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Fearless Followers

Renew Bryant values  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart, It is for the fearless!

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Welcome

Welcome to Renew!

Stand Firm

Over the last couple weeks we have been talking about our values here at renew
Who we are
We started out with Passionate Pursuit
… for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.
This persecution came a mere 6 or 8 weeks from their empowering from Jesus.
Their numbers were few.
They had few leaders and the leaders that were there had little to no experience with leading.
When measured against the maturity and experience of the Sanhedrin, they seemed weak and powerless, but their mindset was to stand firm in the midst of being questioned and threatened.
Then we moved into Selfless Service
This was a problem
But they were strong in their deisre to stand for what they knew to be the truth
What is our prayer?
We are kicking off our Serve and Love Month
On our own, we are powerless to withstand the troubles that may come our way, but with God we are empowered to change the world!
We have some things that you can do during the week to help serve those around us
We will be going out next Sunday to pass out cards to let Lora Drive know we are coming to serve them!
I hope that you have been praying for them this week too!
If not put a reminder on your phone to pray for open hearts and opportunities to share the love of Jesus
Let’s pray for them now and for Midtowne Church as we get started today!
PRAY
The next value that we are covering is Fearless Follower
In we see Peter and John heal the lame beggar
Then as they went through the temple the people there were astounded that they had helped this beggar who had been lame for years!
This filled them with wonder and amazement
This also opened up an opportunity to speak to them
He ripped into them!
Acts 3:11–26 ESV
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
These men, who had, only a fe weeks earlier, had been running in fear now stood before these people FEARLESS
They were not worried about what was going to happen to them
They were going to seize the opportunity to tell about Jesus!
Renew Bryant wants to produce Fearless Followers of Jesus.
But how do we do that?

Seek Boldness

Acts 4:23–29 ESV
When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
What a bold statement to make to some of the most powerful men of that time
When they heard of what had been said, they instinctively began to worship and pray.
They worshipped God for rescuing them
Their immediate future was in peril
Then came the prayer for boldness to stand!
When they left the council, they had an impromptu worship service.
They chose to stand firm despite the impending persecution
This was the beginning of what Jesus had told them
They have been threatened and yet they stood firm in what they believed
The time had come
This persecution came a mere 6 or 8 weeks from their empowering from Jesus.
Their numbers were few.
They had few leaders and the leaders that were there had little to no experience with leading. When measured against the maturity and experience of the Sanhedrin, they seemed weak and powerless, but their prayer was for God to give BOLDNESS through the Spirit.
What is our prayer?
On our own, we are powerless to withstand the troubles that may come our way, but with God we are empowered to change the world!
A command to cease created a conviction to share even more with even more boldness!!
But they knew that this boldness would only come from one place
A command to cease created a conviction to share even more with even more boldness!!
They began to seek God for that boldness that they needed
Their numbers were few.
What is our first instinct when we encounter persecution?
This persecution came a mere 6 or 8 weeks from their empowering from Jesus. Their numbers were few. They had few leaders and the leaders that were there had little to no experience with leading. When measured against the maturity and experience of the Sanhedrin, they seemed weak and powerless, but their prayer was for God to give BOLDNESS through the Spirit. What is our prayer? On our own, we are powerless to withstand the troubles that may come our way, but with God we are empowered to change the world!
They had few leaders and the leaders that were there had little to no experience with leading. When measured against the maturity and experience of the Sanhedrin, they seemed weak and powerless, but their prayer was for God to give BOLDNESS through the Spirit.
What is our prayer?
On our own, we are powerless to withstand the troubles that may come our way, but with God we are empowered to change the world!
You may look at your own life and say what can I do?
YOU can do NOTHING. With God you can do EVERYTHING!
They did not look at the problems that were in front of them.
They did not look at the problems that were in front of them. Instead they prayed about the possibilities that lie ahead! PROBLEMS CREATE POSSIBILITIES!!
Instead they prayed about the possibilities that lie ahead!
PROBLEMS CREATE POSSIBILITIES!!
As followers of Jesus we were not promised an easy path
The disciples were told that they were going to be persecuted.
They knew this would lead to their death
But they were

Speak the Truth

They took time to thank God for the outcome of their first real encounter with what Jesus had promised them.
Mark 13:9–11 ESV
“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
But then it quickly turned to a prayer for boldness to proclaim the message that they have become passionate about.
A command to cease created a CONVICTION to share even more with even more boldness!!
A command to cease created a conviction to share even more with even more boldness!!
As followers of Jesus our convictions MUST be strong!
Their first instinct was to worship and pray.
They knew that they alone would not be able to fulfill the commission
So they sought God for the ability to speak openly and freely about Jesus!
Seeking the boldness to be fearless means that we have to seek to Discover God.
Discovering God is not just for new Christians
We must grow in our knowledge of him.
Part of their prayer presented
Where do we find that?
Prayer and Scripture
Acts: An Expositional Commentary The Church at Worship

When God’s people worship God, they always do two things: (1) they pray, and (2) they reflect on the Scriptures. Prayer is our talking to God; the Scriptures are God’s talking to us, and the two always go together. You pray in a right way when you pray scripturally. You study the Scriptures in a right way when you study prayerfully. This is what the church was doing. They had been reflecting on the Scriptures. Now, as they began to pray, the Scriptures rose up in them, and they found themselves talking to God in God’s own words.

