Summary: This sermon examines some of the conditions that open the way to a God event.
Last week we examined some conditions that open the way to a God event. Throughout history we have heard and read accounts of significant God events.
- It was a God event when Moses led the Israelite people out of Egypt.
- It was a God event when Moses was used of God to part the waters of the Red Sea.
- It was a God event when David defeated Goliath.
- It was a God event when Daniel survived the night in the lion’s den.
- It was a God event when Jesus rose from the grave.
- It is a God event when God answers your prayers and meets your need.
Last week we used, as a text, Acts 1:15 and 2:41. The number of disciples multiplied from 120 to 3,000 almost over night. This was a significant move of God. I pointed out the first two conditions last week. First, the disciples were involved with Jesus. Jesus mediated for them. Second, the disciples waited on God. They trusted Him to lead them.
The third condition I see present is that the disciples were serious about prayer. I want to draw your attention to three aspects of their prayer.
1. There was oneness. When you join a local body, called the church, you are to become one with that group. I realize the word church refers to the universal church that is made up of all believes of all religious groups who follow Jesus Christ. However, the way you live your faith is with a local body of believers. We are to be one. We laugh together. We cry together. We serve together. We hurt together. As you study Acts 1 & 2 you see the concept of oneness permeating the chapters. Notice 1:14 “these all continued with one accord.” Notice 2:1 “they were all with one accord in one place.” Notice 2:44 “all who believed were together, and had all things in common.”
Illustration: The church is called the body of Christ. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if the members of our physical bodies behaved like the members of the spiritual body sometimes do? HEART - "You know, I’m just stuck in a rut. For the last 45 years all I do is beat and beat. Lub, dub... lub, dub... lub, dub... I’m tired of it. It’s time for someone else to step up and do this job. Okay, feet, it’s up to you. You pump the blood. LUNGS: We are so under-appreciated around here. I don’t think the other organs realize that they couldn’t do their jobs without us. If we quit doing our job for a few minutes, everyone will finally see how valuable we are to this place. The brain thinks he’s big stuff. Humph! Let him do without some oxygen for a while and we’ll see how important he is! LIVER: "Why do I get all the dirty work? You think it’s fun making bile? I’ve been in this body for 45 years now and do you think anyone has ever asked me to make any decisions, pump any blood, or perform any functions that are noticeable outside the body? Sometimes I wonder why I bother." APPENDIX - "Ha! Just watch the rest of those organs work. Day after day, hour after hour, they work themselves to death. I’m just along for the ride. Why contribute when I can sit here and get the same nutrients and oxygen that they get? Why get involved?"
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Greg Warren)
2. There was perseverance. The second aspect of their prayer was perseverance. The Bible says they continued in prayer. This refers to steadfastness and endurance.
I have asked you to join me every night at 9:13 in an act of prayer. We started this on 9-13 and are praying for a breakthrough: in reaching people, in selling a portion of our land to meet financial obligations, in seeking a children’s minister, and in renewed energy among the church family. We are asking you to persevere in prayer with us. These disciples persevered. In 1:14 we are told they “continued” in prayer. In 2:42 were are told they “continued steadfastly.” The Bible is very specific in its instructions to persevere. In I Cor. 15:58 it tells us “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” These early believers faced trials, persecution, and hardship but they remained steadfast.
Charles Allen once wrote a poem that expresses the need to persevere.
I’ve dreamed many dreams that never came true,
I’ve seen them vanish at dawn;
But I’ve realized enough of my dreams, thank God,
To make me want to dream on.
I’ve prayed many prayers when no answer came,
I’ve waited patient and long;
But answers have come to enough of my prayers