Summary: The third message in a series on the book of Acts
Unstoppable – More Than a Gathering
Video Intro – If You Want to Change the World (6 min.)
When I saw this video I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to our text for today. I couldn’t help but think of the many spiritual parallels that might apply. For according to Acts 1:8, the moment the H.S. descended upon the disciples at Pentecost – they were called (just as we’re called) to participate in changing our world for the glory of God.
But you will receive power when the H.S. comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
I think it’s in the little things in the Christian life where we must be faithful if we’re to share in changing our world.
Example – it’s not in making our bed but in kneeling beside it when we first awake to seek intimacy w/ the Father that we can begin to change our world. For if we will not take time to meet w/ God in the small moments, what makes us think we will stand for Him in the big moments.
Likewise, when it comes to dealing w/ sharks and all things spiritual – it’s in learning how to engage our enemy we learn how to punch him in the nose to overcome/defeat him.
Likewise, it’s in never underestimating the size of our God and His call on our lives but in understanding that success is found in our dependence on God and not in our independence from God that we can change the world.
Maybe most importantly – understanding how difficult life can be, how following Jesus can be so challenging, and how the demonic is constantly seeking to kill, steal, and destroy – if we want to change our world – we can’t do it alone – we need other believers to unite w/ us to spur one another along towards love and good deeds – hence the church.
On the day of Pentecost, when all heaven broke loose – not only did the H.S. show up in a big way to the disciples and empower Peter to boldly speak the truth of the Gospel – but after 3,000+ people come to Christ – the church began.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled w/ awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together w/ glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Before we jump into the heart of the church as God intended, let me remind you of the ONE item that can’t be missed or forgotten – the church is a movement of the H.S. If you take the H.S. out of the church – then it’s no longer a church but an impotent religious gathering. From the outset – church can only occur when God’s people submit/depend on the leading of the H.S. in their lives. Thus the heart of the mission of the church is to connect believers w/ the H.S.
The early church modeled for us the essential elements necessary for the church to champion walking in the Spirit.
I Devoted to Following SCRIPTURE
apostle’s teachings – to reveal, God-inspired truth.
They were committed to knowing, applying, and living the truth. They were more than hearers – they were doers. Like newborn babies, they were hungry for truth – to know God and to know His will for their lives.
The Scripture is our true north. It is God’s primary voice to our lives. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths.
Here’s the truth about the Bible – if I don’t hide it in my heart, I will not follow God. And biblical illiteracy is rampant in the church today. And b/c we don’t know it, we don’t live it. And worse, we don’t know how to live it.
Study to show yourself approved of God… 2 Tm. 2:15
My brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, b/c human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do. Jm. 1:19f