Acts

The First Martyr - Acts Series #14

Stephen was the first person to die for following Jesus. He was challenged by the religious leadership as being against the Temple and the law of Moses. This became a common challenge of Jews against Christians. Stephen's response to this challenge was striking, bold and instructive for us today. His example of courage, witness and character still inspires.


Unselfish Generosity - Basic Practices #7

Another dynamic of the early church was the voluntary, sacrificial giving of those who had extra financially and materially for those who were in need within the church community. This kind of generosity was a fruit of the unity the church experienced because of their shared faith in Jesus. How do we form the kind of unity that leads to this kind of generosity today?


Evangelism for Normal People - Basic Practices #6

For many followers of Jesus sharing our faith is something most agree is something Christians should do, but many struggle with doing for all sorts of reasons. But what might evangelism for normal people look like? It would and should look like how Jesus did evangelism. How Jesus blessed and invited people into the Kingdom was based out of a foundation that is the same for His followers. Have your Bibles ready to skip through the gospel of John as we look at Jesus' pattern for doing evangelism.


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.

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.