I don’t know what to pray..
When God’s people worship God, they always do two things: (1) they pray, and (2) they reflect on the Scriptures. Prayer is our talking to God; the Scriptures are God’s talking to us, and the two always go together. You pray in a right way when you pray scripturally. You study the Scriptures in a right way when you study prayerfully. This is what the church was doing. They had been reflecting on the Scriptures. Now, as they began to pray, the Scriptures rose up in them, and they found themselves talking to God in God’s own words.
When God’s people worship God, they always do two things: (1) they pray, and (2) they reflect on the Scriptures. Prayer is our talking to God; the Scriptures are God’s talking to us, and the two always go together. You pray in a right way when you pray scripturally. You study the Scriptures in a right way when you study prayerfully. This is what the church was doing. They had been reflecting on the Scriptures. Now, as they began to pray, the Scriptures rose up in them, and they found themselves talking to God in God’s own words.
Discovering God is not just for new Christians
Boice, J. M. (1997). Acts: an expositional commentary (p. 88). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Boice, J. M. (1997). Acts: an expositional commentary (p. 88). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Pray the scriptures
We must grow in our knowledge of him.
Most of Peter’s message on the day of pentecost came from the Psalms
Where do we find that?
The prayer that the disciples prayed was from
Prayer and Scripture
Our prayer life should be centered around praying those scriptures.
The way we know the scriptures to pray is to study!
We discover God by reading his words to us
God will use scripture to speak to you
As you grow in the knowledge of God and his word, then that knowledge will come in time of need
When you feel scared about sharing your story..
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Hebrews 10:39 ESV
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
We must seek Boldness through prayer and scripture to be fearless in our pursuit of Jesus!
And no matter what we must stand firm!

Stand Firm

When God’s people worship God, they always do two things: (1) they pray, and (2) they reflect on the Scriptures. Prayer is our talking to God; the Scriptures are God’s talking to us, and the two always go together. You pray in a right way when you pray scripturally. You study the Scriptures in a right way when you study prayerfully. This is what the church was doing. They had been reflecting on the Scriptures. Now, as they began to pray, the Scriptures rose up in them, and they found themselves talking to God in God’s own words.
Boice, J. M. (1997). Acts: an expositional commentary (p. 88). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.Stand Firm
… for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.
This could be described as “Spiritual Stubbornness”
The disciples had been charged to “GO”
He didn’t say that the path would lead to open doors and smooth sailing
He told them it was going to be HARD!!
There will always be things that pop up in our walk that will want to take us off of the path
We must be willing be stand firm in our faith and our convictions!
I am by nature a stubborn man
When I set my mind to do something, I am going to do it.
God has brought us here to Bryant and we are here for as long as he wants
Despite any problems or people telling us it won’t work, we are going to stand firm in the conviction that God has given us!
The disciples encountered their first real problem here
Before the Sanhedrin they received threats but it did not deter them.
This persecution came a mere 6 or 8 weeks from their empowering from Jesus. Their numbers were few. They had few leaders and the leaders that were there had little to no experience with leading. When measured against the maturity and experience of the Sanhedrin, they seemed weak and powerless, but their prayer was for God to give BOLDNESS through the Spirit. What is our prayer? On our own, we are powerless to withstand the troubles that may come our way, but with God we are empowered to change the world!
This persecution came a mere 6 or 8 weeks from their empowering from Jesus. Their numbers were few. They had few leaders and the leaders that were there had little to no experience with leading. When measured against the maturity and experience of the Sanhedrin, they seemed weak and powerless, but their prayer was for God to give BOLDNESS through the Spirit. What is our prayer? On our own, we are powerless to withstand the troubles that may come our way, but with God we are empowered to change the world!
It does not matter the number of followers. What matters is the POWER given to the number of followers!
We must stand firm in the convictions that God has brought us
We must be willing to look opposition in the face and fearlessly say, “I cannot help but speak of what I have seen and heard!”
We have to stand firm in the mission that God has given us for our lives and for his church!
We must look past the problems that might occur.
They did not look at the problems that were in front of them. Instead they prayed about the possibilities that lie ahead! PROBLEMS CREATE POSSIBILITIES!!
If we run from problems we will miss out on the possibilities that God has!
They did not look at the problems that were in front of them. Instead they prayed about the possibilities that lie ahead! PROBLEMS CREATE POSSIBILITIES!!

Why is this important?

fearless - LACKING fear
We want to create fearless followers.
Ones who do not look at the problems that may be in front of them or even the harm that may come their way because of Jesus
We want to create followers how LACK the ability to fear
We do that seeking and standing
Seek Boldness through Scripture and Prayer
Stand Firm in the convictions that God has laid on our hearts!
When we become fearless followers God can use us in ways that we never thought possible
I want to be fearless!
No more concern about what people think about me or being rejected
We are blessed that we do not have to fear for our safety
But there will come a day
Are we willing to be bold and stand for this mission?

Where do we go from here?

No more concern about what people think about me or being rejected
We are blessed that we do not have to fear for our safety
But there will come a day
Are we willing to be bold and stand for this mission?
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