Sunday, January 13, 2019

Scripture: Acts 16:14-15 (NIV)
Subject: "Defying Expectations" (Part III)
I: Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney, a few days after winning his 2nd National Championship, was awarded the prestigious Bear Bryant Coach of the year award. During Coach Swinney's acceptance speech, he decided to honor his coach, Coach Woody McCorvey rather than talking about himself. Coach McCorvey, an African American coach who coached Dabo Swinney at the University of Alabama, has been by Swinney side since he took the job at Clemson. In 1996, Coach Willie McCorvey defied expectations and became the first black offensive coordinator in the history of the University of Alabama. Coach McCorvey played quarterback for Alabama State University during his collegiate career because he could not attend the University of Alabama. However, in 1996, he became the offensive coordinator of a program he could not attend as a college student. In one week, Coach McCorvey, a native of Artmore, Alabama, saw two of his former players exceed everyones expectations when Coach Dabo Swinney won his 2nd National Championship and McCorvey's former quarterback in 1996, Freddie Kitchens, became the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. One writer said, "Entering into the flow of abundance begins when exceeding expectations becomes a way of life."
II: Acts Chapter 16 verses 11-15, is one of the hidden treasures of the Bible. The text introduces us to a sister by the name of Lydia. Lydia according to multiple sources was a Gentile woman who was converted under the preaching of the Apostle Paul in Philippi. She is a native of Thyatira in the region of Lydia in Western Asia-Minor. Lydia has defied all expectations. She is a business owner, entrepreneur, a shot caller who has her own stuff in an oppressive culture! Many times we do not highlight the impact that women had on Paul's missionary efforts and success. The Apostle Paul talks about some of those sisters from Thessalonica (Acts 17:4), sisters of Berea (Acts 17:12), Damarius in Athens (Acts 17:34) and Priscilla in Corinth (Acts 18:2) who all "Defied Expectations." Lydia took an active role in the life and ministry of her town. 
III: In order to defy expectations like our sister Lydia, we.........
#1) Can't allow the culture to determine our level of success 
-During this particular period, the culture was not a progressive one. It was not the type of culture that embraced women as role models or leaders. 
-The culture was oppressive, controlling and mysogynistic but none of that stopped Lydia and her friends from creating an environment for prayer. 
-When you are defying expectations you don't waste time talking about who is keeping you down, blocking you or trying to destroy you. You are usually too busy thinking of creative ways and making bold moves to circumvent the culture that is determined to keep you down. 
-Don't ever allow the culture to control your identity or desire for success.
#2) Can't allow our success to prevent us from worshipping 
-Lydia never allows her success to separate her from her God.
-The level of Lydia's success is clearly identified when the text shares, "she was a dealer in purple cloth."
-Since there is no mentioning of a deceased husband or Lydia inheriting this business, the writer Luke is sharing with us that this sister is the brain behind the operation and the CEO/Founder. 
-Lydia is successful but she is also a worshiper.
-In order to defy expectations, you will need a prayer life and a desire to worship God.








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