|Create Date||July 2, 2018|
|Last Updated||July 2, 2018|
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Book of Acts
SO today we are going to look through the next section of the book of Acts. Peter had just been released from prison and he went back to meet with his friends.
If we can catch the spirit of those early believers then we can pour some courage into our lives and step out in faith, just like they did. We can watch our faith grow and be ready to go!
Roots and wings
This concept can help churches find the right balance between being ROOTED in church communion and have wings - free to get out there and shine for the world.
How can we be ROOTED? THERE ARE TWO WAYS.
- 1. In community: Well the usual things like coming to church, attending a care group, belonging to a prayer group. Being accountable. Sharing news and lives with other Christians.
This is the community side
- 2. In theology: But rooted in how we view god. How we experience him and how we believe– that’s why GCI is taking time at present to go through the tenets of our beliefs. We are establishing what we believe. In the Trinity. In being included.
How can we FLY THERE ARE MANY WAYS
IT means to be ourselves. Fitting happily into our gifts areas. It means flying WITH our gifts. Stepping out in faith to live within God’s will for our lives.
We all fly to a greater or lesser extent. We all do missions to some degree. Counselling at the school is missions. It is flying. It needs the roots of church, study, prayer, meditation – so we can fly
The church needs people who are extremely rooted – say solid conservatives, and those who will boldly experiment. Those who will go on a voyage of discovery. Those who will travel the country
Not everyone will do it. But we need those who do.
So back to our pioneers early church. The apostles. These were the ones who were bold in taking flight
But they were ROOTED. In each other. In the scriptures. In giving. In communion. And persecution was pulling them ever closer together. They were dependent on God and each other
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ROOTS – THAT’S WHAT WE MEAN
Read Acts 4:23-32
Peter and John were probably still bruised physically from being in prison. And they will have been attacked verbally as well. They needed to be surrounded by people who loved them and who would listen. They are showing us that it is not weak to need others, but strong. In fact, we will learn that in sharing their hearts with the others made them courageous. Strong. And we all need companions on our road – on our path
And the disciples prayed. There were 4 things about this prayer. READ Acts 4:24-30
- It was spontaneous. NO one was embarrassed. Moved by the spirit – they spoke out to God
- It claimed God’s sovereignty.
- It included 2 requests
- It emphasised positive faith
The Response Acts 4:31
These people were determined to follow God’s will.
And God answered their prayer in a mighty way. There was more persecution on the way for these young believers. But God reassured them by surrounding them with the presence of the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance
They were getting tougher – yet more tender towards each other as they grew together in unity. THEY WERE ROOTED. GROUNDED
So here we see how the power of the Spirit has brought these Christians together in a new way, caring for each other and sharing – not by force but because they loved each other.
SO, WHAT CAN WE LEARN? TOUGH BUT TENDER
- We need initiative. We must yearn to follow Christ. We’ve said “yes” to Jesus’ yes, now we must walk through life with him. And know that it is
a safest and most thrilling place to be
- We need compassion. With this change within the disciples - they began to see a world that desperately needed Christ. Don’t we see the
same in this world now? Are we filled with compassion to help others find Jesus?
- We need vulnerability. This means being willing to open up to other Christians. Tell them how you feel. Tell them what you are going through. Sharing your trials and problems in order for the church to unleash that unique gift that we have. PRAYER. But this means taking a risk. Reaching out to others is risky because we will get hurt. And that’s a fact. WE WILL GET HURT
- We need love
Read 1 Peter 4:12
Peter wrote this further along his journey. He learned a lot from his travels with Jesus.
Read John 15:20
So, this is what it is like. People will throw comments at you. They will be sarcastic. They will give you the cold shoulder. You will be passed over for promotion. Inside and outside of the church. You may be laughed at because of your faith. Or family may give you a hard time one way or another
Think for a moment when this has happened to you?
How do you feel? Do you want to retaliate? Yes, of course you do!
BUT we are called to higher than this. These hurts must not stop us from flying. We need to be adventurers.
He world awaits for us
Just a word about the tension between these two concepts
The church NEEDS people who are conservative; who will study and bring us up in the doctrines of the church. They will root us in the essentials. They will constantly nag us to fast and pray and send devotions and such. But the church also needs those who will experiment with big wings, those who yearn to fly... The church is endowed with a variety of gifts and ministries, and we cannot do them all!!
“We do the world no favour by becoming wingless fanatics or rootless individualists.” Prof JNJ Kritzinger
And GCI needs to enforce good theology.
See Roots and wings
Stability and flight
And never never try to fly without those roots firmly planted in the church.
That’s what we are learning from Peter and friends.