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Who Do You Think You Are - Acts 3

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Last Sunday brought us three wonderful experiences.

First – Pastor Ed, jumped up on stage, jubilant from his recent visit with our Missionary team to the Dominican Republic. He encouraged us to dance, sing, rejoice and bounce for the Joy we find in Christ. It was a great time with laughs and high fives – and some of us got a real appreciation for how difficult it is to give high fives while bouncing!

With this as a warm up, Deen Salami came to the stage and gave us the second sermon in our series “Who Do You Think You Are?

Deen began the sermon with a brief story of his daughter’s realization about the depth of her athletic ability that happened during a Powderpuff football game. Although Deen had spoken to his daughter of her natural gifts, it was not until she actually exercised those gifts that she realized the actual power within her.

Deen pointed out that this story reflected the same challenge that we have within the church. We cannot realize the full potential of our power within the body of Christ by discussing it – we must act – as our lives, and how we live them, are the true testimony of our faith.

Deen read from Acts 3, where Peter and John heal a lame beggar at the temple gate.

From the reading, Deen wanted to give us a description of the Church’s actions at that time so that we might be able to discern the critical characteristics and attributes of Christ’s followers -- so that we can compare these to our own lives and actions, and make the necessary changes or adjustments to our lives if we are off the mark.

It is important for us to remember:

  • The Context within which we work – Jesus gave his all for us.
  • That we must also retain our Concern for the word – Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • That we must communicate well! Our words need to be compelling and full of life and wisdom!

Obviously accomplishing this is a tall order. For those outside the church – it is useful for us to challenge our current worldview and assumptions. Jesus offers a path to life that cannot be found elsewhere.

For those of us within the church we are called to serve as witnesses to the life giving transformation that Jesus offers. This is not something we can take lightly – and indeed is something we must exercise if we are to fully understand the power of Jesus’ gift to us.

The Third and most wonderful part of the day were the Baptisms of Felicia and Will. Both of them are a wonderful addition to our Church family.

 

Who Do You Think You Are? In the Beginning...

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?

 

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