Sun, Dec 04, 2022
Teacher: Cody Clark Series: The Acts of the Apostles Scripture: Acts 4:22-37
A genuine faith in God is forged in prayer and produces a radical love that is foreign to the world.
23When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
24And 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,
25who 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?
26The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
27for 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,
28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Peter and John knew that the temporary inconvience of their current situation could not impact the mission that Jesus had gave them.
Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What is prayer to you?
A Lifestyle: Is prayer something that brings peace and purpose to life?
A Luxury: Is prayer kind of like a hotel vending machine: it’s definitely not my first choice, but it will do in a pinch.
John 15:6–7 (ESV)
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
32Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
33And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold
35and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
36Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
37sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Courageous Christians demonstrate the kind of generosity which makes possible the care of people more needy than ourselves.
John 13:35 (ESV)
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Not only were they united; they were unselfish. This passage shows us a distinctly Christian view of possessions which centers not in ownership, but stewardship; not in creed, but need; not in fad, but family.
Christians with holy courage know how to handle opposition, how to pray, and how to take care of each other.
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