Sermons

Summary: Believers need to learn to expect the unexpected and inexplicable from God, but we won’t experience such until we are sold on God’s one agenda and striving with one accord.

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The shadow of your smile

When you are gone

Will color all my dreams

And light the dawn…

The year was 1965. The movie was The Sandpiper. The stars were Elizabeth Taylor as the seductress and the late Richard Burton as the Episcopal priest she seduced. The sentiment in the song is that our experiences remain with us in shadow form, but add beauty and brightness where once we knew only the chilling contrast of black and white. The song won an academy award for Best Song and sold in record numbers as recorded by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand.

But the song is a lie. Sin does not add bright colors to our lives and change the harsh contrasts of reality into a multicolored dawn. Yet, there is an interesting passage in the Bible about a shadow. In this case, the shadow is treated as it really is, the result of a body intersecting the light source. Let’s read about it. (Read Acts 5:12-16).

In verse 15, we have an interesting emphasis on Peter’s shadow, but in verse 12, we are told that signs and wonders were performed by means of the hands of all of the apostles. Now, even though the word for signs that is used in the Greek is the one from which we get the English word “semiotics,” the idea of meaning, the Greek word used for wonders conveys the idea of something that seems amazing or impossible. It was used for the acts of jugglers and illusionists with an emphasis on the “strange” or “marvelous,” but sometimes merely in the sense of something beyond easy explanation.

So, when we hear of “signs and wonders” performed at the hands of the apostles, we know that these were not easily explicable or ignored phenomena. These were experiences that provided evidence beyond the normal pale of human experience. They were experiences and demonstrations that validated the preaching of these same apostles—preaching that pointed directly toward Jesus, the crucified and risen Savior.

As a result, this verse reminds me of the late Manley Beasley’s teaching on faith. He once wrote in his Faith Workbook, “When you become explainable, you cease to be Christian.” In other words, there ought to be inexplicable things happening about us when God is dwelling within us.

We also see a familiar description that we’ve seen before in this account of the early church that we know as the Book of Acts. They were in “one accord” (KJV), they had the same desires, objectives, and agenda—even as they met regularly at Solomon’s Portico. This word, with its root idea of the same desires, is used 10 times in the Book of Acts. Most of the time it is about God’s people being united in what God wanted them to do, but sometimes, it is about the enemies of God being united in what they wanted to do to God’s people. Regardless, it reminds us of the power of unity.

In a very real sense, the church is like a broom. Would you like to sweep the floor with one straw from a broom? Of course not! But when many straws are bound together and attached to a handle, they have the power to move a lot of dirt. Like the straws, we really aren’t very useful to God by ourselves, but when we are bound into unity with God and each other through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become effective as He wields the handle where He wills it. That’s being of ONE ACCORD!


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