Presentation on theme: "DEVOTION (Acts 2:42-47) Is the 21st Century church ‘fit for purpose’? The Acts 2 church is a model church & fit for purpose A church inspired by the Holy."— Presentation transcript:
DEVOTION (Acts 2:42-47) Is the 21st Century church ‘fit for purpose’? The Acts 2 church is a model church & fit for purpose A church inspired by the Holy Spirit and devoted to: 1.The apostles teaching 2.The fellowship 3.The breaking of bread (worship) 4.Prayer “Keep these four factors alive in any church group and you have the makings of a healthy church.” (Barnhouse)
What does it mean to be devoted to it? 6 strands of meaning: 1.Stickability 2.Steadfastness 3.Single focus 4.Perseverance 5.Courage 6.Readiness ‘Fervour and dedication’ (Kitsmaker) Hallmark of early church What are we devoted to? What marks out our church?
Madness to look intently, carefully into a mirror & then do nothing about the toothpaste on your cheek. Equally mad to carefully study Gods word – and do nothing about it. Many of us do it each week. We’re deceiving ourselves when we think: Don’t have to do anything Just listening will make me righteous We evangelicals can be an arrogant bunch – study very carefully – place high value in knowledge – but Bible places value not in knowledge that puffs up but love that builds up as it is lived out. Trust it Cns devoted to God’s word will trust it. Trust is at the heart of the Cn faith but we still struggle to trust God’s word. Do not worry about tomorrow (Matt 6) Seek first the kingdom of God (Matt 6) Be anxious for nothing (Phil 4) Walk by faith not by sight ( 2 Cor 5:7) Go with the gospel to all nations - I am with you always (Matt 28) Not deep undiscovered truths – simple ones that if we really lived by would transform our lives forever. Fit for purpose Cns with a spirit filled devotion to the teaching of scripture will be a community that are fit for the purpose they have been left here. As they crave Gods word they will show that there is a truth that brings real life. As they hear God speak they will be transformed and grow in faith to witness with life and lip. As they live out Gods word they will engage in activities and do more for God and the gospel than they felt possible in themselves. As they trust they will accomplish great exploits for God and live lives of victory in a broken world. The gospel will go forward clearly, enthusiastically, powerfully from such believers. What must we do? Regain that passion – fervent desire for the word of God Seek after God’s voice make the most of the opportunities to sit under God’s word need to be praying for spirit-filled, anointed preachers and teachers need to ask God to soften our hearts – need to be cut to the heart as at conversion take the truths & put them into practice Humble selves – know it all Not just about head knowledge – about hearing God speak today & then living it. Change our diets: spoilt our appetites by filling our hearts and minds with rubbish. More eagerness to find out what happens next on our TV. Personal challenges for us – corporate too. How can we encourage this in the life of the church? A church fit for purpose will be devoted to scripture – the word is the HS swords and it is he who equips churches for service. Worship – Lords supper (narrow sense) Worship flows out of what we learn about God – we declare his worth. Worship… gives God the glory keeps us focussed on God & Christ - central Reminds us what Jesus has done & what we’re to do. THE Breaking of bread – communion. Regularly met & celebrated the work of the Lord Jesus - promised special intimacy. draws us near ‘worship the lord in the splendour of his holiness’ Ps 96:9 -experience his manifest presence as we fix our hearts & thoughts on him. In his presence is fullness of joy. Such worship – with out eyes fixed on Jesus – saviour and Lord – exalted – in his presence helps us to live now. Revelation – John is given a vision for the future worship of the lamb – why? To encourage him in his mission now. Fuels our mission – but is also the goal of mission. Let worship be the fuel for mission’s flame We’re going with a passion for Your name We’re going for we care about Your praise Send us out Let worship be the heart of mission’s aim To see the nations recognise Your fame Til every tribe & tongue voices Your praise Send us out. If we can’t be passionate about Jesus here with other Christians how will we be passionate out there? Worship reminds us of greatness of God & his good news – our hearts are warmed – he is glorified as we become more & more satisfied in him and this compels us to tell others – and so it fits us for the purpose of reaching the lost. Are we devoted to the worship of God – if we’re devoted in this narrow sense we will eb devoted in the broader sense too. Conclusion What must we do? Seek more of the Holy Spirit – strength, empowering to do it. Acts 2 – revival – but don’t be defeated. HS wants to stir this in us and as we seek him he works in an ordinary way making us more fit for what he wants us to do. Along with that we devote ourselves – discipline – to these areas. How can we hear more from God? What can we do to prepare ourselves to hear from God? What should we do when we have heard from God How can we support one another in it? How can we be a church that is continually changing as Gods word impacts our hearts? Prepare our hearts to worship – be God centred in all we do. By Gods grace we will be a church fit for purpose. Devoted to the Apostle’s doctrine What would it mean to be devoted to the apostles teaching? Crave it Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:2-3) Hear it Hearing which passes through our heads to our hearts.
Do it Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)
Trust it Do not worry about tomorrow (Matt 6) Seek first the kingdom of God (Matt 6) Be anxious for nothing (Phil 4) Walk by faith not by sight ( 2 Cor 5:7) Go with the gospel to all nations - I am with you always (Matt 28) A church fit for purpose
What must we do? 1.Seek after God’s voice Make most of the opportunities to hear God pray for spirit-filled preachers & teachers ask God to soften our hearts take the truths & put them into practice 2. Humble selves 3. Change our diets
Devoted to Worship Worship: gives God the glory keeps us focussed on God & Christ Reminds us what Jesus has done & what we’re to do. draws us near
Let worship be the fuel for mission’s flame We’re going with a passion for Your name We’re going for we care about Your praise Send us out Let worship be the heart of mission’s aim To see the nations recognise Your fame Til every tribe & tongue voices Your praise Send us out. (Redman)
What must we do? 1. Seek more of the Holy Spirit 2. Devote ourselves to discipline in these areas.