Welcome Home everyone.
Last week we saw the ascension of Jesus into heaven. We talked about how and where he would return. And about His Glory.
My big idea for today is that our walk with Christ is not mean to be walked alone, but rather, in the fellowship of each other and the Holy Spirit. My prayer for us today is that we would become even mightier in prayer and see an incredible outpouring of the Spirit on the church and this community.
If you have your Bibles today you can join me in Acts chapter 1, verse 12.
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.Acts 1:12-14
In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points.
Be One, Together With Christ
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.Acts 1:12-13
Being one together or being unified here doesn’t just mean being present together in one location. But it also means unanimous in spirit. In one mind and one accord.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.John 17:20-23
Unity with each other and unity with Christ is found the mindset or authority that governs the very core of who we are. This mindset or governance that unities us is first off, voluntary, believers are never forced to comply. This is a free will operation. And by way of God’s word and the work of the Holy Spirit in us, it informs our way of life and fellowship in the example of Jesus Christ. This unity influences how we believe. What we possess (everything belongs to God) And how we behave. This mindset/mind of Christ changes our focus from “ME” to “Christ”. Form mine to His. From selfishness to the authentic love of Christ for others.
Church think about how you may have thought we you were single. When you were just taking care of yourself. Nothing wrong with that. But when we take on a spouse and children, our focus becomes broader to include the well-being of others. Many times, putting their needs before our own. Our thinking shifts/broadens from me to us. The kingdom of God is similar.
The question becomes… ‘What does the Lord require of me today?” Remember the people of God in that upper room had given up everything to follow Jesus. And Jesus’ last words to them were to stay together in Jerusalem until the time of their empowerment. All of this was able to come together because they were unified in the Holy Spirit. They were unified together and with Christ.
I’ll move on to my next point.
Be Committed To Prayer
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.Acts 1:14
The Apostles were gathered together in one place in obedience, in one accord, and waiting on the Lord. Men & women, they were joined together in constant prayer. Remember waiting on the Lord is not like waiting for a bus. Were not to just wait idly, scrolling on our phones just letting the time pass. No! Waiting on the Lord does not mean do nothing.
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
We must be a people committed to prayer. And thus, caring and encouraging those around us.
On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit moved because of 3 things, I believe. This is the lead up to Pentecost. First, it was God’s timing. Second, they were unified in one accord and in their obedience to what the Lord Jesus had taught them. Third, they were concentrated in constant prayer. (praying without giving up)
When Pastor Julia and I came to the Lord, it was early on the we became involved in the work of ministry. It wasn’t glamorous, my first ministry was stacking the worst chairs imaginable. (About 300 or more) But I started doing it not because I received a parchment from heaven telling me that this was the will of God. I started doing it because I saw a need that I could do something about right then. I saw a need and I filled it. As I was working at this each Wednesday evening, I would pray that God would bless that group of men and use me for his own purposes. I was waiting on the Lord, but I wasn’t idle.
I’ll close with this.
They say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. I find there is some truth to this. I learned in those days that prayer was my lifeline to God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer was essential to my relationship with Christ. In prayer I found He speaks to me. He tells me when I blow it. He instructs me when I need to make a correction in my thinking or actions. As we grow closer His voice becomes stronger/more recognizable. I’m becoming one with Christ and I’m being formed in His likeness. Here’s what’s Awesome, I’m not special, this is for each of you, as well. Here’s the million-dollar question…
Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, if we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know.
Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me?
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’