Summary: one of a series on Acts
Does anything make a difference?
Does voting in a democracy? Sometimes you wonder. Have you heard the "Will anybody listen" ad on radio? Nothing seems to ever change.
Well the Church of Jesus Christ has the power of to change the world!
It was the force behind the beginning of the new nation in America. It was the force behind the people in Poland when Soladarity began. It was the force behind the people in the Philippines when the Marcos’ lost power. There were thousands who prayed and stood in front of the tanks. They cried for peace.
The church was the force behind the fall of East Germany. It was the churches who were opened for prayer. It is the force working throughout China today as house churches meeting in secret. It is the force in Russia as men like Basil preached in KGB Prison camps in 1962.
Two key items are required to make a difference in our world.
1 a cause which is worthy
2 People committed to the cause
Now the the price of commitment is high. Perhaps that is why there are so few willing to pay it. And that is why there are so few who reap the results!
The church in Acts was willing to pay the price
They were committed to Jesus
Acts 4:32a (NIV) All the believers were one in heart and mind.
They all agreed on everything! NOT! There were major disputes and disagreements. We see this over and over in the book of Acts.
There were the Greek widows, the Judisers, the staff problems between Paul and John Mark. Yet they were one in heart and mind.
set you hearts on things above; set your minds on things above
If you have the same setting for everybody and there will be harmony.
ON a CB radio the channel you have it set to is very important. Either you can communicate with others or you can’t talk at all!
Three simple guidelines for keeping things on the same setting
1 Let us agree to obey the commands of Jesus and his apostles regarding salvation issues.
2 Let us agree to disagree agreeably on important teachings of Jesus and his apostles in other areas.
3. Let us agree to follow Jesus example and principles, not rules, in matters of indifference.
They were committed to each other
Acts 4:32b (NIV) No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
Acts 4:34 (NIV) There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
Acts 4:35 (NIV) and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own... wow- they held on to their possessions loosely
not talking about tithes and offerings for the support of the ministry here.
We are talking about people in relationship. Helping each other out! They shared everything from chain saws to compressors and punch bowls.
Years ago I enjoyed sawing wood at Marquette with my neighbors. We all got together every Saturday and buzzed up the wood. A lot of hard work - but together it was a lot easier!
They were committed to the work
Acts 4:33 (NIV) With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
They testified of resurrection of Jesus with great power! No mealymouthed apologies. No overbearing pushyness.
Grace upon them all. God’s grace is what we’re talking about. Not gracefulness. Imagine the apostles walking around gracefully. Kinda silly.
God’s power and gifts were with them. It’s exciting when I think about it. You see, God gives all we need to accomplish his work!
Even the moments of opportunity to be seized!
Like Nike - we should just do it!
I met with a lady this past week who had opportunities to share her faith and she felt like she blew it.
Listen - you can’t blow it - God will use it. But we can all learn to do better.
Commitment is so rare that when you see it/it does make a difference!
Acts 5:11 (NIV) Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Acts 5:12 (NIV) The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.
Acts 5:13 (NIV) No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
Acts 5:14 (NIV) Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
Look at when the church was committed to Jesus; one another; & work