Life is unexpected. Every day holds unexpected events. God Himself, what He does and how He does it is often unexpected.
God gives us Unexpected Callings.
In today’s message, Pastor Chris Fluitt takes a look at an often overlooked story where the Apostle Paul was saved by a basket. Who could expect something as routine as a basket could be used to save the writer of over half the New Testament? It was an unexpected calling.
Are you ready for something unexpected?
Unexpected 1 – Unexpected Callings
sermon notes by Chris Fluitt
Redemption Church Plano Tx
**Vid bumper – Unexpected Callings
Welcome to Redemption Church. My name is Chris Fluitt, I am the lead pastor at this great church here in Plano. I welcome you. Thank you for worshipping with us in Plano Texas at 3pm in the afternoon.
Today is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s day! Fathers are to be celebrated. Make sure you speak to your dad today. If your father is no longer on this earth take time to think about him. If you never knew your earthly father, think about those who stepped into that role for you and thank them. And always we should give thanks to our Heavenly Father who created us, breathed into us the breath of life, recreated us, and has given us a new spiritual life by breathing into us His Spirit.
We are starting a brand new sermon series today entitled Unexpected.
If we are honest I am sure we will agree that the unexpected makes us feel uneasy. Even the hint of something unexpected can ruin our day sometimes…
- When someone says “I need some time to talk with you…”
- When your check engine light turns on in your car.
- Waiting for medical test results.
- Sometimes your phone rings and you see the caller I.D. and you think… “This is not good.”
- Trying to plan your future… Kids, Money, or Safety in a terrorist attack
We are often reluctant about the unexpected
We wish that we could just plan our day and avoid any and all deviations from the plan. But this never happens…
Unless you lock yourself in a dark room and binge-watch Netflix… We really never have a day that turns out like we expected. The unexpected always lays in wait at the intersection of relationships, emotions, purpose, and passion…
And then there is God… Is it just me or does God love to bring the unexpected into our lives?
God has given us His Word. It is full of promises of what He will and will not do. It filled with prophecy of what will and won’t happen. We know what His will is because of this Word… yet I am sure you would all agree that God and what He does and how He does it always catches us off guard.
Today I want to talk about God and His Unexpected Callings…
Moses- A stuttering shepherd God unexpectedly calls a deliverer
Gideon – A frightened man hiding in a winepress God unexpectedly calls a might man of valor and makes him a general of a small elite team that defeats an army too big to number. Oh and they defeat them with pottery, trumpets, and torches…
David – The forgotten runt of the family God unexpectedly calls to be a Giant slayer and great King.
The 12 disciples – Ordinary fisherman yet God unexpectedly calls them to turn the world upside down.
God often reaches down and picks out the most ordinary, mundane people and gives them an unexpected calling.
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 11 as we read a testimony from the Apostle Paul. Now Paul has a lot of Testimonies that are often preached about. His conversion experience, his baptism, being brought back to life after being stoned to death, going on the first missionary journey, preaching on Mars Hill, being shipwrecked and snake bit but escaping death, doing the jail house rock with Simeon in Philippi… Too many great testimonies to remember today…
But I would think it is a fair wager than the majority of people are not aware of this testimony…
2 Corinthians 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.(NIV)
2 Corinthians 11:32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.(NIV)
2 Corinthians 11:33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.(NIV)
I want to preach to you today about the time Paul was…
Saved by a Basket
Paul was called by God. God saved him from his Pharisee days and called him to be the “vessel to the gentiles.” God had hand selected Paul to carry the message of Jesus to places it had never been carried. He was important to God’s plan. He had the call to go into the world…
But Paul couldn’t get out of the city. The entire city of Damascus was on lock down and the plan was to arrest and kill the apostle. (Acts 9:23-25 reveals the Jews conspired to kill Paul)
Paul needed a way to get to his purpose beyond the walls of the city. It was an unexpected escape route in an unexpected vessel.
Paul was saved by a basket, attached to a rope that was held by a few un-named believers.
For the next few moments I want to preach to you about that basket.
Now I am not sure you know much about baskets. Did anyone get their basket weaving badge in boy or girl scouts?
The basket had an expected purpose
What do imagine the basket was built to carry? Vegetables or fruit? Usually baskets carry a bunch of small items. I wonder what the weight limits of a basket are…?
I am certain that the maker of this basket never expected it to carry the full weight of an adult male over the wall of a city.
The basket had an unknown maker
Someone made this basket. We will never know who, but they sat in their work space and weaved this basket that would save Paul. There was no parade for the maker of this basket… they were just doing their job.
How did they get into the business of basket weaving? Was that their 1st choice? Perhaps they had other designs on their life that didn’t work out. Maybe… they were stuck in a job they hated?
Baskets are boring
Please wake up. I am almost done talking about baskets. 🙂
I have never cared for monotonous jobs. Jobs with countless repetition really are not my preference. “Do this one thing… and then repeat it the rest of the day…” No thanks!
That is boring. That will put me to sleep. I will easily lose focus and start to make mistakes and the quality of work will go down.
Someone built a basket strong enough to save a life
This basket was used unexpectedly. It carried an unexpected precious cargo.
We have no idea what else this basket weaver created in life, but in this one case they did an amazing job. The basket they weaved was called on to do more than what you could expect a basket to do…
Imagine with me, the Apostle in the basket. Imagine how much he was praying. Imagine the look on his face when the basket creaked and cracked under the unexpected weight. Imagine what is going through his mind… He never could have expected this scenario.
Paul wondered if He was going to survive… but what was built into the basket said “yes Paul, you are going to make it.”
Like that basket you have an unexpected calling
Each of us are called to carry unexpected burdens. In your life there are passengers you never expected to carry to safety. Unexpected assignments, purposes, callings come to us all.
Fathers & mothers you have a calling.
Grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends…
You in the Church of Jesus Christ. You have a calling… it may be something you never expected.
In order to build a vessel that will carry others you must…
Fight the mundane
Repetitive routine can rob us of focus. The ordinary can cause us to think that the right now is not AS important AS other times.
You come home every day after work… you miss the importance of the few hours you get to spend as a family… That is some serious basket weaving time.
Students, you go to school for the hundredth time in a semester. You read the same book and do the same homework assignment… Don’t let your eyes glaze over. You are building greatness… Weaving it day by day.
You come to another church service where you sing again, hear a sermon again, and talk to God again… Don’t miss the importance of this moment?
As we look back on our life we see people who built a vessel strong enough to carry us to safety. Maybe you are thinking of a parent or grandparent right now, a friend, a pastor… Where would we be if they had not embraced the importance of the moment?
Where would the apostle Paul be if the basket weaver had grown distracted and failed to build as much strength as possible into that basket.
Ordinary days do not exist
Every day is an amazing opportunity.
This could be the day that you have that important conversation that builds something into the lives of others.
Moms and dads, one day your kids will be parents and they will most likely invest in their children like you invested into them. What you do every day is important generationally.
THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE…
Create a basket that will save a life. Create a basket that will carry someone to their purpose.
Today is not a normal day. It is an opportunity to do unexpected extra-ordinary thing. What will you build today?
Parents you need to build together with God…
Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.(NIV)
A Dad, a Mom, & God makes a 3 chord strand. It is not quickly broken.
We just received the Word of God. Now we need to do something with that message.
For the next few moments we are going to give us time to talk to God. I want to challenge you to take a step from your chair and come to this space up at the front of the church. We call this space the altar.
We have communion here. You can serve yourself.
We have a place in the 2 first feet for you to receive prayer.
Do not think that this is an ordinary mundane moment. This is an unexpected extra-ordinary moment.