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Summary: Let’s think about what contributed to their unity of heart and mind. 1- They were unselfish 2- They were witnesses 3- They were gracious

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INTRO.- ILL.- Rotterdam, New York—A young bride who got into an argument with her husband of a few hours ran him down with a car and killed him on the way home from the wedding reception, authorities said.

The county district attorney said 21-year-old Joan Kenison drove over her 23-year-old husband, Lewis, after the couple argued on their way from the cocktail lounge where the reception was held.

Wow! I don’t know when that happened but that was one mean bride! That’s taking conflict and fighting way too far. However, conflict, fighting, arguing, bickering, backbiting, etc. are pretty evident in almost every sphere of society. It happens in marriage, work, school, politics, and sometimes even the church!

ILL.- A congregation of the Church of God in Christ in Wichita, Kansas, has asked a court to stop four of the members from disrupting services. Bishop Graze Kinard says the four have run through the sanctuary moaning and shouting while they tried to conduct services. He alleged that they shut the pastor’s Bible while he was preaching, took away the pastor’s microphone and hit him over the head, and pinned down the pianist’s arms. Police have had to step in several times, and the congregation has dwindled from 600 to fifty because of the trouble. The trouble apparently stems from a battle over control of the church, say police.

Imagine that! Somebody causing trouble in the church because they want to gain control of the church. That is generally the reason for conflict and fighting in the church. Somebody or several somebody’s want to control the church. They just have to have their way in everything!

ILL.- Someone asked, “When you have fifty people with different opinions, what do you have?” A Baptist Church.

In reality, it could be any church! It could be a Christian Church or any church. We all have our own ideas about different subjects and occasionally, we will disagree on some things.

Even though there are a variety of opinions on various subjects in the church we must stick together! THERE MUST BE UNITY! We must be united in one heart and mind!

ILL.- The rhinoceros has very poor eyesight. But its tough hide is infested with ticks—a delicacy to a certain little bird, which rides on its back, feeding on the insects and alerting the rhino to danger.

It’s strange to think how some animals can work together for a common cause when God’s highest creation, mankind, can’t work together.

Somehow we who are in Christ must learn to work together even though we are different creatures (in a sense), with different ideas.

The early church was no different than the church today in the sense that they were people with different ideas and opinions BUT THEY CAME TOGETHER IN UNITY OF HEART AND MIND.

PROP.- Let’s think about what contributed to their unity of heart and mind.

1- They were unselfish

2- They were witnesses

3- They were gracious

I. THEY WERE UNSELFISH

Acts 4:32 “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”

ILL.- One man said: After driving up and down several lanes, I finally found a parking spot at the shopping mall. I noticed another man driving very slowly in the same direction and, since he was closer, I gave him the “Are you going to park there?” look.

His responding gestures were very complicated—First he shook his head. Next he pointed at me, then at the parking space and then at himself, his watch and the mall. Finishing off, he frowned, raised his palms upward and shrugged.

Once parked, I walked over to the driver to make sure he didn’t want the space. “You must be single,” he replied. “If you were married, you would’ve known that was the universal sign for ‘Go ahead and take the spot. I’m waiting for my wife.’”

Brothers and sisters, when it comes to finding a parking place on a busy day in the Wal-mart parking lot it’s every man and woman for themselves. Why does this happen so often? BECAUSE WE ARE A SELFISH PEOPLE! We are always looking out for ourselves before anyone else.

ILL.- Frank Sinatra used to sing, “I did it my way.”

And now, the end is here

And so I face the final curtain

My friend, I’ll say it clear

I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

I’ve lived a life that’s full

I traveled each and ev’ry highway

And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few

But then again, too few to mention

I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption

I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway

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Don Jones

commented on Jul 10, 2007

Hey now brother we Baptists are more unified than that!! Perhaps you should have said a congregation of 51 with 50 different opinions. It usually takes 2 to start something, a motion and a second in a business meeting. lol God bless you on another great message. Your brother, Don

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