Summary: Be bold for Jesus by embracing risk, enhancing prayer and elevating our expectations.
October 22 Unleash the Boldness (Acts 4:27-31)
While at Wheaton College in Chicago, Jim Ellot met a former missionary to the Quichua Indians of Ecuador. This is where he first heard of the remote and much-feared Waorani tribe; totally isolated from the gospel. He and a group of young men began praying that gospel would reach that tribe. And while they were praying, God put on their hearts to take their faith and boldness to the next level. So they moved down to Equador with their families (Pics) they would fly over a river where the Waorani lived and would drop out gifts. Then they would lower gifts by a rope, circling the plane in such a way that the package would be almost stationary on the ground so that some of the tribe would come out of the forest and take the gift, connecting the gift with them and the plane,
On January 2nd, 1956, they successfully landed on the sand and with a megaphone, called out phrases to the dense forest. Eventually a few of the tribe came out and both gave and received gifts.
On Sunday, January 8th, 6 days later, they left their base outside Quito, the capital of Equador intending to land and make more contact with the Waorani’s. When they didn’t respond to radio signals from their wives, trouble was suspected. A plane was sent over the area and their worst fears were confirmed. A joint force of U.S. and Equadorian army trekked in and found the bodies. (pics) The deaths of the five men—Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian—were reported world-wide and mourned in churches throughout our country.
Turn to Acts 4:27-31, page 36 in the Unleashed book. We continue our series entitled Unleashed. If you haven’t gotten your book yet, you can get it out in the commons after the service. I have heard sooo many people say that they were really encouraged by the information found in the book.
Unleashed: two year generosity initiative that will enable us to cooperate with God to push back the darkness faster and better. We’ve talked about how much darkness there is in our world. And the world doesn’t have a clue how to deal with darkness. But we do. Jesus is the Light of the world. And it’s our joy and privilege to take t hat light into the darkness both locally and globally. That’s what Unleashed is about.
Primary Goal: 100% Engagement. That means everyone who attends here a little or a lot to go on a prayer journey asking God: “Lord, what is YOUR role for me in Unleashed?”
I know that if everyone who attends here a little or a lot goes on that prayer journey, God will speak to your hearts, He will challenge you to take your surrender, your faith, and your generosity to a whole new level. And if that happens, it is going to generate a higher level of giving. We’re asking God for Secondary Goal: $22 Million over two years. Without Unleashed, we could expect you to give about $14 Million over the next two years. But $22 Million-- That will catapult us to a higher trajectory to push back the darkness faster and better. It. Will. Take. All. Of. Us.
We’re studying the very first church which is found on the pages of the book of Acts. And we’re learning from them what it means to be unleashed. Week One was about Jesus mission for us: to Unleash the gospel to the 4 corners of the world. That’s why we exist as a church; that is not just my mission, but it’s your mission if you’re a Christ-follower.
Week Two was examining how this first church bonded together for the purpose of Unleashing the light into the darkness; they were 100% engaged with each other and with God for that one purpose.
Now this morning we examine the boldness they prayed for and displayed as the Gospel progressed. Because as the weeks unfolded after Pentecost, they kept running into trouble with the religious authorities, the same ones who had crucified Jesus. And in our passage today, Peter and John had healed a guy lame from birth in the name of Jesus. A crowd gathered when this guy started walking and jumping and praising God. So Peter starts preaching to the crowd about Jesus and the resurrection.
So they got arrested. Brought before the High Priest who told them to stop preaching Jesus. You know what they said? “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20 for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
Amazing boldness! Now get this: Amazing boldness flows out of a vibrant faith. If your faith is weak and sickly, then you won’t live a bold life for Jesus. You just won’t. You’ll always opt for comfort. You’ll always opt for easy. You’ll always opt for security.