A Sending Community
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Pastor Paul Davis
As I explore the Scriptures, I think God has something more in mind for his church and his children than ‘coming and getting’ good stuff.
Turn with me to Acts Chapter 2 for a moment. This is the very first time we see the actual church in Scripture. The Holy Spirit has just been given at Pentecost and Peter has just preached his sermon where over 3000 received Christ. The church is born!
Immediately at its birth the church gave herself over (the idea of ‘devoted’) to teaching, fellowship and prayer. Teaching was specifically about Jesus –Since the Bible did not exist the only records of Jesus’ words and teaching were from the apostles. Fellowship is sharing a meal together, sharing the load of a project, bearing burdens, meeting needs. The Prayers were short prayers that petitioned God for salvation, redemption, knowledge, forgiveness, righteousness and praised God for his holiness, might and blessings.
Acts 6:7 (ESV) 7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Why was the church growing? The Church was growing because of clear teaching, daily fellowship, unrelenting prayer, generous giving, and faithful serving.
When a church is teaching, fellowshipping, praying, giving and serving the Holy Spirit will call some people to extra-ordinary missions.
Not everyone is sent on extra-ordinary missions. Some believes are sent on extra ordinary missions, God calls the rest of the church to send people on extra-ordinary missions.
What does this mean for us today?
1. We need to grow in unrelenting prayer. Almost every passage we walked through this morning had prayer as part of it. I am not going to lay the guilt trip of prayer on you this morning, but I will remind us that Scripture clearly teaches us that prayer is the activator of God’s holy will. If we want to see lives changed, we must pray about it.
2. We need to earnestly identify those that God is sending on extra-ordinary missions. Who are the people in our church that hear the Holy Spirit sending them? Where does God want us to send them? If there will be missionaries and pastors for the generation beyond us, they will only come from Calvary if we intentionally listen to the Holy Spirit and train and support those God is calling to extra-ordinary missions.
3. We need to work on biblical giving and receiving. The church flourishes when she gives. I’m not talking about tithes and offerings and figuring out what 10% of our incomes are. I’m talking about selling stuff and making sure our missionaries are supported, knowing the names and the needs of our missionaries. They are the ones we are sending on extra-ordinary missions. Is our youth pastor being properly taken care of? Do we have young men we need to send to seminary?
Giving and receiving is a central piece of being the church. There are huge blessings on both sides of the equation.