*Am I fighting against what God is intending accomplish?
I. GET ON BOARD WITH WHAT GOD IS DOING
A. God Is Gathering His Church Together
*The church needs to be far more concerned about the condition of someone’s soul than the color of someone’s skin!
B. God Is Growing His Church
*They were called Christians first because first they were Christians.
C. God Is Giving To And Through His People
*A true sign of spiritual maturity is sacrificial giving.
II. PRAYER IS THE MASTER KEY
Quote: “The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelism in history.”
Quote: “It is only when the Church gives herself up to this holy work of intercession that we can expect the power of Christ to manifest itself in her behalf.” Andrew Murray
Philippians 4:6, 7
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
*Peter Rested In The Promise of God.
*Salvation not only saves our soul but sets us free to experience the power, presence and peace of God!
*The Church Persevered Prayer
Quote: “Prayer turns ordinary mortals into men of power…It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God. There is no power like that of prevailing prayer.” -Samuel Chadwick, The Path of Prayer
*All through Acts and all through history the church has experienced the greatest movement, momentum, and miracles of God through prayer!
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
I. THE CALL TO REACH THE LOST
*Carrying out the Great Commission is not some special call for a chosen few. It’s a clear command to all who are claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Quote: “While the world is in a mess the church has lost its sense of mission.” Alaster Begg
*God pulled Philip out of the middle of something awesome and sent him somewhere awful to accomplish His purposes.
*Evangelism is not a gift given by the Spirit to individuals as much as it is a gift given to the church to help us proclaim the Gospel.
Quote: “We have a nation with open hearts and churches with closed mouths.” Ed Stezer
*When you’re walking in the Spirit and with the Spirit you will hear His whisper, you will sense his leading and you will experience His prompting.
II. FINDING CHRIST IN THE SCRIPTURES
*The Gospel does not know a hopeless cause!
III. AN OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF AN INWARD CHANGE
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Ill. Certificate of Baptism
*The evidence of our salvation is not just a public declaration by way of baptism, but a daily living of a life filled and overflowing with joy.
*The Gospel road will always lead you to joy and rejoicing!
*Favoritism fosters distortion in our heart and mind. It’s the breeding ground for prejudice and racism.
*Christianity is not a popularity contest, it is all level ground at the foot of the cross!
I. A GOOD GUY
*Good people still need to be transformed by the Gospel!
*No one is so bad that they are beyond the reach of God’s grace and no one is so good that they are beyond the need of it.
Quote: “Angels can deliver God’s messages to lost men, but they cannot preach the Gospel to them. That is our privilege and responsibility.” Warren Wiersbe
II. A PROUD CHRISTIAN
*The problem is not that the Gospel has lost any of its power to change the lives of all people. The problem is Christians who think the Gospel is only for a select group of people.
*Racism doesn’t have its roots in the Bible; Jesus died for every race. Racism is rooted in the hearts and minds of people who are filled with pride.
“Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:”
*The Gospel transforms our life so that we can now display the glory and grace of God to others.
III. A GAME CHANGING MOMENT
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
II Corinthians 5:19
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
*If you’re in a season of things going just the way you planned you should get prepared now for some divine rerouting.
*God’s method of bringing humility into our life is to help us become holy.
Romans 3:10, 11
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
I John 4:9
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
I John 4:19
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
*God took the greatest enemy of the church and instead of destroying him through judgment He changed him through grace.
I. GOD LOVES THE WORST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
*Who are you, Lord?
*What do you want me to do Lord?
*You can’t love Jesus and hate His bride!
*It’s a shame when religious people can be more dedicated and motivated than God’s children!
II. GOD USES THE MOST UN-LIKELY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
*People who are saved by grace are changed by grace and ultimately share God’s grace!
Quote: “The ultimate test of our spirituality is our amazement at the grace of God.” Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones
Ephesians 2:8, 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
*God glorifies Himself in saving the worst of sinners and uses those trophies of His grace to proclaim the Gospel.
*The preparatory work for greatness often starts with suffering.
*Preparation for service does not happen overnight.
Quote: “The most painful times in our lives are usually when God is taking out some cherished idol.” Tim Keller
Quote: “What God is doing in you is just as significant as what He is doing through you.”
*God’s rerouting processes in our lives not only affirm His love and grace for us but we become powerful instruments of His grace to others.
*The early church soon realized that in order for the Gospel to spread it was going to come at a great cost.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
*Our life is not about us, our life is about pointing people to Jesus.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
*Dying to self is the only way to live a life of fruitfulness.
Quote: “The only way to be blessed is to be a blessing and to be a blessing we must leave our comfort.” Tim Keller
I. RADICAL TRANSFORMATION
Quote: “A group of ordinary Christians living intentionally in a city to bring joy to it through word and deed.” JD Greear
*The Great Commission is not fulfilled by a few anointed preachers and pastors but through God’s people being filled with God’s Spirit, going to different places, proclaiming the Gospel to all people!
II. RACIAL UNIFICATION
*Perhaps the greatest display of God’s power was not through “miracle healings” but through lives that were radically transformed!
*The Gospel of Jesus Christ breaks down the race barrier and builds bridges of reconciliation creating unity and harmony.
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
III. ROOTLESS FAITH
*Once saved forever following.
*We either give Jesus complete control or we have not given Him control at all.
Quote: “The pain of sacrificing our old selves is nothing compared to the joy of Christ living in us in our transformed lives.” A.W. Tozer
*Watch out for bitterness lingering in your life!
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
A. Loss of your ability to love God
B. Lack of spiritual growth in your life
C. Lingering doubts about your salvation
*The cure for bitterness is found in repentance and returning to Jesus Christ so that you may rejoice!
