Summary: This is my sermon from 2/9/14 on Acts 1:12-14 to Cornerstone Christian Church in Wichita, KS.

Di-vise-iveness - 2/9/14

Before we get started today let's take a second to retrace our steps. Please open up your Bibles to Acts Chapter 1... And follow along with me as I read Acts 1: 1-11. I'll be reading from the New Living Translation.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit
"In my first book* I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 
4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with* water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 
The Ascension of Jesus
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” 
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

Let's just make a quick little outline of what we've gone over.

• Luke wrote Acts.

 • Told them, the disciples, not to leave Jerusalem until they've received the Holy Spirit.

 • He reminds them that God alone sets the date of reconciling Israel and the world, and that they have a task at hand.

 • Jesus ascends.

 • Angels tell the gawkers to get busy.

I assure those of us who are now just paying attention that, that was not the exhaustive account of what went on, just a brief summary to bring us to our reading for today in Acts 1, verse 12 through 14.

Join me in prayer as we give this day of worship to the Lord.

Gracious Heavenly Father, we pray that as we dwell in your midst, our hearts would be cleansed of the iniquities that cloud us as we await the return of your son. Lord, be with us now and guide us in your word so that our actions would glorify you daily. Allow your words to flow over my own. In Jesus's name we pray, Amen.

I couldn't find any cool illustrations or come up with any events from my own life to start out the message for today so we'll do the best thing and just read it instead. But before we enter into the text, let's use this introductory time to establish what our goal is, or what our subject is. We're going to target "divisiveness" today, or something that divides or separates. But in our message, help me paint a picture on our wordplay today.. If you notice the slide behind me, divisiveness is spelt wrong, -- no one in here knows why -- oh, and for those of you who don't know what the thing in the circle is, it's a vise, a metal tool that holds something or somethings in place or together so work can be done on them.

If you still have your Bibles open, let's go to Acts 1, verses 12-14. Once again, I'll read out of the New Living Translation. Your translation subheading may read Matthias Replaces Judas, The Upper Room, or maybe The Upper Room Prayer, -- but for the message today, stick with The Upper Room as the subheading.

Matthias Replaces Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile.* 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. 
Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. 

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