Summary: We need examples of what a real Christian looks like. The Apostle Paul's life provides that for us!
We are continuing our journey through the book of acts, and we are going to journey through the entire 20th chapter. And we are going to do that shortly, but the way that I wish to approach it is by the way of this introduction.
I read an article about HEROS AND people’s nee for heroes…
Psychology Today - Scott T Allison Ph.D.- Why We Need Heroes
The psychological benefits that heroes provide for us…
1. Heroes produce is us a recently identified emotion called “elevation”
When people experience elevation, they feel a mix of awe, reverence, and admiration.
The emotion of elevation, which warms and uplifts us, also includes a desire to become a better person. According to Jonathan Haidt, elevation “motivates people to behave more virtuously themselves.” The elevation we feel upon witnessing a heroic act transforms us into believing we are capable of heroic acts ourselves.
2. Heroes heal our psychic wounds
Hero stories calmed people’s fears, buoyed their spirits, nourished their hopes, and fostered important values of strength and resilience. We are drawn to good hero stories because they have a way of comforting and healing us.
3. Heroes show us how to transform our lives
Comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell believed that heroes undergo a personal transformation during their hero journeys. In every hero story, the hero starts out missing an important quality, usually self-confidence, humility, or a sense of his or her true purpose in life. To succeed, the hero must recover, or discover, this quality. Every hero story tells of a journey toward vast personal transformation.
Spiritual teacher Richard Rohr notes, hero stories inspire transformation in us all because they call us to transformation.
4. Heroes turn us into heroes ourselves
Good heroes use the power of transformation not only to change themselves for the better, but also to transform the world. In the classic hero journey, the newly transformed hero eventually transforms society in significant and positive ways.
5. Heroes nourish our connections with other people.
The content of hero stories promote a strong sense of social identity. If the hero is an effective one, he or she performs actions that exemplify and affirm a certain community’s most cherished values.
Now I really thing that this is in fact all true….
Jobs was given away for adoption by his biological parents and he became interested in electronics after his foster dad showed him the joys of technical tinkering in their garage. He had to drop out of college, because his education was costing his foster parents a lot. He used to return Coke bottles for money and live on free meals at the Hare Krishna temple. Jobs went from a technician in Atari, Inc. to becoming the CEO of Apple Inc.
Born to a housemaid and a coalminer, Oprah definitely did not grow in the lap of luxury. Living the life of poverty, where she used to have to wear dresses made out of potato sacks and was molested by relatives. She entered the world of media after getting the job of a news-reader in a local black radio station. After she got her first talk-show in Chicago, there was no looking back for this TV personality.
This is the man whose life has inspired the Will Smith-starrer ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. Physically abused by his stepfather as a child and placed in a foster home, Gardner’s woes did not leave him even as he grew up to marry and be a father. As shown in the movie, Gardner struggled with homelessness while raising his kid. It was the strength of the lessons he learnt from his mother that he went from rags to riches by tenaciously building himself to be the CEO of his own stockbrokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co.
There is no disadvantage these personalities did not suffer on their journey from birth to where they stand today – but sheer tenacity, confidence and hard work led them to the inspiring figures they are today.
The reason that I brought you through all this is because what our scripture passage today presents us with a person, who was born into sin, just as we were, struggled with the very same things that we do, but was so influential in his Christian walk that historian whether they were secular or spiritual ones put him at the very top of the list of one of the most influential men who ever lived throughout all of the recorded human history.
And that is why I want us to walk through this chapter with this perspective in mind – we are going to see throughout this scripture passage, what I’ve entitled today’s message after from the 20th chapter of Acts…
Characteristics of the Consummate Christian!
Consummate – Someone who is extremely skilled and accomplished; someone of the highest degree or level. Complete and/or competent in every way.