Summary: The early church sold their lands to help the poor and needy amongst them. Were they setting the pattern for a communist commune? Were they socialists? Or was there something more basic going on here?
OPEN: The past two weeks we’ve been talking about iPods. Ever since Apple Computers began marketing these miniature music machines in 2001 they’ve been a popular item with both adults and kids alike.
iPods have been marketed in various shapes and sizes and colors, and there are all kinds of different accessories have been developed to make them even more desirable. Different styles of earbuds (ear phones) cradles for them to set in so that you can play your music through hi-fidelity speakers. I’ve even seen a flotation device that holds your iPod and external speakers so that you can listen to your favorite music in the pool.
But the ultimate in iPod extras has got to be something called the iDiamond. Designed by Heyerdahl Jewelers out of Norway:
• The case is made of 18 karat white and pink gold and is embedded with 312 diamonds.
• The earbuds (also made of 18 karate white & pink gold) has 118 diamonds.
• Estimated cost of this item - $45,000.
• Now if you just wanted the earbuds… you could get them for a mere $6500.
Now you might ask – who would buy such a thing?
(wait for them to ask)
I don’t know. I haven’t a clue.
But somebody will! This is a one-of-a-kind accessory, and somebody with a lot of money will want it!
Now as I was thinking about that it occurred to me that that’s the way it is with many things in our lives. I don’t want this I-Diamond toy… so it wouldn’t matter how much it costs – I wouldn’t buy it. BUT if there’s something I DO want… I’ll find a way to get the money to purchase it.
• If I need a new car – I’ll find the money somehow.
• Need to buy a house – I’ll find the money.
• Want to go on a cruise or a trip badly enough – I’ll find a way to get it done.
It just depends on how badly I want that SOMETHING
If you want something badly enough… you’ll find a way to get it.
That’s the way we try to operate at the church.
The leadership prays and talks about which way they think God wants us to go as a congregation. And if we think God wants something done… that’s what we want to do. For example, we strongly believe God wants our church to grow, so we’ve done everything we can think of to make that happen. That’s why we have a part-time youth minister, children’s minister, and young adults’ minister.
We believe God will want us to have more space to minister to those extra people, so we’re committed to building an addition onto the building. And we want this to be a reality so badly, we’ll find a way to get it done.
Let me repeat… if you want something badly enough – you’ll find a way to get it.
APPLY: Now, that brings me to today’s text. The setting is this:
It’s only a couple of weeks since the church got started at Pentecost and already they’re in trouble. Peter and John went down to the Temple at the time of prayer. At the Temple gate, they found a man who had been lame since birth (he’s now 40 or so) and when the man asks for alms, Peter replies “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!” Then he takes the man by the hand the lame beggar springs to feet totally healed.
The healed man is understandably excited and begins shouted and jumping around… and he literally clings to Peter and John all the while. This in turn draws the attention of those gathered to pray at the Temple, and a large crowd gathers. Peter, never one to pass up a chance to speak, begins to preach, and the result is that the church grows by nearly 2000 men that day.
All this commotion and preaching gets the attention of the Priests and the Sadducees - who promptly have them arrested.
The next day they’re brought before the Sanhedrin. They’re questioned, threatened, and commanded not to preach about Jesus anymore. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.” Acts 4:19
Then they go back to the church and they have an old-time prayer meeting.
They tell the congregation what the Sanhedrin has commanded, and then they began to pray.
I don’t know how long they prayed.
And I’m not sure we know everything that they prayed when they did pray.
BUT I do know, that when they got done Acts 4:31 tells us “…the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”