Summary: How we respond to adversity and difficulty will make a great difference on the outcome.
BAILOUT: We will Dive or Thrive? September 21, 2008 Acts 4:23-5:16
Have you had a bad day, week, month, life?
You know you’re having a bad day when…
What do you do when everything seems to falls apart? Do you “take a dive” or Thrive?
We can handle adversity, difficulty in the same way the early Church did: How did the Church respond to difficulty?
I. More: they asked for more! 4:29-31
1. God does see our trouble! Ex 3:7, Ps 138:6, Mark 6:34
2. God’s Purpose will prevail! Ps 138:8 Why do the nations rage?
“When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.” Ps 138:3
If you’re sore, ask for more!
One of the greatest revivals, the Fulton Street Revival, came during great financial crisis. In 1857, Evangelist Jeremiah Lanphier came to help dying church. He started a prayer meeting with with six people. Eventually, 2 million people were saved around the world. (Source CBN.com)
II. Sharing: They shared everything “Not a Needy Person” 4:34
1. Eliminate Selfishness, Eliminate Stress. 4:32
2. Powerful testimonies do not come without great grace.
1) If there are people suffering among us, our testimony is weakened.
2) Last days: There is no security in this world.
3. How do we survive a bad economy? Share.
4. They sold their homes for the Gospel.
“IN God we trust” by Drew Smithson
“I trust Him with my finances. I’ve lived with my wife and children in government housing three different times. Even though the pay check was small I always made sure that my tithe was the top priority as far as my money was concerned. I chose to trust that He would take care of us. We never went hungry. We always had clothes to wear. I always had a car to get me where I needed to go. “ (www.socalag.org)
If we can trust God with our salvation, surely we can trust Him with our money!
Are there needy people around us? Are we sharing? What do you have that could help someone else?
If we care, we will share!
III. They Were Serious: They confronted sin 5:1-11
What would happen if liars died at church?
1. Satan wants to destroy ministry (lies and deception will kill)
“Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…5:3
2. When we fail to be faithful, we are failing God.
You have not lied to men but to God…you have agreed together to test the Spirit” 5:-4
3. The Church thrives even through disaster.
And great fear came upon the whole church and all who heard 5:11
Don’t die for a lie, live for the truth!
IV. They Were “Normal”: They considered miracles normal 5:12-26
1. Among the people (Not just at church)
2. More than ever: As the day approaches…Heb. 10:24-25
3. Salvation was normal (Miracles get people saved!)
4. If you want miracles, you have to need miracles.
Don’t Dive – THRIVE! You are a miracle!
MAKE ROOM FOR GOD! Is 54:2 Clear space for miracles.
“He’s our miracle. He’s my hero. He’s my son, but he’s also my miracle.” Dustin Carter’s mother. Dustin, is an 18-year old High School wrestler who had both arms and legs amputated at the age of five. He made to the quarterfinals of the coveted State Tournament after going 41-2 this season.
Source: Pentecostal Evangel September 21, 2008 (NY Times)
THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL (But they will try!)
When bad things happened to the early Church, it meant something great was about to happen!
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
We live in exciting days!
We are on the verge of calamity or conquest.
We are in the last days, and we are on the good side!
Where is God? Where are miracles? Where the need is greatest.
Evan Roberts: Welsh Revival “Lord, bend me.” (Pentecostal Evangel 9/21/2008)
What is the point? Why are we here? Application…
What is God saying to us right now? What will we do with it?
• Ask for more.
• Share what you have.
• Confront sin.
• Expect miracles.
Don’t be a spectator!