We have spent three weeks in Acts 4-5 setting the course for our year. In case you missed a Sunday, here is a summary of those three weeks. If we are going to live into our full redemptive potential, individually and as a community (we actually cannot individually attain our full redemptive potential apart from a commitment to a Christ-centered community, but I’ll save that for another Gmail!), it will take a bold response to God’s initiative in three areas:
- Bold Identity: The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13 NLT.) Peter and John, in the face of religious and political intimidation remembered who they were and it made all the difference. Spending time with Jesus is transformational and creates an identity that we can carry into every role we live into throughout our day.
- Bold Prayers: Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:29-30.) How we pray reflects how we live and who we love. The first recorded prayer of the early church was for a city, that God would give the early church boldness and that in the city, God would heal and perform signs and wonders. We were encouraged NOT to stop praying for ourselves and those we love, but rather not to stop AT praying for ourselves and those we love. Self-centered praying leads to self-centered living.
- Bold Obedience: Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! (Acts 5:29.) What is the boundary you place on your obedience? We reflected last Sunday that God’s ways are clearly laid out for us to walk in freedom — or, as we say around PCC, we obey God for the glory of God and for the good of people. We were encouraged to run to obedience. What is your “ I must obey” area?
As we turn the page on the Hope That Moves series, we open this weekend with a journey through letters Jesus dictated to be delivered to seven churches in modern day Turkey. It is a Fall journey we are calling Dear Church. We have a daily devotional book called The Seven that goes along with the series which you can purchase this Sunday at all gatherings, or order online.
I look forward to gathering with you this Sunday as we overview the series. Want to come prepared? Read up in Revelation 1 and I’ll see you on Sunday at all four of our gatherings! Until then, let’s strive to live into our bold identity, strive to pray boldly, and strive for bold obedience.
I love being your pastor!