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Summary: God will give you the encouragement your faith needs to grow

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I. SCRIPTURE READING

A. Acts 1:3-11

II. FORTY DAYS

A. Jesus spent 40 days with the disciples

B. Why 40 days?

C. 40 days was a common period of preparation in the Scripture

D. God often used that time period to instruct people for their future work

E. Moses was on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and nights as God prepared him to lead His people. (Ex. 24:18; 34:28)

F. Nineveh was given 40 days to prepare for God’s wrath (Jonah 3:4)

G. Jesus was tempted for 40 days by the devil before he began his ministry (Lk 4:1-2)

H. Jesus was with the apostles for 40 days

I. In those 40 days Jesus spoke about the kingdom of heaven to his disciples

III. ENCOURAGEMENT

A. Jesus had already spent three years with the disciples

B. Why would they need another 40 days?

C. Well, it seems they needed a little encouraging

D. Their faith was challenged when Jesus was arrested, persecuted and crucified

E. They thought he was going to be their new king and restore the kingdom

F. When he was killed, they didn’t know what to think

G. Luke symbolically demonstrate their damaged faith when he describes where they are when Jesus hangs on the cross

But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:49

H. These were those who knew Jesus

1. The disciples aren’t even directly mentioned

I. Even after Jesus showed himself to the disciples following his resurrection they struggled to believe

J. The disciples needed encouragement!

K. That’s why he was with them 40 days

L. They needed to be reassured of Jesus

M. They needed to be reminded of Jesus’ goals and purpose

N. They needed his presence and encouragement

IV. OUR ENCOURAGEMENT

A. Sometimes we need God’s encouragement don’t we?

B. When our faith is young God gives it to us almost daily

C. I still remember an adult leader from a youth ministry share her faith

1. She said, “God kept giving me green lights”

2. Her faith needed the encouragement that young faith requires

D. When we are young in our faith, we need God’s encouragement for a young faith

E. Just the way when we were kids and we were learning something new

1. Swimming, riding a bike

F. When we learned how to swim our parents were with us, encouraging us

1. Saying, “I know you can do it,” “I’m here,” and “good job!”

G. After we learn how to swim we don’t get that kind of encouragement anymore

H. Example using Michael Phelps

1. When he gets in the water nobody says, “I know you can make it to the other side Michael. Remember to hold your breath when you put your head under the water. It’s ok, I won’t let go of you.”

a. Those things would almost be demeaning

2. When Michael Phelps gets in the water he still needs encouragement.

3. But not the encouragement he got when he was learning how to swim

4. Now he’s encouraged to blow the competition out of the water

5. To break world records

6. To do what no one else had done before


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