Faithlife Sermons

God Still Works

Notes
Transcript
My wife and I spent last weekend celebrating 18 years of marriage, truly blessed to have her by my side as we embrace this life God has given us together. We spent time in my hometown where I lived as a young child… I noticed I kept saying with nostalgia (I remember when…) as if it was better, I then would contrast it with what I saw now.
I was with a group of pastors some time back… they were talking about ministry, the church, and I heard them reflect on how wonderful it must have been to live in the days when God was doing amazing things like:
Parting the waters of the sea
Toppling down walls and defeating armies
To see God close lions mouths or spare His own from the fiery flames
Observe Jesus walk on water or walk out to Him
Be in awe of storms listen to His voice or see the dead rise
As I sat and listened I realized they were of the mindset that this amazing God of the Bible was somehow taking a break from doing amazing things!!!
PAUSE… This will be a good practice for you. Think of one thing God did amazing in the last two weeks in your life, an amazing answer to prayer, then write it down!
The last three weeks we have discussed GOD:
The last three weeks we have discussed GOD:
God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
All three Persons of the Godhead functioning as One! The work of God is harmonious, unified, single minded!
Luke has been unfolding this throughout his writing… he begins in giving us these things in consecutive order “so that” we can know the exact truth!
Luke 1:1–4 NASB95
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
As Luke finishes up his first writing he closes with the words of Christ in
Luke 24:44–49 NASB95
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. “You are witnesses of these things. “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
As Luke begins his second volume writing about the Acts of the apostles he lays out the work God will do in
Acts 1:1–8 NASB95
The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Luke here states clearly:
The work of Jesus had only just begun!
They were going to receive from the Father the POWER of the Holy Spirit
In this POWER (the Holy Spirit) they are to take the gospel to the world!
PAUSE… It is easy to stop mentally right here and say, “yeah but” that was Paul, Peter, Barnabas, or Luke. Those “good old days” of God using amazing men… well that’s back then.
New Assignment: Write down something amazing God did in His Church in the last two weeks… How is He building up His Church?
New Assignment: Write down something amazing God did in His Church in the last two weeks… How is He building up His Church?
God is using Luke to record for us how He is building up His Church! This is not about individuals rather His bride, the body of Christ, the Family of God
Consider the verb-age Luke uses as he records key transitions and summaries of God’s Working… Just watch Him work as we read...
,
Acts 2:42 NASB95
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:46–47 NASB95
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 6:7 NASB95
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Acts 9:31 NASB95
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
Acts 12:24 NASB95
But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
Acts 16:5 NASB95
So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
Acts 19:20 NASB95
So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
ends Luke’s account with the message of Christ moving forward! God using and building up His church!
Acts 28:30–31 NASB95
And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
PAUSE… Two assignments given. Maybe difficult maybe not. I would venture to say that the second was harder than the first.
We tend to be more individualistic in our thinking and behavior
It even comes out in our prayers and prayer request
Illustrate faithful prayer request for lost souls (WEEKLY!!!)
Did you recognize the unity mentioned in ???
Do you realize this was a direct answer to prayer? UNITY is a characteristic of God Jesus states in
John 10:30 NASB95
“I and the Father are one.”
The unity of the church is a prayer answered that Jesus Himself prays for…
John 17:13–23 NASB95
“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
God the Father used His Church to turn the world upside down with the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ through the POWER of the Holy Spirit!
Church, Jesus Christ is still praying that prayer for His church today…
We can look around and say wow wish it was like that now, focusing on the difficulties, hardships, uncertainties, OR...
As we can take time to look at what God is doing here and now, we can look to this God who is One, we can unify our hearts, our minds, and our prayers for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The apostle Peter had these words to share as he encouraged the church in his day where their unified focus should be (NOT on themselves)…
1 Peter 4:11 NASB95
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
God is still working… Watch and be amazed!
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