Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Expansion Continues

Summary:  Resurrection in the Gospel accounts, then: 

Acts 1:8 - ->Great Commission & Ascension (40 days after resurrection) --> Pentecost (50 days after Res.) --> growth in Jerusalem --> persecution --> first martyr - Stephen

Acts 8:1, 4 -- gospel to Samaritans, Conversion of Saul, gospel to Gentiles (Peter & Paul)

Acts 11:19-26 - the growth, movement, expansion continues.


Acts 11:19 - "scattered by persecution ... traveled ... telling"
Note:  persecution did not hinder the expansion of the church ... it promoted it!

#1.  Hard times fit well in God's toolbox.
God works through difficulties to accomplish His purposes.

Rom. 5:3                Rom. 8:28                  2 Cor. 4:16-18
Working in all these.  God is always at work!!

Acts. 11:21 - "God's hand ..... with them" - they did the work, but God was with them in that work.

#2.  Ministry is the result of our efforts coupled with God's Presence  (activity)

Col. 1:28-29    1 Pet. 4:10 (garden hose verse)
True individually (Christian)  AND  Corporately  (church)

Example:  often repeated phrase = "go ...... and I'll go with you"

Acts 11:23-24  with Acts 4:36-37 - Barnabas - his influence = huge 
                                                                         his gift?  = EnCouragement

#3.  A little encouragement goes a long way ... especially coupled with God's Presence
This tool is simple, portable, versatile, easily used, much needed
AND coupled with God's Presence?????

("not my gift" does NOT mean that it is beyond my ability and responsibility!!!)

Acts 11:26 - "the disciples were called Christians 1st. at Antioch."
This label - probably given by non-believers, and probably in derision.
Nevertheless = distinction

#4.  God intends His children to be different, distinct
How??  we're the same people?  clan?, community?,  culture? 
1 Pet. 2:9

Example:  Ed's hymnal - is different not because of the content or color.  Is different because of the writings within. 
Comparison:  God's handwriting on your heart.  That's what makes you different and distinct!

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