Summary: A life that makes an impact for Jesus is a life that is connected to other believers
September 8 Connect Acts 4:32-35
1. A common purpose. v.32
2. A common story v.33
Grace (charis): the favor of God
3. And uncommon act. vv.34-35
Opening illustration, Band of Brothers It’s amazing what humans will do, what they will face, what they will endure, what they will sacrifice for the sake of protecting a group that they identify with. And why is that? Human beings were created to be in community with one another and few things on this earth are as precious.
Turn with me to Acts 4:32-35 This morning we continue our series entitled Impakt (series logo). It’s a series about the impact Jesus has made and is making on the world. It’s a series about the impact that we can and should be making in the name of Jesus.
In the book of Acts there are at least five initiatives, five actions we need to take if we’re going to make and impact for Jesus.
It all begins with the command to Follow. Jesus keeps calling people to follow Him. He called Peter and he left the nets. He called Matthew and he left the tax table. And Jesus calls us today to follow him. Are you a fan or a follower? A fan of Jesus is someone who follows only when it is convenient, only when it is comfortable, only when it doesn’t cost that much. Jesus doesn’t want fans—He wants followers. “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 True followers are captivated by the call and empowered by Spirit of the Living God.
Our impact gains momentum when we Influence those where we live, work, & play. You have an incredible influence for Jesus if you’ll only use it. Take out your phones. Go ahead. Pull up your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram app. Now take my picture…& post it. Go ahead. Serious. Say something like, worshipping today at Rush Creek. I’ll do it…. Remember how many friends the average fb user has? 190. You’re above average, I know. 1000 people here x 190 is 190,000 influences.
What if you saw everyone in your day as a person to influence for Jesus? Amazing.
This morning we will see that our impact is strengthened and protected when we Connect . There are different types of community. People connect according to any number of reasons: common car (Corvettes pic) common hair style (punk rockers pic), common taste in clothing (wifebeaters pic), and common ?? (funny pic). But there is a kind of community, connection that far exceeds all others. A connection that is deep, satisfying, enriching, and life-changing.
REAd Acts 4:32-35 (on screen)
Here is my premise for the morning: We cannot be the Christ-follower Jesus wants us to be unless we are connected to a small group of believers on a regular basis.
Why would I say that? Because biblical community is all the way through the Bible beginning with the Triune God who in Genesis said, “Let US make God in our image.” The theme continues through the Old and New Testament and never is it more prominent than in the book of Acts. This band of brothers and sisters became connected at the deepest levels, and that connection propelled them to change the world.
Biblical community is marked by three distinct characteristics:
1. A common purpose. v.32 “Now the large group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.”
What stands out to you in this verse? That everyone considered their possessions belonged to the group, not so much to the individual. That’s crazy talk. We work hard for what we have, right? Our 21st century American culture espouses, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.” We are so materialistic we miss what I think is the biggest miracle here. Not that they held all things in common, but that they were of one heart and one mind.
Their willingness to hold all their possessions in common came OUT of their unity of heart and mind. Their hearts were united. The minds were united. It’s incredible what happens when believers share a common purpose.
What was their common purpose? This goes back to what we talked about the 1st Sunday. These people had listened to resurrected Christ teach and speak and laugh for 40 days after the resurrection. Then they all want out to the Mount of Olives and their last glimpse of Him was while these words were still ringing in their ears: “You will receive power when the holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8