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One Heart, One Mind

Acts of Harvest   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Being of one heart and one mind

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Title: One Heart, One Mind
What this is all about: Unity
What I want you to know: Possessions Effect Evangelism
What I want you to do: Be of one heart and mind
Series: Acts of Harvest ()
Text:
Date: February 4, 2018
Pastor Mike Ellis
Introduction:
This morning we are going to continue our study of the book of Acts through the lens of harvesting.
This look is themed from the words of Jesus in .
John 4:35 CSB
“Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
Last week we took a close look at the boldness of Peter and John in chapters 3 and 4 as they continued in their acts of harvest.
With great boldness, they proclaimed Christ as the Messiah
With great faith, they proclaimed Christ as the Messiah
With great trust, they proclaimed Christ as the Messiah
With great obedience they followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit and proclaimed before the Sanhedrin
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”
As we closed last week we seen the amazing and wonderful power of God working in those believers as they prayed in
“And now Lord, consider their threats, and grant that your servants may speak your word with all boldness”
Today we are going to continue to look at where this great faith, great trust, great obedience, and great boldness takes the believers.
Read
Acts 4:32–5:11 CSB
Now the entire group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common. With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them. For there was not a needy person among them because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of what was sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet. This was then distributed to each person as any had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus by birth, the one the apostles called Barnabas (which is translated Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. “Ananias,” Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds of the land? Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to people but to God.” When he heard these words, Ananias dropped dead, and a great fear came on all who heard. The young men got up, wrapped his body, carried him out, and buried him. About three hours later, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. “Tell me,” Peter asked her, “did you sell the land for this price?” “Yes,” she said, “for that price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in, they found her dead, carried her out, and buried her beside her husband. Then great fear came on the whole church and on all who heard these things.
Football Illustration

*All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. Vs 32

This is the second time Luke mentions this idea.
Acts 2:44–45 CSB
Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need.
That idea that Luke mentions this twice means that we should take notice, very close notice to what is being said here.
These verses are about one topic and that is unity.
Being united with Christ is the only way to be.
This means that we should stop our bickering over nonsense and focus on things of God.
Today we see division everywhere
- Money
- Politics
- TV
- Religion
- War
- Marriage
- Genders
- Rights and privileges
- Drugs
- National Anthem
- Minimum wage
This division has caused us to take up sides against one another.
This is absolutely expected of those among the world, this is what they live for.
But this attitude has crossed over into the Church.
The Church of today finds itself divided as well.
Some issues are valid, such as doctrine, and worship practices but all most all are not.
There are divisions over
- Money
- Preference of pastors
- Preference of leaders
- Music styles
- Teaching styles
- Seniority within the body
- Pews verses chairs
- Carpet color
- Building color
- Building location
- The church building doors
- Piano location
- Christmas and Easter events
- No trespassing signs
- Parking
- Bible translations
- Dress Code
- The kind of people that are coming in
- Calvinism verses Arminianism
- End times and all of that
- This list could go on and on and on and on.
As brothers and sisters in Christ and partners in the ministries of the church we must resolve to be united in Christ and nothing else.
And I do mean nothing
We must stop looking at each other critically and give each other grace.
God gives us way more grace then we give each other.
We must always assume the best of people until we know true intentions.
This means that when things do not seem right with some we must communicate with one another, before we make a snap judgement.
I don’t mean over text or email either.
I mean if it is at all possible, face to face and as a last resort a phone call.
The reason why is the written word is very difficult to discern.
Emotions are put in places they just don’t belong.
Face to face will however put all the puzzle pieces together and the truth will be told.
So, what does it take to be united in Christ, to be of one heart and mind?
*As an individual you must crucify yourself.
- This is a person who does not insist on having their own way.
- This would mean that you are willing to compromise on non-essentials for the greater good.
- A crucified self will be in full submission to God.
o Submission is doing something that you do not want to do.
o Jesus was the perfect example of this when He took the cross.
*Believers should make maintaining unity a primary responsibility
-
Ephesians 4:3 CSB
making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
- It is easy to say, “oh I will talk to so and so later about a troubling situation”
- This will just start to divide our unity with Christ, we are to be about other our Fathers business which is loving people.
*Believers should meet often to share openly what is going on in their lives.
- This will give believers the opportunity to care for one another.
- For us today this may take some getting used to, but it starts with just getting together for the purpose of sharing.
- The sharing will come with time, but we must commit to one another first.
*Fellowship is a must.
- Believers have a unique commonality with one another, and that is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We are partners in the ministry of Christ and that is what binds our fellowship together.
- This is something that those outside of the faith will never understand.
*We must strive for agreement.
- We cannot be in a hurry to rush out of opportunities that we have with one another.
- We must stick with one another and contend to be in unity.
- We must together strive for the greater good.
Pilgrim Illustration

*With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them. Vs 33

Right in the middle of these verses about unity and possessions we find a verse about evangelism.
What’s up with that?
Evangelism is what this is all about.
We are to share the gospel of Christ.
That is our commission.
All of attention should come to this point.
We are to be united in the common goal the only goal of sharing the gospel.
We can have the greatest of church community but that in its self is not an end.

*For there was not a needy person among them because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of what was sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet. This was then distributed to each person as any had need. Vs 34-35

Understand that these verses are not commanding all believers to sell their houses or their land and give it to the church.
It is likely that those spoken of within these verses are like those that we would call landlords or property owners.
These actions were taken as the Holy Spirit led them to do so.
These actions were volunteer.
However, we need to shift to what these verses are really about.
Possessions.
How important is your stuff?
How important is your job, your retirement, your house, your any other material item you want to add in.
These verses are about what you find to be valuable and important.
How you respond to the needs of those around you will give you your answer.
Is your stuff more important then people?
Is your stuff more important than your relationship with God?
In todays church the answer seems to be yes.
Look around, the homeless population is growing, there are more and more orphaned kids rather it be from death, or bad choices, or just not wanted.
We live in a world where we throw away our elders.
We live in a world where we expect our government to take of everyone.
- The church needs to take back the responsibility that was given to it.
We live in a world where everyone thinks that someone else will take of it.
We need a gut check moment about what it is that we are to be doing.
There is a line within our Declaration of Independence that is the heart of the entire document as well as the heart of what we are talking about today.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
This means that if there is something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.
I find it interesting that about 1700 years before this was written we see this in action right here in .
This holds true to Scripture as well—look at what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus tells us that where our treasure is, is where our heart is.
Conclusion:
So, what does this look like in your life?
It starts first with prayer, on your knees before God, getting right with Him and being prepared for His work.
Get your priorities right, when your focus is not on God than it is misplaced.
Get your giving right, what is that you have that you were not given anyway.
All things are God’s, including your stuff.
You must crucify yourself,
We must become united in the purpose of sharing the gospel.
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