January 14, 2024
Hello Kingdom Family,
Welcome to our Jesus-centered community. We are glad you are listening to today’s message.
Our purpose statement is “We are People Helping People Experience a Jesus-centered Life.”
This six-week series examines the remarkable spread of the gospel and the kingdom of God from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the world. Jesus has commissioned every one of his followers to be his witness by the power of the Holy Spirit. Despite challenges from outside and within, the kingdom of God continues to advance. Today, we continue to be his witnesses and have a vital role in the continuing story of Jesus’s unstoppable kingdom.
We are in week two of our New Year message series titled “Unstoppable.” Today we unpack Acts 2:-1-47, and how the unstoppable movement of the disciples and Holy Spirit got started. Our scriptures today are some of the most relevant and powerful in the entire Bible.
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were together in one place when the Holy Spirit descended as Jesus promised (vv. 2–3). Verse 4 states that all the disciples became filled with the Holy Spirit. A great crowd of people gathered to see what all the commotion was. Peter then proclaimed the gospel to the masses, and three thousand people were saved (vv. 14–40). Thus, the church was birthed in Jerusalem. What did life look like for these new believers? Verses 42–47 provide a glimpse of what the early church valued and practiced. Their culture and circumstances influenced the structures that they employed.
What is more relevant to us is what they valued and practiced as disciples of Jesus: devotion to God and his Word, fellowship with one another, radical generosity and sharing, and praying and worshipping together.
Here is the link to the Frances Chan video I referenced in the message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8EwH0Burlc
Here is the link to the video I referenced of Nala Yusuf I referenced in the message: https://vimeo.com/675809012
As a result of Christ-centered values and spiritual practices in the early church, two powerful effects took place. First, the church had a tremendous influence on those around them. Verse 47 states the disciples were “enjoying the favor of all the people.” Followers of Jesus were impacting their city by embracing the life and teaching of Jesus. Second, God brought people into his kingdom. Verse 47 ends by declaring, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Through the disciples’ courage, faith, good works, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, God added to the church daily. The kingdom was growing!
As believers today, we too can have a powerful influence on the world around us. Again, our goal is not to copy and paste the exact structure of how the early church functioned into our present-day structures. Rather, we can learn how the first disciples related to God, one another, and the world and apply those undergirding principles to our context. As we love God and obey his Word, walk in deep community with one another, give selflessly, and pray continually, we will once again change the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Before you listen to the message, you are encouraged to go to our website and download the lesson bulletin for this message, dated January 14, 2024. The publication contains questions to reflect on as an individual, couple, or small group. You can find them on the home page by clicking the Bulletins and Lesson Plans tab. Today’s message is “The People Shared Everything.”
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Happy New Year,