Sermon Title: How Churches can find God’s will
Text: Acts 1:12-26
Preposition: Three aspects how churches find out God’s will.
A tale is told about a small town that had historically been "dry," but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It just so happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible. The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that "no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the Christians do not."
I have been involved in the ministry since 1986. I’ve been involved in many areas of the ministry. One thing catches my attention is this: how much time church’s believers spend time with God on pray? We must be honest before him. If we used the church of the first century as an example; we are going to find they were trying to find God’s will for church’s ministry. They spent time with God on pray. In churches today, we see many pastors and church’s members fail into outside marriage activities. We can see church’s members involve in pornography. Also, when churches are trying to find their new leaders or pastors sometimes we can see on how “human’s will” is working into their decision, or/and sometimes I heard this as a church’s committee we believe that God is leading us to bring this man before our church, and then after one year or two years he was selected this man gets fired. My question is: where it was God’s will?
Last Sermon we were talking about three requirements for become God’s witness. 1. You must know Jesus as your personal savior and Lord. If you do not Him you are not part of God’s team. 2. You have to obey Jesus commands and to believe Jesus’ promises. 3. You have to know and to believe that Jesus is coming back.
Today questions are: how we are going to convert people if we do not spend in pray and asking God to convert this people. How we are going to believe in God’s promises if we do not believe that pray can make big different. How we are going to allow God to take control on over church’s decision or my own decision, if as a church we do not spend time with God on pray?
Jesus spent time praying. Church we must pray without ceasing. We need to pay attention and to spend time on praying without ceasing.
I. The urgency of Prayer. 12-14
A. Must be church’s priority. V.13
B. Must be praying in devoting attitude. V. 14
Devote προσκαρτεροῦντες (Act 1:14 BGT) προσκαρτερέω fut. προσκαρτερήσω; with a basic meaning persist at, stay by; (1) with the dative of person be loyal to, attach oneself to, associate closely with (AC 8.13); serve personally, wait on (AC 10.7); of a boat be continually ready for someone, stand ready (MK 3.9); (2) with the dative of the thing; (a) occupy oneself diligently with, pay persistent attention to, be devoted to (AC 6.4); (b) hold fast to, cling to, persevere in (AC 1.14; 2.42); (3) followed by ἐν and a place spend much time in, continually be in (AC 2.46)
C. Must be unanimous or together. V.14b
Themselves ὁμοθυμαδόν adverb; of action agreed on unanimously with one mind, with one purpose, by common consent.
1) The women, Mary (Jesus’ Mom) and His brothers
ἀδελφοῖς (Act 1:14 BYZ) ἀδελφός, οῦ, ὁ brother; (1) literally, male sibling with at least one parent in common (JN 1.41); figuratively, members of the Christian community, and of associates in religious work (spiritual) brother, fellow Christian, fellow believer (RO 8.29); (2) in Jewish usage fellow countryman (AC 3.22); (3) of one of equal rank and dignity (MT 23.8); (4) of a neighbor or member of one's in-group brother, friend (MT 5.22)
II. The necessity of prayer. V.15-20
A. Mighty way to resolve church’s problems. V.15
1) The problem was to replace Judas. Jesus’ apostles.
a. Problems are coming to our life. I do not have any doubt about that.
b. Some people get into alcohol drugs or decide to take away his life.
B. The Scripture is fulfilling with a lot examples. V.16
1) Paul was a man of prayer life, Peter, King David Psalm 51, and Moses.
C. The way to replace church’s leaders or to find new leaders. V.16b
D. The way to sanctify church’s life. V.18
E. The way to create or cleanse church’s testimony. V.19
III. The way God’s sovereignty takes control. 21-26
A. Ask to our Lord Jesus to take over. V.21
B. Leader’s qualifications. V.22
1. Leaders must become witnesses. V21b
2. I timothy 3:8-13
C. Lord’s knows everything. V.24
1. Galatians 6:7
D. Lord’s choices not men’s choices. V.24b
Today churches many are acting in the flesh. Church we must remember this Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. They are not copying first century church’s model. How we are going to act? What we are going to do from now on? Are you still lacking on this specific area on your life? My recommendation is pray, pray, and pray. Sometimes when a Christian friend is approaching us to tell us about his or her problems we replied I am going to pray for you, and when you are out you don’t. Through prayer is where you and I are going to ask to take over, because we are desperate for God’s intervention. It is not doubt that we need to pray.
Illustration of the church in Seoul Korea.