We love stories. We tell them, we listen to them, we laugh and we cry. The greatest story is a true one. It is a colossal work of non-fiction. It involves the creation of the universe, the reason for suffering and frustration, a Hero who suffers to make it all right and conquers our greatest enemy. It's a long story and all of us are part of it...the last chapter hasn't been written yet but some of the best parts are what we enjoy in the Advent Season.
With all the needs in our own community, why should we send people and money to other places in the world? The Day of Pentecost holds some answers for us — at least by way of application. Are you involved in missions? Should this be on "your radar?" How can you make an impact in the world from where you live? Consider some truths from Peter's sermon on that amazing Festival Day.
"A prime mark of the Christian mind is that it cultivates the eternal perspective...it is supernaturally oriented." — Harry Blamires
"The true Bible-believing Christian is the one who lives in practice in this supernatural world." — Francis Schaeffer
"A prime mark of the Christian mind is that it cultivates the eternal perspective...it is supernaturally oriented. — Harry Blamires
"The true Bible-believing Christian is the one who lives in practice in this supernatural world. — Francis Schaeffer
The disciples were living in the dreaded "meantime" between the Ascension and Pentecost. What were they to do? How should they live? Did waiting mean doing nothing? As they waited, prayed, rejoiced and worshiped some principles from the Word became clear to them. They acted in faith and reveal for us a way of dealing with disappointment.
Jesus said, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." When He had let them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up his hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. Luke 24:49-53
For 40 days after the resurrection, Jesus continued to teach His disciples/apostles about the Kingdom of God. God's intentions were far bigger than the 11 originally imagined. In fact, the task was a "God-sized" task that required God's activity and provision. The assurances of Jesus in this paragraph give us hope.
Drama, intrigue, politics, riots, shipwrecks, martyrdom, miracles, rescues...and all this in the ancient world in and around cities like Rome, Corinth, Athens, and Jerusalem. This is the "stuff" of Acts. Get ready for a journey that explains our early days as a church and gives us direction for our part in His story.
There are some common misperceptions about the Person of God and His grace. As we remember Jesus today in this Communion service, we should be reminded of what grace really is for clarity and encouragement. :)
In Dallas Willard's helpful guide to kingdom life titled The Divine Conspiracy, he used the phrase, "A Community of Prayerful Love," to describe what life would be like if we applied the Sermon on the Mount in our believing communities. How different our families can "look" and "be" when we practice the teachings of Christ. Church-life can actually be a preview of Heaven when we embrace the abundant life Jesus offers through obedience to Him. At the heart of it all is prayer...
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