On Sunday, we began a new sermon series called "Who Do You Think You Are?" looking at the book of Acts. Alex York kicked off the series with "In the Beginning..." covering Acts 1 and 2.
Jill York talked first about family history -- and how knowing your roots doesn't necessarily limit or define you, but it still helps you know who you are.
Alex said that the book of Acts is like the family history of the church. It's more than history; it tells us who we are as the hands and feet of Jesus.
We are people who:
-- are related to Jesus.
Luke begins Acts by connecting us to the events in Jesus's life.
Acts 1:8 gives an outline for the whole book, an ever-enlarging sphere of influence.
Luke anchors his account in history.
Christianity is about having a life-changing relationship with Christ (Acts 2:38).
-- who seek God's guidance in every arena of life.
They waited on the Holy Spirit. That means praying and joining together with others going the same direction (Acts 1:21-24).
They prayed but also acted.
For us: This applies to our building project. We want the right loan from the right bank and the right terms. We've done work -- but we need to pray. We want to hear from God.
-- We're people who interact with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38-39 -- the promise is for us, too, "all whom the Lord our God will call."
Acts talks about the Holy Spirit in many different ways: "the gift of the Holy Spirit," "filled with the Holy Spirit," "the Holy Spirit poured out on you," "the Holy Spirit will come upon you."
-- We're people who come from every kind of background.
Already, the church had diversity. Acts 2:8-11 -- so many different languages and backgrounds.
In Revelation, we're told that heaven will have people from every tribe, people, nation, and language.
There was also economic diversity.
God is crazy about all kinds of people.
God wants to use us to reach them. The more we reach out, the richer it gets for us.
-- We're people who invite God's Word to shape our everyday lives.
Peter goes to Scripture.
Hearing teaching isn't the same as studying God's Word for yourself.
A key ingredient for steady growth is regular time in the Word of God.
We've got a group going to Mission Camp on Monday -- pray for them!
-- We're people who live a different kind of life.
We live the kind of life that reflects our commitment to Jesus (Acts 2:42-47).
A life that draws other people in.
We finished up with reflection. Looking at the kind of people God made the church to be -- Do I have those qualities? Am I this kind of person?