of your beast in Acts 9? Paul, how did it make you feel to be called by God, called to writing 13 books of the Bible….Paul’s response to all of this was….I NEVER SAW IT COMING!!!


📝 Even when you didn’t have EYES on God’s love, God’s love had EYES on you. 


There’s only one thing left to do after today’s message…


📝 OWN YOUR ROAD.


Times aren’t like they were during Paul’s times. Roads, opportunities, are everywhere. 


WILL YOU OWN YOUR ROAD? 


WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?


YOU’RE NOT TOO FAR.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE.

YOU’RE NOT TOO AGED.

THIS NEWS IS TOO GOOD.


Wherever God has you in life, is your road. Share with someone the road that you encountered Jesus on.


Tell someone that you’re living proof, of what the mercies of God can do.

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