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Summary: Acts Series: 5th sermon--PAYING THE PRICE OF UNITY.

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The Price of Pentecost, pt. 2

Acts 1:12-14

Then, to sum of vv. 15-26, it tells how they chose Matthias to replace the fallen disciple, Judas Iscariot.

The early church had none of the things we seem to think are so essential for success today:

Bldg./money/staff/internet/faxes/reputation/programs…so why were they so successful? Because they had the 1 thing most churches today do not have: the power of God on their ministry.

The glory days are in the past, because the glory of God is departed (not His presence, but His power [glory])

I want this to be a place that’s more than just another church, but where people get the help they need, where lives are truly touched and changed!

Joke—enlisted man in military/felt sick/wife said to go to military hospital on base/found 2 doors, one for emergency, other for non-emergency/went for non/long hallway/door for “sick”, another for “injured”/ “very sick” or “moderately sick”/officer or enlisted/went thru enlisted, found himself back in the parking lot!

Went home/wife asked if he went to hospital/sure did/get help?/no, but boy are they organized!

I see us becoming a well-oiled machine, and there’s nothing wrong w/ that, but there’s so much more that the masses are looking for…the real thing!

(We can have greeters in place, music just right, temperature just right {not often}, but w/out power of God it doesn’t matter a bit!)

We’re talking about paying the price to be the kind of church God wants us to be. Good churches don’t just happen by accident…somebody has to be willing to pay the price.

Acts 1 shows us 4 principles which will lead to the kind of soul-saving, community-changing power of Acts 2:

We talked about obedience last time, and will continue today w/ the next one…but let me give you all 4 so you can be thinking about them:

1. Obedience—waited in Jerusalem (that place [Exodus])

2. Unity—v. 14—one accord…as we have learned here, God doesn’t bless fussing and fighting…a house divided cannot stand. (some seem to want a problem, pull us down off our high horse, be disagreeable or have power struggles, but we will protect unity even if it means they cannot stay.)

Our motto may have changed, but our attitude has not!

3. Prayer—v. 14—they prayed for 10 days, preached for 10 minutes, and 3k got saved (today we want the opposite!) Last week most didn’t fast, prayed for 10 minutes, then had Bruce preach for 10 days, and wondered why no on was saved!

4. Godly leadership—choosing Matthias…applies to our leadership, pastoral, deacons, teachers, etc.

We can’t get everyone on board and shouldn’t expect to, but if ever we get all our leaders right, on board, in unity, and recognizing we have a problem and that the glory of God is departed, there’s just no limit to what God can do…He’ll allow us to move from ch. 1 to ch. 2!

We used the illustration of a spiritual ATM:

Obedience in…

Attendance/Tithing/Ministry

Obedience was the first of the 4 areas listed in ch. 1 in order to get the blessings of ch. 2

Let’s move on to

2. Unity

v. 14—one accord

2:1—one accord

2:46—one accord

4:24—one accord

5:12—one accord

Obviously, there was a wonderful unity among these early believers…they had the same goals/vision/purpose/mind

They sensed that they were on the threshold of something big and great…it was about to happen, and it would change their world forever…and so they agreed this was no time for arguing/petty squabbles/hurt feelings/power struggles.

Each was living for something bigger than themselves! That’s the kind of church God blesses.

Some may think it was easier for them than for us…wrong! They were just like us, and I could show you scriptures which show these same people not always getting along…during this 10 day prayer mtg. there was probably a good bit of apologizing which had to be done!

Ill.—Martha going to Mary to apologize for being critical of her worship while she was working in the kitchen/and Mary admits she never helped out as much as she should have at home/they hug and make up and are now in one accord (unity)

James and John approach other disciples and apologize for sending their mom to try to make them get preferencial treatment…they realized it was arrogant, prideful, egotistical…ask for forgiveness, got it, and now they’re in unity!

Maybe Thomas stood up to confess his unbelief, and for calling them liars…and the wall that had separated them ever since came tumbling down and they’re in unity!

God loves to bless churches like that…where members are quick to forgive/allow for human weakness and frailty/put what’s best for the church ahead of own personal feelings/filled w/ peacemakers instead of troublemakers.

Prov. 6 lists God’s hate list:

Proud look/lying tongue/hands that shed innocent blood/heart that devises wicked imaginations/feet swift in running to mischief/false witness speaking lies/…and he that soweth discord among the brethren.

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