Archive for June 17th, 2011

THOTS Small Thoughts: What’s it About?

It’s about

The Holy Spirit

WITHIN US

The brethren

ABOUT US

The feeling of awe

SURROUNDING US

The signs and wonders

THROUGH US

The favour of the people

OUTSIDE US

The grace of God

UPON US

No needs

AMONGST US

The fear of God

OVER US

The healing

FOR US

The angels

AROUND US

The obedience

FROM US

All because

OF HIM

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McCHUNKS Bigger Thoughts: Believers’ Actions and God’s Responses

GOD’S INITIATIVE: Jesus commanded……Gathering them together He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. (Acts 1:4)

APOSTLES & BELIEVERS’ ACTION: Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount…they went up to the upper room…continually devoting themselves to prayer.(Acts 1:12-14)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: When the day of Pentecost had come…there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

PETER’S ACTION: (He preached) But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them…(Acts 2:14)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ (Acts 2:3). So then those who had received his word were baptised and that day there were added about threee thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)

BELIEVERS’ ACTION: They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe and and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

BELIEVERS’ ACTIONS: And all who believed were together and had all things in common…selling their property and possessions….sharing with all…day by day..in the temple…breaking bread from house to house…taking meals together….praising God. (Acts 2:44-47)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION:  They had favour with all the people….and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:47)

GOD’S INITIATIVE: (with the man who had been lame begging alms)..But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze upon him. (Acts 3: 4)

PETER’S ACTION: Look at us…I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene-walk! (Acts 3:6)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: Immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened….walking and leaping (Acts 3:7,8) …and all the people were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:10)

PETER’S ACTION: (He preached) Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this…. (Acts 3: 12)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: (through conviction) But many of those who had heard the message believed and the number of the men came to about five thousand (Acts 4:4)

THE APOSTLES’ INACTION (they allowed themselves to be arrested; they did not resist-Acts 4:1-3)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS (IN)ACTION: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…let it be known to all of you… (Acts 4:8-12) Seeing the confidence of Peter and John…they were amazed…..recognised them as having been with Jesus…seeing the man who had been healed they had nothing to say in reply! (Acts 4:13-14)

THE APOSTLES’ (continued) ACTION: For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)

GOD’S RESPONSE (involvement) TO THIS ACTION: When they had threatened them further they let them go…..on account of the people for they were all glorifying God for what had happened. (Acts 4:21)

THE BELIEVERS’ ACTION: And when they heard this they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said… And now Lord take note of their threats and grant that your bond-servants may speak your word with all confidence while you extend your hand to heal and signs and wonders take place through the name of your holy servant Jesus.(Acts 4:24)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: And when they had prayed the place where they had gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)

THE BELIEVERS’ ACTION: And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. (Acts 4:32)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION:  And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them… (Acts 4:33-35)

ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA’S (IN)ACTION: …sold a piece of property and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge. You have not lied to men but to God. (Acts 5:1-4)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS (IN)ACTION: And as he heard these words Ananias fell down and breathed his last…and great fear came over all who heard of it ….and immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last….and great fear came over the whole church… (Acts 5:5,10,11) ….At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people…(Acts 5:12)

THE BELIEVERS’ ACTION: And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. (Acts 5:12)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: None of the rest dared to associate with them; however the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number….sick and unclean spirits…that Peter’s shadow might fall on any one of them…all being healed. (Acts 5:13-16)

THE SADUCEES’ REACTION: But the high priest rose up and his associates…Saducees…and they were filled with jealousy. They laid their hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. (Acts 5:17-18)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS (RE)-ACTION: But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison and taking them out he said ‘Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life!’ (Acts 5:19)

THE APOSTLES’ ACTION: Upon hearing this they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. (Acts 5:21) And every day in the temple and from house to house they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Messiah. (Acts 5:42) But we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4) (The brethren selected seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom who were put in charge of the task of daily food distribution to the ethnically different and in need widows-Acts 6:3). And these they brought before the apostles and after praying they laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:6).

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THIS ACTION: The word of God kept on spreading and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. And Stephen full of grace and power was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

After meditating on these Scriptures above, and seeing how God responds to His peoples’ actions, how will YOU respond in action?

And together with the local congregation and indeed with all believers, what is it that we need to do in this hour, in this season of time?

Is it not a continuation of what was started here by the Holy Spirit?

Is there not still a need for the obedience to the commands of Jesus, and the necessity of continuing to be being filled with the Spirit, and oh, for there to be a sense of awe to abound in the atmosphere? And what of boldness and confidence needed for the proclamation of the gospel-shall we have that too? And the wonders and signs to follow-shall we see that also? And what of having the favour of all the people-can we expect that? Are these things and more besides, necessary for us now and needful for the moment and times in which we live? And what of great power and abundant grace-of how much importance are these? And with not one need unmet amongst the brethren-is this true of us? And shall we have the angels going about the Father’s business in service of us, the saints…how much do we really want and need these things, that we might see the Lord add thousands, yea, hundreds of thousands, to His Body, daily? How much does He want it!

If the answer is “Yes and Amen” to any of these things…

Then,

What ACTIONS will you now take……..to which the Father may RESPOND?

THOTS Small Thoughts: Oneness

The believers were

Of

ONE

Mind

In

ONE

Place

With

ONE

Accord

Being

Of

ONE

Heart and soul.

One MIND in PRAYER

One PLACE with the HOLY SPIRIT

One ACCORD with LIFTED VOICES to God

One HEART AND SOUL in the CONGREGATION of those who believed

As not ONE of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were COMMON

THOTS Small Thoughts: The Hundred Fold Increase!

Do “numbers” matter?

After Jesus THREE AND A HALF YEARS public ministry………….about 120 persons gathered together in the upper room to pray and wait (Acts 1:14-15)

BUT

After the HOLY SPIRIT was poured out on DAY 1………………………about 3000 persons were added! (Acts 2:41)

Over the next few days…………………………………………………………….the number of the men came to be about 5000! (Acts 4:4)

And still again…………………………………………………………………………multitudes of men and women were constantly added to their number! (Acts 5:14)

The HOLY SPIRIT in us has made the HUGE difference in the numbers that come.

HOW SO?

BECAUSE…”The GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has GLORIFIED His servant JESUS…Whom He RAISED FROM THE DEAD! (Acts 3:13, 15)

SO, it’s all about how JESUS has been EXALTED to the right hand of the Father on high!

How quickly it went from 120 to 12000……………………………………..a ONE HUNDRED FOLD INCREASE!

1 Chronicles 21:3  Joab said, “ May the LORD add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! “

Mark 10:29-30 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Luke 8:8 Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.

Do “numbers” matter?

They do to God!

Because each one represents a lost soul, found.