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Turning The World Upside Down #upsidedown2013 #worshipset

grey-stone-youth

(photo by Mark Dolejs)

It was a great privilege to lead worship for the kids from Grey Stone Baptist this weekend at their annual Metamorphosis event.

  • Here For You – Matt Redman (B)
  • The Same Love – Paul Baloche (B)
  • Never Let Go – Matt Redman (B)
  • Thoughts on Acts 17:2-8 (see below)
  • Your Love Never Fails – Chris McClarney (A)
  • Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman (A)
  • How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin (A)
  • Speaker – Andy Duke
  • 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman (G)
  • Lead Me To The Cross – Brooke Fraser (G)
  • Majesty (Chorus) – Delirious (G)
  • Set A Fire – United Pursuit (G)

The theme of the weekend was Upside Down, so I shared the following thoughts on Acts 17:2-8.

2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews[a] were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things.

The Jews were looking for Paul and Silas (who had been doing a great job of preaching about Jesus in the local synagogues).

They were being accused of turning the world upside down! How awesome is that?

They were having so much impact in their community for Jesus that it was driving these religious leaders crazy! Verse 5 says, “the Jews were jealous!”.

Charles Spurgeon (a famous preacher from England in the 1800’s), said this in 1858, “for Christ’s gospel does turn the world upside down. It was the wrong way upwards before, and now that the gospel is preached, and when it shall prevail, it will just set the world right by turning it upside down.”

Doesn’t that capture it exactly? Ever since sin first came into the world, it created separation from God and a world so far away from the image of perfection that God had planned for it.

The world was a mess. We were a mess. That’s why God sent us Jesus, His only son. Without Jesus the human race was doomed.

Instead, Jesus died in our place. He took our punishment upon himself, out of His deep, unconditional love for us.

Jesus kick-started the process to reverse the damage that sin had made to His creation. This started by Jesus being the only hope for mankind.

Jesus began the process of turning the world upside down (or right-side up). The disciples carried this on, and now it is our responsibility as believers keep retelling the story of Jesus.

Something else about this story in Acts stands out to me (verse 4). When we start turning the world upside for Jesus everyone around us notices.

Paul and Silas preached Jesus to different types of people and communities and saw many come to believe – Jews, Greeks, prominent women, etc.

The same is true today. We need to be reaching out to every community within our city. No-one is too far away to turn to God.

God’s invitation is open to everyone regardless of nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

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