Summary: Looking at community in the church and what the church would look like if we got serious with our relationship withGod
The Church AFTER a year of Prayer..what would it look like
I AM SICK AND TIRED… sick and tired of just coming to church. Sick and tired of every Sunday being the same. Sick and tired of people coming to church to be entertained (and I include myself in that group). Sick and tired of Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith bickering with one another. How about you??? Are you sick and tired? Are you expecting more out of coming to church. Are you expecting to leave here today changed? Are you expecting to be lifted up in your spirit, not pulled down.
The church is meant to be a place of refreshing. A place of healing. A Place of restoration and a place where fellowship exists. Fellowship of mankind with one another AND more importantly, fellowship of mankind to God.
I have been encouraged these past few weeks. We have really sensed the presence of God in this place. And I feel in my spirit that this is just the beginning. It is like dipping our toes in the water. We have experienced spiritual toe dipping, but God is about to do something bigger than that in this place. ARE YOU READY FOR IT?
BUT God needs to do something to US first before we can truly experience the Bigger things yet to come. God needs us to change our lifestyle. God needs us to change our habitual patterns. Last week I very briefly touched on “What the church would look like after a year of worship together”. What I mentioned was that worship is not singing but it is the act of giving Worthship to God . Worship together also means putting aside our differences and coming together as the bible commands us to meet with one another. The reason for that is so that we can build one another up in the Lord.
The patterns or habits we need to break to see breakthrough (and these habit are broken by the Holy Spirit working in our lives) are the following.
1. We neglect meeting together for Worthship to God and learning, and neglect giving God Worthship in our private lives
2. We neglect praying both together and praying alone.
3. We neglect giving .. and that I will get into more next week as I preach “What would the church look like after a year of giving together
4. We neglect BEING Christ to a lost and dying world
So Now today lets look at.. what would the church look like after a year of prayer together?
Acts 2:42 -47 (NKJV)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Here we see a church with His mission on their minds. We may ask.. why do I need to pray.. Why do I need to pray with other people.. The simple answer is , that God instructs us to pray and that Jesus also says that when we pray together God answers prayer.
The Praying church is a church that is
a. V 47. The Lord added to their number daily
2. Experiencing Signs and Wonders
a. You may wonder why we do not see the signs that our forefathers and foremothers saw… I believe the simple answers are that we don’t see them because
1. We don’t expect God to do anything (No Expectation)
2. We don’t come with hearts prepared (No Preparation)
a. They Broke bread together.. It meant more than a simple pot luck or going out to a restaurant with church members…. It was INVESTING in their lives… When Brother A asked for prayer, it was not a stranger asking for prayer.. it was FAMILY
a. They did not skip opportunities to Learn together… to hear about what Jesus had done from the mouths of the Apostles.. They craved it.. A praying church.. is in tune with the Father and wants to know more about Him .. about His Son and about His Spirit… they were constantly learning
5. Sacrificed for one another
a. They sold their possessions if someone had a need. Jesus mentioned it to when he said if your brother needs a coat, give it to him.. A praying church is aware of the social needs in the church and in their neighbourhoods.