*The life changing power of the Gospel cannot be purchased with money and joy does not come out of a bitter person.
*The church is to be a place of joy, where people who are filled with joy, are moving toward those whose lives are joyless!
*When it comes to God’s mission for the church there is no “Plan B”; “Plan B” is to enforce “Plan A”.
*The same God who shook the early church is the same God who is still at work in the lives of His people today!
*The pages of God’s Word not only remind us but reinforce the reality that the church of Jesus Christ is victorious!
I Corinthians 15:57, 58
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
I. GENUINE FAITH
I Thessalonians 2:13
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
II. GATHERING FOR WORSHIP
Quote: “The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man so that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.” Martin Luther
Quote: “Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which comes upon you; but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.” Graham Kendrick
III. GENEROUS GIVING
*Generosity is not a percentage you give it’s the way that you live when your life has been changed by the Gospel.
IV. GROWING AND GOING
*Church attendance and community must always be connected!
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Quote: “A church that stays within the four walls is not a church at all!” Mark Batterson
*Evangelism and discipleship is not a destination it is to be the direction every believer is headed!
V. GODLY LEADERSHIP
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
VI. GUIDED BY PRAYER
*The whole idea of prayer in the Bible is not about a prayer time but a prayer life.
Quote: “A prayerful church is a powerful church.” Charles Spurgeon
VII. GOVERNED BY THE SPIRIT
*The early church is proof that with little money, minimally gifted people, uneducated leaders and limited building space the power of the Holy Spirit shook the world for the glory of God!
*A church that is continuing on is a church that will be growing!
*Our life still speaks to who we were and what we believed long after we are gone and done talking.
1. Man must come to God by faith and not works. Your religion and tradition will not save you.
2. Man must accept and obey God’s holy revelation above his own reason and self-will.
*They may kill the messenger but the message will never die!
I. THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE
A. A Man That That Was Full Of The Spirit
*Our walk and our talk should reflect that we are under the direct and divine control of the Spirit.
*Does my testimony taint the message of truth?
“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.”
B. A Message That Was Filled With Truth
1. A history of resisting God’s messengers and the message.
2. A history of breaking God’s Law.
I Kings 8:27
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”
*What brings a building to life is when those who have the life of God in them come together to praise, preach, and proclaim the name of Jesus!
“Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.”
II. THE MOB AND THE MURDER
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
*You answer the question of, “would I die for Jesus” by asking yourself, “am I living for Jesus”.
Quote: “The love of the church is the churches most effective apologetic.” Francis Schaffer
*In his death Stephen showed that although the world rejected him, He was received by the Saviour.
Quote: “Death reveals who we really are.”
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
*Questions To Contemplate
1. What is the level of my surrender, sacrifice, and service saying about my love for Jesus and His Church?
2. What will the last words from my lips reveal about my life?
3. When I see Jesus what will I hear Him say to me?
*No church is perfect because it is filled with imperfect people.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES GRACE IN THE LIVES OF GOD’S PEOPLE
*Mega grace is the result of the Gospel loosening the grip of greed on your life and tightening your grip of others.
II. GENEROSITY IS THE SIGN OF A HEALTHY CHURCH
*Grace filled people are generous people!
1. Filled with the Spirit
*Money may not be your idol but it will reveal what your idol is.
2. Mission Driven
3. Like Minded
4. Love In Action
5. Leading By Example
III. SATAN FAILED AT ELIMINATING JESUS SO HE SEEKS TO DESTROY THE CHURCH
*When Satan fills your heart you will trade Jesus for money.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, hefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
*The surest way to flush your heart of wickedness is to have your heart filled with a love for Jesus.
IV. GOD IS VERY SERIOUS ABOUT SIN
Quote: “God is indeed long suffering, patient, and slow to anger. In fact he is so slow to anger that when his anger does erupt, we are shocked and offended by it. We forget rather quickly that God’s patience is designed to lead us to repentance, to give us a time to be redeemed. Instead of taking advantage of this patience by coming humbly to Him for forgiveness, we use this grace as an opportunity to become bolder in our sin. We delude ourselves into thinking that either God doesn’t care about it, or that he is powerless to punish us. The supreme folly is that we think we will get away with our revolt.” R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God
“Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
*When a church fears God the result is grace, generosity and growth!
II Peter 1:16
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
I Corinthians 10:11
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
1. We must hear the Word.
2. We must heed the Word.
3. We must honor the Word.
*The power and presence of the Holy Spirit is still at work today!
Quote: “We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low. We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus in the things of the Spirit is all but gone…. [We] have imitated the world, sought for popular favor, manufactured delights to substitute for the joy of the Lord and produced a cheap and synthetic power to substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost.” A. W. Tozer
I. THE SPIRIT’S MOVING
*They were connected and they were committed.
*There was unity in the community.
Quote: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials, liberty, in all things, charity.”
*The world cannot tolerate what the Scriptures teach and they are not going to stand by the Church and coddle Christians.
*Prayerlessness is not a self-discipline problem, it is a sign that you are not walking in the Spirit.
1. Communion with God in His Word.
2. Close connections with God’s people.
3. Commitment to prayer with and for others.
"Never will I be satisfied until God works in convicting power and men and women weep their way to the cross…oh that He would break me down and cause me to weep for the salvation of lost souls." Oswald Smith
II. A MEGA CHURCH
*The result of believing in the Gospel and obeying the Gospel is that you become a bold and generous person!
1. Where do I see myself in the picture of what God is doing through His Church?
2. Who do I know that needs to become a part of the picture?
3. What am I willing to do in order to reach the people I know with the Gospel?
4. Will I pray for boldness to proclaim the gospel?