Title: Missions @ Home
Text: Acts 2-4
CIT: The NT Church was active in Mission work at home.
CIS: Missions really begins right where you are.
Introduction: Last week I began a sermon series on Missions. Specifically, this month I’ll be dealing with Missions: A Foundation. So what characteristics can be identified in a mission foundation?
Prayer (Mark 4.26-29) – the parable of the farmer who works, but leaves the harvest to the Father; we work in the physical realm like it all depends on us, but we must work in the spiritual realm by spiritual matters – prayer.
Obedience (Today) – Faithfulness and obedience continue the process of a strong foundation. This morning I want to identify seven (7) markers in the early church where faithfulness and obedience were demonstrated in their mission work at home. We find these markers in Acts, Chapters 2-4. The 1st marker is really more like bookends to these passages. They’re two separate events found in 2.1-4 and 4.31; read them; Marker #1:
Mission work at home:
- 1. Is started with a movement of the Holy Spirit. (2.1-13)
exp.: Jesus had told them this would happen; Think about this for a moment: are there promises that you and I have from Jesus?
- I will never leave you nor forsake you.
- Lo, I am with you always…
- Where two or more are gathered in my name…
- Ask and it will be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door…
2 Peter 1: His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. “His divine power has granted to us his precious and very great promises!” Q: Are we being obedient in patient awareness? As we gear up for missions at home and abroad… Let those two words echo in your mind, patient awareness. Rd 2.12-13; the work of God is evident to those who are watching!
app.: They may believe, they may mock, but they’ll be aware…
Transition: Mission work @ home is started (and sustained by the Holy Spirit). Marker #2: Mission Work @ home…
- 2. Is established on the Word of God. (2.14-41)
exp.: we don’t have time to read every verse, but Peter’s sermon is replete with Scripture. You may notice that from the quotations, how they’re indented; basically he says: this may seem odd to you, but God told us this day would come; rd v 22-24 – that’s the gospel! He then quotes more Scripture to strengthen his message! Rd v 36;
- He tells them what they need to hear in v 36, then
- He tells them what they need to do in v 37, 38
* all from Scripture.
app.: that is so often too hard for us to do; we fear hurting people’s feelings; it’s not politically correct; They need to hear that:
- God had a plan
- God put that plan into play
- Jesus was and is that plan
- Now, they need to respond
ill.: I’ve only had a couple of times when sharing that someone asked me a question like v. 37, what shall we do. The best was a couple who was visiting our home. She had been reading the book, Left Behind and had many questions about Revelation. Our families had dinner together, then we sat in the living room. I said, you had some questions for me? She replied: well, it really all boils down to one question. How can I know for sure that I won’t be left behind? Boom!
Application: As the Spirit moves in our lives, we must be attentive to opportunities to share Christ. When the Holy Spirit has gone before us, the doors will just open up. Listen, you don’t have to be smart, you don’t have to be witty – just be faithful in sharing God’s Word.
Transition: because Mission work @ home is started with a movement of the Holy Spirit, is established in the Word of God and…
- 3. Is validated in the fellowship of the believers. (2.42-47)
ill.: Lyle Skills said in the New Member’s class yesterday that we invite guests to our Business Meetings! We do this because our QBM are filled with laughter and excitement and warm fellowship.
exp.: These folks in Jerusalem are watching these weirdoes closely and what do they see? They see the validation of what they’ve been preaching in their lives! Well, What were they doing? Rd v 42
- They Devoted themselves to each other
ii. The Fellowship – the fellowship is the group, not an activity
iii. The breaking of bread – that’s an activity.
v. Ministry to the body
- Signs and Wonders
- Shared their belongings as people had need
Summary in v 46f:
- Worshipping together
- Fellowshipping together
Transition: Mission work at home is started with a movement of the Holy Spirit, is established in the Word of God and is validated in the fellowship of the believers. Plus, Mission work at home…
- 4. Is initiated when you care about those in need around you. (3.1-26)
- The Lame Beggar
exp.: rd v 1; so they’re basically doing what they normally do at this time; rd v 2-4; I think it’s interesting that our normal response is to look the other way. We pull up to a red light and we choose not to make eye contact, hoping that they won’t approach. If they do, we simply keep our eye on the light, or on something in our car, etc. Those days were different: family and friends would help, no govt. assistance. But let’s not focus on that. Here’s what I want you to see. Ministry can only begin to happen when we actually see the needs. When people are content, for the most part, they don’t appear to me to seek for God. Now, I don’t like making broad, brush-stroke statements, because you can always find an example that doesn’t fit the mold; however, with that being said, God is usually at work in someone’s life, drawing them to himself through their circumstances. That is when it seems to me that people are most receptive. We must be sensitive to that. We must understand that God has been at work in their lives before we even say hello. Then, as God has been moving them to where He wants them, he has also been moving us to a place where we can be used. But that won’t happen if we look the other way.
