Monday, April 14, 2008

Early Church Ablaze - 4-13-08


Acts 2:42 – 47. “…… and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. …….all who believed were together,….and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need….. and continuing daily with one accord in the temple,….”

Why the early church was on fire.

A. Due to the Activity of God’s Spirit.

B. Due to the efforts of God’s people

On the one hand, we can’t control God’s Spirit.

But, we can determine our efforts.

The point – if we want this atmosphere, we must work at it!!

The Spirit works in conjunction with God’s people when they are putting forth the effort.


#1. Learning God’s Word

A. what it said.- content

B. what it meant – the deeper, actual meaning

C. how to apply it – put it to use

2Tim. 2:15 – “Be diligent……rightly dividing (handling) the word of truth.”

a. handle – be acquainted with

b. handle correctly – understand the meaning, the application, and then share it with others.

#2. Loving one another. This can be WORK. Rom. 14:19, Eph. 4:3, Heb. 12:14, John 13:35

A. loving others = action. Working at doing what we can to express God’s love to them. It’s easy to love some people. It’s WORK to love others, but that’s no excuse.

B. being lovable. Ovid said “to be loved, be lovable”. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Not just peace keepers but peace makers. Those who labor at NOT causing strife and conflict with others.

#3. Worship – declaring the value and worth of God at anytime. This is Work because:

A. Sometimes we don’t feel like it. 2 Sam. 12:18-20 David went to the temple and worshiped after being told that his child had died. You know he didn’t feel like it,.

B. our tendency is to come to get, not give.. We are consumer oriented. “I didn’t get anything out of the worship this morning.”

Question: “What did you give? - a smile, a cheerful “good-morning”, an offering, an encouragement to someone who was down?

#4. Prayer. This is more than an opening prayer or grace. This speaks of fervent, intense prayer.

Prayer is a Powerful tool. James 5;16 “….the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Therefore, prayer has powerful opposition. Dan. 10:12-14 – Daniel prayed and the answer was delayed for 21 days due to spiritual opposition.

For most of us, prayer is intense, hard work

#5. Giving. Vs. 45 of opening text.

The early church gave of their time, their talents, their money, of themselves. They sacrificed of what they had.

#6. Gathering. God’s people getting together. Vs. 46 Like in worship, we should:

A. Gather – Heb. 10:25 ‘…do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together…”

B. Gather to give. What did you bring that …honors God?

helps others?

Don’t just gather, but gather to give. Too often we enter worship for what we can get and we gather together for what we can get.

All of the above points take:

1. work and effort.

2. Individual work – "a ______ church is made of ________ people." (put the same description in both blanks)

3. Self-inflicted work – the early church “devoted themselves It is all voluntary. YOU have to decide yourself.

4. Effective work. Vs. 47b “and the Lord added to the church daily,…”

God will do His part, in His foreknowledge, and mercy, and kindness, and goodness, etc.

The question is: will you and I do our part……

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