Summary: Our purpose as a church is to win souls to Christ, connect them to the body of Christ, train disciples, and send leaders to every nation of the world.
Whole Lot of Shaking Going On!
Acts 4:31 NKJV
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
I. “When they had prayed, the place was shaken” Acts 4:31 NKJV
A. Our purpose as a church is to win souls to Christ, connect them to the body of Christ, train disciples, and send leaders to every nation of the world.
1. We accomplish this mission through prayer, small group ministry, and missions outreach. This lesson will deal with prayer.
2. Prayer is the basis of all ministry and the method through which we shake the spiritual world to its foundation.
3. The early church prayed so powerfully that the actual floor of the building began to move and shake back and forth.
We should not have considered ourselves to have really prayed until something is “shaken”.
Acts 16:25–26 NLT Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
B. We must make spiritual preparation for a move of God.
1. We need to prepare ourselves spiritually in three main areas: prayer, fasting, and Bible reading (actually hearing God’s word to us).
2. These disciplines should be part of the life of every Christian. They provide the spiritual strength and nourishment that we need to grow in Christ and see His power manifested.
II. We need to pray down a shaking!
Hebrews 12:26–28 NLT When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.
A. We need a shaking in our relationships.
Hebrews 13:1–3 NLT Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.
1. The name of the city Philadelphia means “a love of the brethren.” God wants to shake our brotherly love for each other so that it is hot, real, and current.
Relationships can grow so old and stale that we no longer have feelings of love toward one another in the body of Christ.
2. We need to pray for God to shake our relationships, like wind shakes the dead leaves off a tree. The devil seeks to divide, distract, and destroy our Christian relationships through gossip, backbiting, murmuring, jealousy, competition, envy, and strife.
The book of Ezekiel speaks of a valley of bones that began to shake and then came together.
3. A real love of the brethren is demonstrated when we show hospitality to others in the body of Christ.
Sometimes we get so stiff and cold in our love toward others that we don’t want to have anyone else from the church in our homes. We fear that they might mess up something.
4. However, we must come into identification with the body of Christ everywhere in the world, even with those who are in jail for preaching the Gospel or those who are suffering adversity.
B. We need a shaking in our marriages. Hebrews 13:4 NLT
1. Our marriages can also become lacking in luster. Little temptations and flirtations with the opposite sex may seem harmless, but they are indicators of a need to return to our first love with our spouses.
2. God is going to judge adultery and immorality. Engaging in that kind of behavior is not “cute” and cannot be excused as just “having a friend.” We must pray for God to shake our marriage relationships and give us a fresh, passionate love and respect for our spouses.
C. We need a shaking in our finances Hebrews 13:5–6.
1. The love of money can easily creep into our lives, and then we become so complacent that we don’t even realize our need for God to provide for us anymore.
2. The population of America is caught up in buying things bigger, better, or faster, instead of using money to advance the kingdom of God.
3. Whether we are prosperous or not, our motto should be, “The Lord is my helper” (v.6). Prayer in our lives will keep us “shaken down” to the realization that money is simply a tool to spread the Gospel.