The Birth of a Movement
History bares witness to many different kinds of movements. A movement is the progressive, unfolding, transitioning body of beliefs that seek to alter and change society. As we look at the last century we can see the Zionist Movement which resulted in the Jews having their own land called Israel. We can see anti-slavery protest which gave birth to the Civil Rights Movement.
Most movements came about because of war, violence, oppression and injustice. But there’s another movement that did not began with a sword. This movement did not began with the seeds of racism, nor did it began with the seeds of injustice but it began with the revelation of the Word of God.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and later on John tells us that the Word became Flesh. It was the start of a movement!
I think that we as the Church must remember that even though we operate as an institution, the Church of Jesus Christ is still to be a movement. But unlike all other movements this one called Christianity understands that if society is to be changed, first man has to be changed.
John said the Word Became: Became meaning the Word had come to be something else; The Word was transformed; The Word moved and initiated a Movement.
This is not surprising when we study the scripture for in Genesis chapter one the Bible tells us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters and God said “Let there be light”, and there was light. God’s Word moved when it left his mouth and caused a separation between light and darkness. Turn to Isaiah 55:10-11.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven , And do not return there without watering the earth And making it sprout and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall my word be which goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty Without accomplishing what I desire and with out succeeding in the matter that I sent it.
When God sends His Word, something has to change, something has to be transformed, something has to move. But is this happening?
I find it to be a strange occurrence when those who claim to worship the Creator lack creativity.
One writer has stated that ‘many people are abandoning the Christian faith because they can find in it no power for the future.’ Why? Because many churches lack the power to change and create, simply because they’ve failed to understand that this gospel of Jesus Christ is more than an organization, more than a cooperation, more than a click or a club but it’s a movement that creates the future and doesn’t just wait for the future to happen!
And I believe that as the Church, we must proclaim God’s Word and learn how to bridge the gap between the life of the church and the life of the times. If we’re going to do that we must first:
1. Have an encounter with Christ. Simple but Profound.
A. Read verse one. Luke wrote about all that Jesus said and did. Why? Because he was moved by the Word of God, God moved on him to tell it.
B. Luke reveals to us that even though Evangelism courses are good, if you have love; if you’ve had an encounter with Christ you will share the Gospel trying to move others to accept Christ. Lack of love, lack of evangelism.
C. When you know something good, the first thing you want to do is tell it to somebody else.
E. Notice the order of words that Luke writes in verse one. First he tells us what Christ did then he tells us what Christ said. For most people there’s a lot of talk but no action. This is very important because it is in the life we live, what we do, which acts as a light to men. We do more talking than we do performing.
2. We must remember the Lords Orders. Verse 2.
A. Now the Apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem until they had received power from God. Indicating that power is not seized but it is sent from God.
B. To many times in the church we try to seize the power instead of waiting on God to give it to us.
C. Jesus said wait because he knew that although they had the word they had no power! Its not enough to quote the law, its not enough to quote the scriptures for the Bible says the letter alone kills but the spirit plus the word gives life.
3. If we’re going to proclaim the word we must have proof. Verse 4
A. What the world needs is evidence! It’s not enough for us to proclaim the word but we must become the word! Living Epistles!
B. The world needs proof that we’re able love our enemies instead of hating them. Jesus said by this shall men know that you are my disciples that you have love for one another.
C. What proof can I offer to the existence of God, well, where did the word God come from? Where did the word eternity come from? You say you are good and don’t need Christ well who created your concept of good? How can you determine what is good and what is evil?
D. Even though I can’t see Jesus, sometimes I can feel him moving on the inside.
4. We must remember to wait on God.
A. In this verse we see that God is commanding his followers to remain in Jerusalem because he’s about to change several different things.
1. The main change that was about to take place was that of the Spirit. Up until this particular time the Lord’s Spirit had dwelt with certain believers, now he was about to indwell all believers.
2. I’ve found that when you wait on God in prayer and fasting that he knows how to change you. And if we want more of God we must depend less on self.
5. We must remember to stay focused. Verse 7.
6. We must be witnesses of God.
All who witness are all with power! All who have been moved, shall move themselves.