This week Kent takes us to the result of all of the ministry of Jesus and gives us insight into 3 things these early Christians knew that could make a HUGE difference in our following Jesus. IT’S EASY TO GIVE, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give ).
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DC – July 4th, Beach Boys at the Capitol. it was packed – barriers, police everywhere, people packed in. found a spot on the grass. The whole time kept thinking, “where are the fireworks gonna be?” capitol behind the other direction the band shell was blocking your view looking that way.
the concert ended, dark, the first firework shot up and within seconds, the entire crowd stood up and all started moving out the gate. stroller full of stuff and a bunch of little kids on bungee cords – I didn’t even think, just took off with the crowd. Jenni started yelling, “what are you doing?” I was like “we gotta move or we die!” Ha
made it out the gate just a few minutes left on the fireworks display, surrounded by 50,000 of my closest friends and my wife not super happy about me just following the rush of the crowd. 🙂
You’ve felt the rush of the crowd, haven’t you?
-concert – moved because everyone around you moving?
-video tide pool China thousands of people floated back & forth
-ran a 5k got stuck in the middle of a crowd – move the pace
all know what it’s like to be in the rush of the crowd…
Today, I want to Flash Forward past the life of Jesus and take you to a crowd rush moment.
We will look at what comes out of this moment and see a thing or two we could learn from this event in history.
pentecost. 50 days since Jesus resurrected – Jews call it Shavuot
Shavuot, the second of three pilgrim festivals for the Jewish people. Celebrated the beginning of the harvest of wheat, the bringing of first fruits, and the giving of the law to Moses.
people from all over the known world in Jerusalem – they had been there 50 days before and seen the whole mix-up with Jesus…
disciples huddled away waiting for Holy Spirit to come
-all of sudden, spirit comes – tongues of fire. people hear in their own language
“been hitting the sauce a little early…”
Peter stands up in a huge crowd – tells the people aren’t drunk. preaches the first sermon of the church and it’s powerful. LITERALLY, the ones who crucified Jesus, not “Jesus died because of my sin” but like, they are there chanting “crucify Him” tells them God raised Jesus from the dead and that He is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for.
Listen, this is the culmination of years of ministry. We’ll see as we Track Jesus – He preaches and sends people out to preach all over Israel.
this is the moment. Peter preaches and the scriptures says
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter stands up in Act 2:38 and says, Repent and be baptized, everyone of you for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit
-Which, by the way, is part of the reason we baptize as part of salvation…
Do you know how many people were baptized that day?
Can you even imagine… 120 people to 3,000? I can’t, what do you do with all those people? How do you care for them?
25 people to every one person that was there originally…
-pre-phone, pre-internet, pre-cup on a string…
-no cars to gather together
-people from all over the known world…
What do you do? The rush of the crowd has hit, but how do you care for the people?
Brad gave us a primer on this last week, listen to what they do..
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
These Jewish believers intuitively did three things that we could all learn from when the rush of the crowd is gone…
1. They knew they had something to learn
devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching
-greek “they clung” to it. They couldn’t get enough of it…
when I first came to know Jesus – sit in my pastors office while he worked and ask him questions. show up 30 minutes before anyone else at church on Sunday mornings, cause I just couldn’t wait for the doors to open. I devoured scriptures…
not anything special, I’d seen how devastating a life given over to sin was and saw life in Jesus I’d never known.
What would it take for you to become so devoted to the teaching of Jesus that people would say, you seem to “cling” to it?
“Kent, you’re a pastor” I was 15-16 years old, not a pastor…
The only difference between me and anyone else is I believed Jesus was really life…
-you can make excuses, look at your life, and you’ll see you make room for what you care about. Sports, check. Hitting the lake, check.
We make room for what we really care about, not just what we say we care about…
These people devoted themselves, and clung to the apostles’ teaching – they carried the words of life…
2. They knew they had something to get
early disciples naturally knew they needed to be with one another…
“They devoted themselves to… fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer”
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.”
They knew they needed each other… They needed to be together to get better
why SO emphatic about Connect groups and everyone needing one.
You have something to get – if never engage with other Christians in a meaningful way, you’ll never be challenged to grow…
Seriously, if haven’t considered a connect group spin-off that starts tonight, don’t miss it, there’s still time to sign up.
3. They knew they had something to give
All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
sold their stuff to care for one another…
Not only do you have something to get from being in a smaller group of Christ Followers, you have something to give to them.
someone God is just waiting for you to get into a relationship with so you can be the one who gives and inputs into their lives..
As good as it is to get, when you get the chance to give, to show up in their hospital room, to take them a meal, to slip them $100. You will find there is nothing like God using you.
When you are in a group, it’s a chance for you to “Be” the church with your fellow Christ Followers – to give yourself away.
In a moment, we are going to sing a song and partake of Communion. I want to encourage you. If you’ve struggled as a Christian, struggled with doubt, or felt alone, or like you don’t know anyone. I can just about guarantee you it’s because you’re not in a group – or in the right group where you can both give and get. My goal is to bring you the apostles teaching, groups are where you get and give. If you’re in a group, take time today to pray for your group and your members and consider your commitment to them. If you’re not in a group, get signed up today!