Summary: Today we look at the last part of this verse, the last thing mentioned that they continued steadfastly in. Let’s read it one more time! "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
Part 4 Supplication
So last week we celebrated Resurrection Sunday. We deviated from the mini series that we have been in to celebrate a risen Savior! Last week we put the resurrection on trial, and I hope with the evidence presented that you are in agreement with the scriptures that Jesus did physically rise from the dead and lives forever! Amen?! Well, now it’s time to return to and complete our series on the healthy church. We have found the foundation for what we see as a healthy church described for us in the latter part of Acts chapter 2 . We have read and understand that this early church was a healthy church by what was happening in the church. God’s presence was felt and seen in miracles. It was a unified church, not bickering among themselves but of one mind, spirit and purpose. It was a church that praised God, with good reason, they were seeing His hand of blessing upon them!. But, the most telling sign was in the final verse that said that the Lord was adding daily to the church those who needing saving! We saw somethings that the early church was doing that possibly was the reason God was blessing the church. Those things are in verse 42; "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
We have talked about what continuing steadfastly means, to be fixed on, with great desire, pursuing, like radar! We talked about the apostles doctrine, the Word of God, the teaching about and from Jesus and how the early church greatly desired to learn and do these things. We also talked about continuing in fellowship, and it didn’t have any thing to do with food! It had to do with community a common purpose. It had to do with something Jesus taught His disciples about, caring for and sharing with one another. The early church took care of one another, they were like a family not just a bunch of people gatting together to watch an event. They were part of it! Two weeks ago we celebrated Palm Sunday, and read about the triumphal entry. For one day Jerusalem rscognized their King, their Messiah! Itwas all about Jesus! We also considered the next part of verse 42 "they continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread!" The breaking of bread is about one thing, Jesus! He say’s twice "this do ye in remembrance of me!" The people of Jerusalem within less than a week had forgotten who Jesus was. The early church continued in breaking bread to remember! Today we look at the last part of this verse, the last thing mentioned that they continued steadfastly in. Let’s read it one more time! "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
A tale is told about a small town that had historically been "dry," but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It just so happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible. The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that "no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the Christians do not."
I believe that to be all too true in the church today. We talk about prayer a lot. We have congregational prayer every Wednesday and twice on Sunday. But just like when we talked about Study, there are more than two days in the week. To continue steadfastly means just that. The apostle Paul wrote "Pray with out ceasing" This morning we will consider Prayer as this final key as to why God blessed the early church.
1. Prayer is a Privelege!
Think for just a moment what prayer involves. It involves little ol’ me and a conversation with GOD! The creator of the uniiverse! The one who made me, knows me better than I know myself, the one that holds everything together. I don’t know about you but the president has returned any of my calls, but I can go to the one who made the president and truely calls the shots, whenever and wherever I feel the need! I don’t ever get a busy signal, never hjave been put on hold or gotten an answering machine, He is there whenever and wherever I need Him! Prayer is not a right that we have earned, but a privelege given to the Kings kids!