Prayer Meeting - Basic Practices #5

Another of the basic practices of the early church was the practice\discipline of prayer. Prayer is simply conversation with God, which takes speaking and listening. In this message we look at some of the barriers to pray, why God wants us to pray, and some practical ideas to take a step, wherever you are, at incorporating prayer into your day to day, even moment by moment life.

Devoted and Empowered - Basic Practices #4

How did the early church grow from 120 to the approximately 2 billion today worldwide? The early church not only carried out some basic practices, but their attitude was of being devoted to Jesus through them and because of this they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our question, if we want to see God move more powerfully today, is are we willing to be devoted and empowered... even if it means God calls for us to change and sacrifice?

Breaking of Bread - Basic Practices #2

Another of the basic practices of the early church as described by Luke as the breaking of bread or sharing in common meals, which included observance\celebration of the Lord's Supper. One of the counter cultural qualities of the early church's common meals was how people of different social status were treated and viewed as equals as they opened their homes to one another. Hospitality, even to the stranger, was embedded in the practice of the early church as they recognized they had been invited by God into His Kingdom and family when they were estranged from Him. We are still called by God to practice hospitality in our context.

To Whom Are You Apprenticing Yourself? - Basic Practices #1

The early church devoted themselves to a set of basic practices that helped them fulfill Jesus' Great Commission and Great Commandment. While we live in a different culture and can't do things exactly as the early church did, we can still engage in the same practices, the first in our series being devotion to the teaching of the apostles. To apprentice ourselves to Jesus requires we know His teaching.

Direction, not intention, is what matters

Knowing our identity in Christ and personal vision from God isn’t enough to see these made manifest in our lives. It also requires our taking steps to live these out. Good intentions will not get us to the positive destinations we want in our life. Following Jesus requires effort on our part to turn our intentions into steps that will lead us in the direction of His Kingdom.

Emmanuel God With Us

God has always looked to be with humanity. From the Garden of Eden through the times and lives of Abraham, David, the old testament prophets to when Jesus came God had been working and promising for an even closer relationship. Through the work of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit, Christians are a God-indwelt people. So whatever you are going through, you can know God is with you or you can surrender to Jesus and experience His presence.

O Holy Night

O Holy Night was a favourite Christmas song by the abolitionist movement because of it’s 3rd verse speaking of God’s command to love and God’s heart to break the chains of the oppressed. This theme resonates with Mary’s song found in Luke 1. Mary saw God was at work on not only her behalf, but for all people oppressed by others. With the announcement of the Messiah being born, Mary saw God as faithful Saviour.

A Ground Shaking Prayer

Summary – Peter and John, after being released from prison after a warning (threats) to not speak in the name of Jesus again, the church prayed. They didn’t pray for protection or for the rulers to change their minds or for God to show them where to run away to… they prayed for boldness to continue to proclaim Jesus as King regardless of the opposition that would come. Too often the approach of the church in the West to the culture it is in has been fear. The early church displayed faith in God’s sovereignty and a passion to embrace the culture it was in.