This week we are going to take a break from the Beatitudes and think about the encouragements and challenges we find in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples.
Read Acts 2, on Sunday we will focus on verses 42-47. In verse 42 we see the priorities of early church as it started its new adventure, seeking to discover how to do and be church.
What did they devote themselves to?
Think about: what/how can we learn from the early church, as we seek to do and be church in our new reality.
Note the wonderful blessings that they experienced as they became the church.
Engage and Extend
Take time to think about the struggles and pluses you have experienced over the past 2 months.
We see several priorities for the early church as they united together, the three we looked at this morning were that they devoted themselves to:
This period should be a significant time for us, as we journey through the uncertainty and challenge these must be priorities for us as disciples and as a church.
Stephen challenged us to apply what we read to our lives, to ask “so what now for my life?”
What does it mean to be devoted to the teachings we find in the Bible?
Stephen stated that it would be heartbreaking if we didn’t grasp this opportunity to devote ourselves to the teaching, and got distracted by other things. how can we help each other to make this a significant time.
As Rob spoke about Fellowship and community he shared about how he has more empathy for people and how that lead to doing something. Think about the importance of empathy for action.
Rob stated that “we can’t go back to the way we did things.” How can we engage and support people who are locked out of church, for a variety of reasons?
What does it look like for you to be devoted to fellowship?
As gordon shared about prayer he told us his mind wander to:
Matthew 6:6 Go into your room and close the door. Pray to your father who is unseen. Find a quiet secluded space just be there as simply and honestly as you can.
Saying that if we did nothing more but just reflect on those words now and lived with them over the next week that would probably be more than enough. Take some time this week to do this.
Gordon challenged us, “To change our relationship with prayer.”
Here are some pointers to help us do this.
First, a quiet secluded space …. your room with the door closed.
A place of privacy, quietness, honesty, closeness of relationship, informality
It also suggests a physical space – somewhere that we know we can go to find quietness and seclusion a place we can close the door.
Somewhere, if we live with others, they know to leave us be for a little while.
Somewhere where can walk?
We need these places, if for no other reason than the fact that, we are all assaulted by CS Lewis called ‘the kingdom of noise…When the thought of finding a quiet secluded space becomes active in our minds “1000 voices scream…No!”
How do we focus? How do we calm the frenetic inner chatter?
One thing tried and tested through the years has been to use a phrase or word, from the bible to re-focus our thoughts by returning to that word or phrase every time our thoughts wander…
Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God
is a good example.
Second, if God is my father I must be his child.
How should I pray as a child to my father?
What is about children that Jesus is getting at?
As an entry point into this it’s maybe helpful to distinguish between childish and childlike:
Childlike: An adult showing the good qualities that children have
What good qualities of children do those questions suggest should we bring to praying?
Coming with what’s on our mind – honest
- No pretending
- Not trying to fix things
- Asking… Telling… Trusting… Hoping…
- Not cynical, bruised by the battering of
- unresolved disappointments
- In the moment…
Think about how we can use these as we seek to devote ourselves to prayer.
Let us ensure that this is a significant time as we devote ourselves to teaching, fellowship and prayer.