Peter says he doesn’t have money to give, but he has something else very special and he offers it to this man. The man is healed. But that’s not the end of the story; rd v 9-12; Now, with eyes open, Peter and John see that God is giving them another opportunity. Peter once again presents the gospel. At this time, however, we don’t see a record number of people getting saved. We will in a few moments, but for Peter and John, they apparently don’t get to see the fruit because their presentation is interrupted by the priests, the temple guard, and the Sadducees. Rd v 4.1-3; I’m guessing, that because they’ve been arrested and put behind bars for the night, they don’t know what is happening outside the place they’re locked up in. But look at what happens; rd 4.4;
app.: It might work that way in your life as you begin to obey God in Mission @ Home. You might not see the fruit of your labor, but nevertheless, take advantage of the moments God gives and then trust that he’s using you. You see, God used them to touch the beggar, but also to touch the crowd. And, that’s the 2nd sub-point.
- The Crowd that was stirred
Transition: Mission work at home is started with a movement of the Holy Spirit, is established in the Word of God and is validated in the fellowship of the believers. Plus, Mission work at home is initiated when you care about those around you. But there is a 5th marker, and that is Mission work at home is…
- 5. Is experienced when you’re willing to take a bold stand for Christ. (4.1-22)
exp.: and that’s what happens to the disciples. They’re locked up overnight. They’ve got time to think about what they’re going to say. Rd v 5-10
- If you experience success in ministry, blame Jesus! Let’s be honest here, you and I both know you didn’t do this, there has to be another explanation. There is, it’s all Jesus! But there’s a 2nd action you should take…
- If you experience success in ministry, build upon it! rd v11-12; I love this passage – there is no other name by which you must be saved! Talk about bold! They’re speaking to the religious leaders who just a few weeks ago killed the Savior. You’d think that might shut them up! Which brings me to my 3rd sub-point…the 3rd action you should take.
- If you experience success in ministry, be bold! Rd v 17-20;
app.: isn’t that really what ministry is? It’s simply telling others what Christ has done in your life, telling them what Christ has done for their lives, and the hope that you now have because of that work.
Transition: Mission work at home is started with a movement of the Holy Spirit, is established in the Word of God, it is validated in the fellowship of the believers, it is initiated when you care about those around you. And it is experienced when you’re willing to take a bold stand for Christ. Sixth, Mission work @ home…
- 6. Is strengthened with cooperation in prayer. (4.23-31)
exp.: Now, this was my message last week; I basically pleaded with you to continue praying for our mission work. Three areas to be praying now,
- UUPG – in **********
- NBDF – church plant her in Tyler (a UPG)
- My Hope for America – Nov. 9th, 6:30 pm at your house.
How to pray for mission work at home:
- Praise God – rd v 23-28; no matter what happens or how things turn out, God is sovereign and in charge! So praise him.
- Pray for boldness: rd v 29; no matter what happens or how things turn out, pray that God would grant us the boldness needed to share his truths.
- Pray to be used by God: Use us Lord to display your power and your glory; rd v 30;
transition: Mission work at home is started with a movement of the Holy Spirit, is established in the Word of God, it is validated in the fellowship of the believers, it is initiated when you care about those around you, it is experienced when you’re willing to take a bold stand for Christ and is strengthened with cooperation in prayer and finally, Marker number 7, Mission work @ home is…
- 7. Is possible when we work together. (4.32-37)
exp.: this final passage declares the unity within the body. They worked together to ensure that every need was met.
- We can tell the world Jesus loves them, but if they don’t see us loving each other, it sends a message of contradiction. Rd v 34a;
Observations & Implications:
- Faithfulness and Obedience are seen. They’re not just words we throw out…
- As we look at the church of the NT, we see the church we should be…
- The gospel is not just spoken, it’s demonstrated. Good news isn’t just heard, it’s experienced – that’s what makes it so good!
- Remember God has a plan; this passage clarified that twice for us (2.23; 28); God’s working that plan, and we get to be a big part of it!