I do not want to be normal. (Preparing for 21 days of prayer and fasting.)

My sermon notes for Sunday, Jan. 7th as we prepare to enter into our “21 days of prayer and fasting.” Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

 

Acts 4:23-31

I do not want to be normal

LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH

SERVING, SEEKING, & PRAISING GOD

 

Introduction:

WHY ARE WE SO NORMAL?  Yet, so many people in history were not.

  • People we read about that have done such wonderful things for the Lord. LEGACY LEAVERS. Missionaries, Preachers, Lay people, Churches.
    • This is not about notoriety or success. This not about the biggest and the best (jobs, careers, ministries or churches)
    • This is about faithfulness and calling. This is about making an impact for the Kingdom.

 

This is why we are setting aside 21 days of prayer and fasting.

 

Fasting – Setting aside food or other things for spiritual purposes.

  • so that I may truly know Him
  • be holy before Him
  • live a faithful life unto Him

 

We fast, so we can pray and seek after God.  We pray so that we can encounter God in such a supernatural way that something will take place that only He can get the credit for it.

  • In our private life
  • In our family life
  • In our church life

 

Early this morning as I thought about my goals for the next 21 days…  I decided:

  • I want to LIVE A LIFE OF PASSION AND PURPOSE. A passion and a purpose for HIM!
    • To know Him and Make Him know
    • To love Him and love the things that He loves
    • Realizing every day is a gift from Him and that He has wonderfully made me and gifted me and called me to live my life impacting others for Him.
      • (two relationships with Him and with others)

 

I DO NOT WANT TO BE NORMAL.  I WANT TO DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.  DIFFERENT FOR HIM.  I WANT GOD DO SOMETHING IN MY LIFE!  I WANT GOD TO DO SOMETHING IN THE LIFE OF MY FAMILY!

GOD DO SOMETHING IN THE LIFE OF MY CHURCH! I WANT GOD TO DO SOMETHING SO GREAT THAT ONLY HE CAN GET THE CREDIT FOR IT!  A great picture of this is found with the church of Acts.

 

Getting into the text:

 

A LIFE OF SERVING GOD

(the early church and how they were living their life)

 

  • In the midst of ministry
    • Seeking, Doing, and living. Striving to be a faithful and obedient follower of Jesus Christ.
    • 2 – preaching and teaching Christ (Gospel)
  • There was a change of plans. (life through a curve ball at them…in the midst of them being faithful before the Lord)
    • They were taken before the council
    • Persecution for being faithful.
    • HOW DO WE RESPOND WHEN THINGS DO NOT GO OUR WAY?
  • Optimistic and excited about their calling and ministry
    • They knew they were doing what God had called them to do.
    • They knew they were an audience of ONE.
  • They went to their friends
    • The importance of “one another”
    • The body…(our family and friends)

 

A LIFE OF SEEKING AND PRAISING GOD

(They came together and immediately began to worship

and call on the name of the Lord in prayer)

 

Acknowledge Him

  • 24 – Sovereign Lord – Created, Sustains, Directs, Guides

 

Trust Him

  • 28 – Your hand and plan to do.

 

Petition Him

  • 29 – And now Lord…
  • Grant to your servants

 

Serve Him

  • 29 – your servants. ALL ABOUT SERVING HIM.
  • To continue to speak your Word with boldness(Gospel)
  • As you stretch out YOUR

He

 

NOTICE THE RESULTS:

GOD AFFIRMED

  • 31 – Place was shaken

 

  • He affirmed who He was
  • He affirmed His presence in their life

 

GOD EMPOWERED

  • 31 – They were filled with the Holy Spirit

 

 

  • A yielding to the Spirit in our life.
  • The spirit controlling our life.
  • the fullness of the Spirit’s working
  • His power in and through us.
  • Spirit guiding and controlling our life

 

Conclusion:

 

The church of Acts was different, but why?

 

  • Same Lord.
  • Same Gospel.
  • Same Spirit.
  • Same mandate.
  • Same mission.

 

What made them different was their life.  They lived differently.

  • Served differently than most.
  • Sought differently than most.
  • Praised differently than most.

 

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