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Christians, Together: Strong!!
(Acts 1: 12-14)
Have you watched “Planet of the apes? “
What started out as a science experiment ended up giving the apes an ability to speak, organize and counter attack. A virus that caused Apes to be more human and people to die.
3 sticks scene
Not just in apes but when we come together, there is might in numbers
Acts 1:12-14 – 12 Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet (Olive Grove), which is near Jerusalem, [only] a Sabbath day’s journey (less than one mile) away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went upstairs to the upper room where they were staying [indefinitely]; that is, Peter, and John and [his brother] James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew (Nathanael) and Matthew, [a]James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas (Thaddaeus) the son of James. 14 All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer, [waiting together] along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
- They waited indefinitely – there was no option B
- All in one mind and one purpose, devoting themselves to prayers – Waiting together
- What if the church could All be in one mind and purpose
Someone may argue, that they were told by Jesus not to leave Jerusalem, however, the decision to stay together was a choice and as we all know it, it was great choice
Luke 24:49 “Listen carefully: I am sending the Promise of My Father [the Holy Spirit] upon you; but you are to remain in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed (fully equipped) with power from on high.”
They were told not to leave Jerusalem but they were not commanded to stay together. In my human thinking, being together was dangerous, they could be sort and killed all together
They knew that there is power in number. When we stay together in unity- (in one mind and purpose) there are great things that happen
- Together with God
This whole idea of togetherness is not something that we just feel but its who we are
God created us to have a void in us and that void need to be filled with companionship.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the [d]presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, “Where are you?”
God created us to be in unity with Him – hence He is looking to hang out with Adam and Eve, only to find that the relationship bond is broken
God created a void in us-And that void has to be filled with something more than just the things of this world. If your heart void is not filled with Jesus, unfortunately the devil will take residence. That’s why the bible says:
Matthew 12: 43 “Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it.44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So will it also be with this wicked generation.”
Keyword – unoccupied – This is the reason we need to fill ourselves daily with the word of God. We can’t leave ourselves exposed. – unoccupied
You cant get rid of any sin, yes you have victory but immediately you have to fill that space with God
We are not meant to be alone and the disciples understood that even though they were a big target together, they were stronger together.
Think about it, why is there peer pressure, coz we all want someone when we are doing something wrong or doing something worth to celebrate.
When you realize that we are not meant to be together, then you will know the potential of our hearts being filled with something good or something evil- Its then that we can plan accordingly
Even after the fall God knew that there was no way we would be successful alone. Over and over He tries to reconcile us with Him
He chooses a race(Israelites) that He would bless and do might things through them so that He can draw His children back to a relationship, but that doesn’t work out well
So, He sent His Only Son to come and die and through His blood, bridge that gap and we can now finally be restored in relationship with the father.
Ephesians 2:4-5 – 4 But God, being [so very] rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, even when we were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ (for by His grace—His undeserved favor and mercy—you have been saved from God’s judgment).
Do you see what is happening here, our maker knows that we don’t do good at all alone…not even for a second
Then why do we think that we can do this Christian walk alone?
Why do we think that without one accord we can affect the kingdom of God?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; 10 for if [a]either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The devil seeks to divide and conquer:
1 Peter 5:28 – Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
I love reality tv – Not the acted one but the real one – where animals don’t act…
My reality choice is National Geographic channel – The salvage kingdom
Them lions are smart- they target the weak and even the strong. They watch, and identify and strategize
They scare and all the animals run, then they separate the one for the day and then, take turn to attack
They start wearing you out with fear, worry, anger …and finally it alpha male bring you down.
And finally bring that buffalo down.
If you want to see what the devil works, watch some National Geographic …better yet take a trip to Kenya
The enemy is:
- Watching you family
- Watching you work environment
- Watching every part of your life – looking for weakness
The enemy is looking for a way in, and that translates to your spiritual life…
Name any struggle in your life and you can trace it to how that thing is going to rob you of a relationship with God
It’s a strategy people
You cannot allow the devil to separate you.
I see it all the time, finances are a mess, sickness, marriage issues …whatever …people stop coming to church, they stop having a relationship with other believers, they want to be alone to deal with it- Dude!!! You just become the next meal in the African jungle
The disciples knew that together was option A and yes “there is no option B”
Do you have an option B……are you determined to stay together indefinitely?
13 When they had entered the city, they went upstairs to the upper room where they were staying [indefinitely];
What part are you playing in this upper room man, are we in one accord, praying for each other or are you trying to tear what God is putting together
Or are you looking outside the window hoping to go into the city alone, be separated and conquered?
Is fear of what is outside these walls keeping you being part of a one mind- Are you forgetting that He that is with us is greater than who is in the world?
All you are required is to WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!!!
God is doing something great here at FVC – are you willing to stay here and be the Church, pray and worship in One mind and purpose till something happens?
Acts 2:2-4- and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other [a]tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].
A sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm is heading to FVC …are you in the room?
And when I talk about the room man, you can’t be just sitting here waiting… “. 14 All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer,
What is the mind and purpose of the church – Submit and die to self, turn away from you evil desires and put God first in everything you do
The disciples knew that there is power in number. When we stay together in unity there is great things that happen
The disciples were like minded, they put aside personal position and took common goal – true unity is an act of grace
- This is why we ought to not fight against our brothers and sisters. I cannot stand division in church
- Let go back to my National geographic channel – I cannot tell you how many times I have seen animals that are fighting have been a target – easy target
This is the time, today is the time to set our difference aside, to crucify our wants to so can wait upon the Holy Spirit to fall.
They are filled with the Holy Spirit, and this moment right here carried the work that Jesus Had started to the rest of the hurting world.
Look around the hurting world today- God is asking, whom shall I send? I need a people to fill with my Holy Spirit and send them …
Are you willing to say “ Here I am , send me” – Have you positioned yourself in a place where you are “sendable” – ( I know is not the correct tense)
Just so you know if you wait and pray for the out pouring of the Holy Spirit- you and I will rebuild the church (in general) – are you ready?
I understand that there is fear and logistics and stuff- but we got to be like kids’ man! – tell a kid they going to be something and they don’t ask details – they start imagining them being exactly that
Mark 10:15 – I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”16 And He took the children [one by one] in His arms and [a]blessed them [with kind, encouraging words], placing His hands on them
The disciples were told to stay in Jerusalem and wait for something that no one had seen or experienced before- but just like a child, they did.
- The disciples had a reason to be fearful, their Leader and protector just up and left and promised them something greater than He – the Holy Spirit
- And they choose to stay and WAIT
We are way better, we have proof , that promises of God do come true. That the Holy Spirit is real
What then is our excuse not to stay together in one mind and purpose?
John 14:26 – But the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.
The disciples received all the help they needed to go out there and do the work they had been called to do. Obedience was the pre-requisite
Ephesians 1:13 – In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God].
We are owned and protected – go in confidence brothers and sisters
Jude 20-23 – But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,[a] 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. 22 And you must show mercy to[b] those whose faith is wavering.23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,[c] but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
- We have a work to do- we are our brothers keeper
- But be careful to fall in to Sin, Hate the sin that contaminates their lives
Hebrew 12: 1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
This is the time to wait in the room, press in and long desperately for the Holy Spirit to come and fill us, equip us and strengthen us
The enemy is preparing and the attacks are coming – Now is when to get ready- Now is the time to come together as one body of Christ
CHRISTIANS TOGETHER: STRONG!!!! X3