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Summary: Learning how to be the church in today's world through learning from the book of Acts.

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[2] How many of you have ever heard of the cooking method called shake ‘n bake?

[Shake ‘n bake demonstration.]

Ever feel like that piece of pork? Let me rephrase that… Ever feel like that piece of meat? Wait a minute… Ever feel like your trapped in a situation that’s shaking your life all around? (And coating you with bread crumbs.)

Sometimes we find our self in the midst of a situation that’s shaking up our lives and we just don’t know what to do about it.

Difficult things happen to good, God-fearing people and our lives get shaken up. But we need to understand that God has a purpose for it all and that He will help us through even the worst possible situation. You see, God wants to turn our trials into triumphs.

That’s what He did for the early church that we’ve been studying about in the book of Acts. Turn with me to Acts 4 where we see Peter, John, and the entire church, shaken up.

Let’s remember what’s led up to this point. Peter and John are going into the Temple to worship. A lame beggar asks them for some money. Instead of giving him some, they spoke healing into the man’s legs. Then the three of them go into the Temple together praising God for the miracle. A crowd gathers, Peter preaches and God works amongst the people. But the religious rulers didn’t like Peter’s message about Jesus so they threw him, John and the beggar into jail. The next day the three men stood trial. And Peter, as bold as ever, told them that it was because of Jesus Christ that the miracle happened.

The shake ‘n bake process was in full swing by this time. [3] Basically, the religious rulers wanted to get the disciples to deny their faith in Jesus as the Christ. They wanted this movement to stop, so they were shaking Peter and John with imprisonment and threats of future punishment. Let’s pick up the story in verse 4:13.

[Read Acts 4:13-16.]

Even these ungodly men realized that Peter and John had done nothing wrong and that a bonified miracle had taken place. But they still wanted them silenced.

[Read Acts 4:17-22.]

Again, they found nothing wrong with their actions. They just didn’t like the message that went along with their actions. So they ordered them to not speak of Jesus or else!

Now telling Peter to stop talking about Jesus is like telling a Mockingbird to stop singing. It just aint gonna happen!

So Peter even tells them that it’s better for them to obey God rather than man in this situation. Now Peter isn’t trying to justify anarchy on the basis of religious beliefs. But when the government is forcing you to sin, then it’s best to follow God instead of man. His government was trying to force him to stop talking about Jesus which went against God’s explicit teachings about reaching the world with the gospel.

Think about this, Peter and John’s main purpose for living was to tell others about Jesus, and right off the bat that purpose was challenged by the highest authority in the land. But this was something that God allowed to happen to them.

You and I are going to find ourselves in the midst of trials sooner or later in our lives. (Maybe even as we speak.) And those trials are going to try and get us to doubt our faith, doubt God, and even deny Jesus the ability to work in our lives.

Maybe that shaking in our lives comes from friends or family or coworkers or classmates who belittle our faith. That constant ridicule or obvious exclusions can really shake up our lives.

Maybe we find ourselves facing a terrible illness that gives us little hope for the future. Our entire life can get shaken up with the results of a simple medical test.

Or maybe we look at our own government and we find ourselves worried about the direction it’s going. We don’t feel as safe as we once did.

Trials will come. We will be shaken. But in all reality, God’s allowing those things to come into our lives so we can grow and thrive and even triumph. You see when that shaking comes into our lives, we need to put it into the baking process. [4] The baking process of prayer. Humble, obedient, biblical prayer.

That’s what the early church did when their world was shaken up.

[Read Acts 4:23-30.]

What an incredible humble, obedient, biblical prayer uttered by these thousands of baby Christians. Remember, some 5,000 people had gotten saved in just a matter of days. And the disciples had only walked with Jesus for three years before that. These weren’t mature Christians who knew the Bible backwards and forwards. These weren’t theologians or trained ministers. These were simply humble, obedient followers of Jesus Christ.

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