Summary: What should we do and to whom should we go when we are troubled and have more problems than we can handle? We need a place to go home to, and the CELL CHURCH is that place.
WE NEED TO TALK
What should we do and to whom should we go when we are troubled and have more problems than we can handle? We need a place to go home to, and the CELL CHURCH is that place. Being a member of a local church is a great privilege and responsibility
I. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT OUR PROBLEMS
1. Recognize the Need for Each Other
“They went back to their own” and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. That is what fellowship is all about. In the face of trouble, they sought the support and friendship of each other to help them through a difficult time. They got together, talked about it, prayed about it, and supported each other.
2. Recognize the Opportunities in Problems
In the midst of hardship—the Church went to prayer. They did not focus on their problems, but on God’s power!
"Sometimes the Outlook seems Bad, but its the UpLook that Counts."
Philip Brooks: "Don’t pray for an easy life, pray for God to make you stronger! Don’t pray for tasks equal to your power, but for power equal to your tasks!"
3. Prayer as Recognition of God (Acts 4:24-28)
God was their Master. They called Him, “Lord,” they called themselves “Your servants” (Acts 4:24). They recognized Him. “Lord, you are God.”
“Lord” (:24) - describes a slave owner or ruler whose authority cannot be questioned. God wants that kind of unquestioning obedience from us. He wants us to do His will without question. A willing vessel needs to be an obedient vessel. These two things are essential to serving God – complete devotion to Him, and unconditional obedience to His commands.
II. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT OUR NEEDS
Acts 4:34-35, There were no needy persons among them.
They not only loved God—but they expressed His love by loving and looking out for one another!!! They made sure that there were no needy persons among them. That’s what caring churches do. They look for needs that they can meet. And then they meet them! James 2:15-17
“For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land and houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales, and lay them at the apostle’s feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need.” This was not something that’s forced or required. Rather they sacrificially gave because of love for one another. They saw a need, and those that had the means took care of it, no matter what they had to give up. … this was purely voluntary.
Protestant Work Ethics: where everyone goes out and works hard to earn whatever they can and then voluntarily share with those in need. When you have earned more than you need, you voluntarily help those who are in need.
Great churches are made up of great individuals.
Luke draws out a specific person, extremely helpful, extremely generous, nicknamed Barnabas, Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36-37)
Sadly, though, every fellowship has had its Ananiases and Sapphiras who contradict the very nature of Christianity (Acts 5:1-11)
There are a lot of people out there who will take advantage of you if you let them. God wants us to use our heads. And be wise about which needs are genuine. And which needs are phony. That’s being a good steward of what God has given you!
III. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT OUR COMMITMENT
“ the multitude (or all the believers) were of ONE heart and ONE soul…” Many different people from different backgrounds, different personalities, different colors, different likes and dislikes and different situations - now united as one Body and living in one accord.
THEY CELL ! They were Committed to their Cell Companions.
"Being let go, they went to their own company." (Acts 4:23) The word company was a part of the larger group. This church broke up into small groups, so they could be more intimate in prayer and in relationship.
"The multitude of them that believed were of one heart." (Acts 4:32) The word multitude is singular. This refers to the entire church, which by this time had over 25-35,000 believers.
"Believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and of women." (Acts 5:14) The Greek work here for multitude is plural, meaning more than one small group of people.
THEY CELL ! There is Strength in Fellowship
They unified themselves with prayer, praise and mutual service. There is a synergistic result that multiplies each person’s contributions. God’s power through His church is greater than the sum of His power in our lives individually.
THEY CELL ! They were Committed in Giving
These people were so committed to one another that they made great sacrifices for the sake of the church. When we are giving, we really feel like the church is ours; we’re a meaningful part of the Body of Christ. It unites us with others in the church because we are truly committed to the church and its purpose. When we are giving all the money we can, we unite ourselves. When we are giving our energies to the church outside Sunday morning, we unite ourselves with the church. Sacrificial Giving will give us the capability of doing greater things. When people give sacrificially to God—great things happen!