Summary: To glorify the Lord, we need to do more than share the gospel. We need to conduct ourselves in ways that glorify Him as well. What are some essential things that we need to do if we are going to be a church that glorifies God?
A Church that Glorifies God
Is one that trusts in His Sovereignty
Is one that walks in Unity
Is one that lives in Integrity
The church Recognizes God’s Sovereignty – Acts 4:23-31
The church Receives God’s Unity – Acts 4:32-37
The church Reflects God’s Integrity – Acts 5:1-11
Good morning. Welcome to church.
Have you ever thought about what it means to be the church?
I know some of you have, because we talk about it a lot.
And I talk to other pastors and people often about church.
I know that many of the pastors I speak with desire to be a church that glorifies the Lord.
But what is it that makes a church that glorifies God?
Now certainly a church that glorifies God is going to be focused on His Commission.
We see that in the gospels and even in Acts 1 that we are to be witnesses for Christ to the ends of the earth making disciples, baptizing disciples and teaching disciples.
That is the mission of every church.
Now even though that is the mission of every church, it doesn’t seem that every church is doing the same thing, in the same way.
Now, even though I think there is a lot of flexibility in how church is done, you can’t just do anything. You can’t just do whatever you want and then make it ok by sharing the facts of the gospel at the end of a message.
What are some of the key distinctives that makes one church a church that glorifies the Lord versus a “church” that is not really glorifying the Lord in being the church?
That is what we are going to be looking at over the next couple of weeks as we continue on in our series, The Church unleashed.
We see in the book of Acts how God used the church powerfully for his glory and that the early church was one that truly glorified him in their conduct.
Let’s see what we can learn in what we can do to be a church the glorifies the Lord.
Now being a church that glorifies the Lord does not depend on what is going on around us. The early church had good and bad circumstances but it is as they respond to their circumstances that we can
see a church that glorifies the Lord and
learn to be a church that glorifies the Lord.
Now over the past several weeks, we have seen some of the good and not so good circumstances the early church faced.
We saw that the church was growing exponentially! Several thousand people had come to trust in Christ and follow Him as the Apostles and believers were proclaiming the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection for their sins.
On the other hand, there were people who were not happy and the Apostles were arrested and ordered not to preach in Jesus name any longer.
You had both good and not so good circumstances going on at the same time.
Hickory Creeks Circumstances
At Hickory Creek, and at many churches, you can find similar circumstances, both good and not so good.
This year, from a ministry perspective, has started out great.
We have just had our best attended month ever with our average attendance for each weekend in January surpassing 600.
We had our Back to Basics 2 weeks ago and had 43 people come out to find out more about Hickory Creek.
We have added 27 new members to the church since the beginning of the year.
Last week we had 5 people baptized and I have 5 more than have already expressed a desire to follow the Lord in obedience to baptism.
We are working at getting ready to build a new ministry addition that will give us 70% more space in our ministry area than we currently have.
We have seen people make sacrifices financially, and in the use of their gifts so we can better minister to others and see God’s Kingdom expanded and advanced!
Some truly amazing things that God is doing in our midst!
But even so, there are struggles as well.
I just preached a memorial service for the father of one of our members this week.
Due to our rapid growth, there is a lot of pressures placed on our staff and volunteers..
People continue to face difficult circumstances with jobs, sicknesses and relational struggles.
We are trying to figure out how we are going to continue to do the ministry we have been doing in the midst of construction.
So while we have good things happening, many are also facing difficulties and some challenges similar to the early church.
Let’s see how the early church resonded to different circumstances so we can learn how to be a church that glorifies God like they were.