Jun 10, 2018
Signs of God’s Work – ????

Signs of God's Work - ????                                Acts 19:1-7

Holy Spirit

Paul finds himself in Ephesus and meets some Christians.  Leaving behind any customary greeting, Paul abruptly asks, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit?"  The question is intriguing, but their answer borders on disturbing, "We have not even heard there is a Holy Spirit."  They must have been good Methodists, reared in an institutional, respectable, staid church.
 
I confess, there has been more than one time in my life as a United Methodist that I have asked, "Have the United Methodists even heard there is a Holy Spirit?"
 
Maybe we think the Holy Spirit is just for Charismatics.
 
Maybe we think the Holy Spirit is just for wacky Televangelists.
 
Maybe we think the Holy Spirit would turn our worship service into something too exciting and expressive.
 
Maybe we haven't heard of the person and powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit that drove a fledging church to go places they would have never gone, to share Christ with people that before they would never even sit at the dinner table with, is the same Spirit "making it difficult for the staid church to limit the work of the Spirit to the care, internal maintenance and safekeeping of the status quo church." (Will Willimon, The Holy Spirit p.56)
 
God is always ready to strengthen us in our faith. We can come to Him with our weakness, and He will make us strong. He will empower us in all that we do.
 
Reflect on... Acts 19
1) What experiences have you had where the Holy Spirit has been active in your church?
2) When is the last time you talked specifically about the Holy Spirit in your committee, ministry team and / or small group?

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  • Jun 10, 2018Signs of God’s Work – ????
    Jun 10, 2018
    Signs of God’s Work – ????

    Signs of God's Work - ????                                Acts 19:1-7

    Holy Spirit

    Paul finds himself in Ephesus and meets some Christians.  Leaving behind any customary greeting, Paul abruptly asks, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit?"  The question is intriguing, but their answer borders on disturbing, "We have not even heard there is a Holy Spirit."  They must have been good Methodists, reared in an institutional, respectable, staid church.
     
    I confess, there has been more than one time in my life as a United Methodist that I have asked, "Have the United Methodists even heard there is a Holy Spirit?"
     
    Maybe we think the Holy Spirit is just for Charismatics.
     
    Maybe we think the Holy Spirit is just for wacky Televangelists.
     
    Maybe we think the Holy Spirit would turn our worship service into something too exciting and expressive.
     
    Maybe we haven't heard of the person and powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit that drove a fledging church to go places they would have never gone, to share Christ with people that before they would never even sit at the dinner table with, is the same Spirit "making it difficult for the staid church to limit the work of the Spirit to the care, internal maintenance and safekeeping of the status quo church." (Will Willimon, The Holy Spirit p.56)
     
    God is always ready to strengthen us in our faith. We can come to Him with our weakness, and He will make us strong. He will empower us in all that we do.
     
    Reflect on... Acts 19
    1) What experiences have you had where the Holy Spirit has been active in your church?
    2) When is the last time you talked specifically about the Holy Spirit in your committee, ministry team and / or small group?

    If you are interested in hearing other sermons, click here.

  • Jun 3, 2018You Cannot Pass
    Jun 3, 2018
    You Cannot Pass

    You Cannot Pass                                    Acts 8:26-36

    Evangelism

    Luke interrupts the tremendous spread of the gospel with this seemingly pedestrian story of a eunuch sitting in his chariot at a rest stop. The person is not mentioned by name, who he is doesn't appear as important as what he is and how he has lived his life.

     

    Philip, prompted by the Holy Spirit, take the same road as the eunuch, meets him at the rest stop and engages in conversion. Philip, prompted by the Holy Spirit, is provided the opportunity its to share the good news of Jesus.

     

    When is the last time you were prompted by the Holy Spirit to share the good new of Jesus Christ?

     

    When is the last time you followed through on the prompting?

     

    The eunuch innocently asks, "What would keep me from being baptized?" This is not a rhetorical question, it is a critical question. The eunuch asks the question expecting answer - lots of answers.

     

    He is someone who has been prevented his whole life and expects to be prevented again. Philip does not give an answer because there is no answer to give.

    So, what is the point of this story?

    The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch teaches us one of the ways God uses us to evangelize the world. The book of Acts has a lot of evangelism that was done without an angel of the Lord having to tell the Christians to do it (e.g., 8:4). It's what one does if one loves Jesus and loves people. You tell the good news.

    Reflect On:
    These questions are from Bishop Lowry's study on Acts.
     
    1. What does it mean in your life to be offered Christ? What does it mean in the life of our church?
     
    2. How have you experienced the Holy Spirit redirecting your life and the life of your church?
     

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  • May 27, 2018Signs of God’s Work – Upside Down
    May 27, 2018
    Signs of God’s Work – Upside Down

    Upside Down                            Acts 3:1-11

     Healing the Lame

    [caption id="attachment_9989" align="alignleft" width="177"] Upside Down[/caption] A person who is lame asks Peter and John for money.  For the lame person it is a matter of survival.  There were no social service programs to help him.  He relied solely on the generosity of others to care for him.  Peter and John are on their way to church.
     
    What would you do?
     
    The people, filled with compassion, would carry him to the temple gate so he could ask for money.  And obviously, people were moved to help him financially.  The people cared and cared deeply, yet he was still lame.
     
    Peter and John don't offer money.  They offer what they have - they offer something better, more powerful than money and survival - they offer a cure that only comes through Jesus Christ.  They told him to rise up and walk.  They help him up.  The man is able to run and jump and praise Christ's name.
     
    In our deep compassionate caring for people, do we also offer the cure, or do we leave them lame?
     

    Just as John and Peter, you also have the opportunity to offer the risen Christ.

     
     
     
     
     
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