Summary: This sermon examines some of the condtions that are present when a God event occurs.
Introduction: Occasionally things happen in our world that is the result of a rare phenomenon. This was true with the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia several years ago. This was true when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast in 2005. When our family moved to Tuscaloosa in 2003 we experienced a rare phenomenon. We experienced a 12 inch snow in March, in central Alabama. Here on the eastern shore we occasionally experience a Jubilee event. It is a rare event that occurs in only two places in the entire world. All of these rare events occur when conditions are right. For instance, when a Jubilee occurs there are conditions that come together.
In 1960 a marine biologist named Harold Loesch did a study of the Jubilee phenomenon. This study is recorded in the journal Ecology. Loesch lists five observations that he reported as having a strong concurrence among witnesses of several jubilees:
1. Jubilees occur only in summer.
2. They usually occur in early morning hours, i.e., before sunrise.
3. The wind on the day previous and during the jubilee is from some easterly direction. If wind direction changes, the jubilee will cease.
4. There is a rising tide during a jubilee; a change to falling will stop the jubilee.
5. There are 2 water masses meeting, with the saltier water invading during a jubilee.
The point I wish to make is that occasionally rare phenomenon occur in nature when conditions are right. The same is true in the spiritual realm. When conditions are right we will witness a God event. I was there when the 12 inch snow storm hit Tuscaloosa. One of these days I want to witness a Jubilee, when it visits the eastern shore. Even more significantly, I want to be present when God sends a God event.
Today, I want you to look with me at a God event that occurred during Biblical days. This event is recorded in Acts 1 & 2. In Acts 1 conditions were right for a God event to occur. In Acts 1:15 we are told there were 120 disciples of Jesus. In Acts 2:41 we are told there were 3,000 disciples added in one day. Would you not agree that this was a God event? It is the yearning of my heart to be part of a God event. I want to see God show up and show out in a special God event. We have been praying for a “break through” here at Faith. That break through would be a God event. When this occurred in Acts, in the city of Jerusalem, conditions were right. Conditions had to be right when the tsunami hit. Conditions had to be right when the snow hit Tuscaloosa. Conditions must be right when a Jubilee visits the eastern shore.
I want to take a closer look at the scripture in Acts 1 to discover the conditions that contributed to this God event. In doing this lets take caution in a word of wisdom. We must be careful of name it claim it theology. Name it claim it theology implies that if I do certain things, God will do certain things. Sometimes we are guilty of trying to put God into a box. We preach our sermons, study our lessons, and read books subconsciously thinking we can predict what God will do. God does not work that way. The things that occurred in Acts 1 were never to be repeated again. We can grow and learn from these conditions but we cannot put God into a box. Therefore, as we examine these conditions lets keep this principle in mind.
Lets jump into the text.
Look at verse 4. The first condition I see is that Jesus was at work in the middle of the God event. These young disciples were confused, disoriented, and lacking direction. Jesus showed up in the midst of them. They were a broken group of people. I once heard someone say “The world throws broken things away. God never uses us until we are broken.” Jesus showed up and took this group of broken followers and shaped them into a band that shook the world.
These disciples had no answers. Look at verses 6 and 9-11. They were asking the wrong questions. In verse 6 they asked if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. They thought He came to set up a Jewish kingdom. They did not understand that He came to set up a spiritual and Heavenly kingdom. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, as recorded in verses 9-11, the disciples stood there bewildered and confused. When they were broken Jesus showed up. That is still true today. When we are broken Jesus shows up.
Are you broken? Are you filled with doubts? Are you confused? Are you looking for answers? I have discovered that at those moments when things look darkest is when Jesus shows up. There is a story recorded in John 20 about a failed fishing trip by Jesus disciples. They had fished all night and came home empty. They were tired, discouraged, and had no fish. Jesus was standing on the shore as they came home. He asked them if they had any fish. They answered in the negative. Jesus instructed them to go back and throw their nets again. They obeyed and found their nets bulging with fish. Life is often like that. Our nets are empty. We are short on answers and long on discouragement. However, Jesus is still there.