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Acts Chapter 4:18-37

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2021 1:00 am

Acts Chapter 4:18-37

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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April 21, 2021 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41110-2

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Not, Lord help us escape, Lord send us somewhere else where there's not evil men like this they'll tell us to be quiet. Not, Lord get us out of this trial, God give us boldness. Give us boldness. I believe the Lord longs for us to pray that prayer. God give us boldness. Because he understands that sometimes it's a fearful thing to share our faith. So as you ask God, God give me power, give me boldness to share. Sometimes I get weak and sometimes I'm not strong and God will give you that boldness.

And very often you know we're praying for God to lighten our load when we need to be praying for stronger shoulders. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville North Carolina. Today we have in the studio with us D.A.

Brown, one of David McGee's associate pastors. Thank you brother for being with us on the program. Bob, God wants us to be contagious. Not contagious with the cold, but contagious with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And the more we fall in love with Jesus, the more excited we are about telling others. Listen to this, listen to your passion, get fired up to tell other people about Jesus.

That sounds good D.A. and as we do that we'll impact the lives of those around us in ways that we can't even imagine. So now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, Boldness. Peter and John have been used by God to heal a lame man. And so now the religious authorities are kind of in an uproar and they've told John and Peter that they need to come before them and explain what happened and explain how they did it. And so this is what's going on with Peter and John and the Sanhedrin, the council, the Jewish religious authorities. And they've brought Peter and John not to congratulate them, not to encourage them, but actually to rebuke them. So we're going to see some parallels in our lives and in life today to this time.

And so we'll see once again that this book has incredible applications for our lives today. So we're in Acts chapter four, we'll pick it up at verse 18. So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Yeah, this is going to prove to be real effective, isn't it? Verse 19, but Peter and John answered and said to them, whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God you judge, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Verse 21, so when they had further threatened them, they let them go finding no way of punishing them because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.

For the man was over 40 years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. Verse 23, and it says, being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. I like that they go back to their companions, their company. That's a good thing. They're going back to touch base with those who probably had been praying for him and touching base.

Well, let's see what they do with all that's going on. Verse 24, so when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said, Lord, you are God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them. Lord, you are God. What a, you might sit there and think, well, what a weird way to start prayer. You start by reminding God that he's God and then you go on to remind him that he created the heavens and the earth. Do you think that was to remind God?

No, it's a great way to start a prayer. You remind yourself who you're talking to. God, you created everything, created everything. And then when you ask him to do something to change your life, it's in the context of God, you created the heavens and earth. I'm just asking that you change this one life. I know you can do that because you made the heavens and the earth.

Now let's go ahead and talk about that. God made the heavens and the earth in the beginning. God created the heavens and the earth. That's a little unclear.

Let me say it again. In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth. What do you think that means?

It means God created the heavens and earth. Why you keep saying that? Because most of us were taught in public school that that's not how it happened. We're taught that evolution was how we came to be. Well, pastor David, are you saying you don't believe in evolution? Let me, let me qualify something because some Christians say, I absolutely reject any type of evolution. When you, when you look at animals and whatnot, you do see some natural selection. Okay. So I don't whole scale reject evolution.

I reject evolution as the origin of man. Let me qualify that. You understand? There's a difference.

Okay. So you know, the, the, the notion that we went from goo to zoo to you, I reject that. That's just, that's not biblical. It's not biblical. And now you've got evolutionists that are saying it doesn't work.

It doesn't work. And now they're coming up with all these alternative theories, which are, they're highly entertaining if you hadn't heard some of them. One of them is that what happened was an alien came down to earth and he seeded the earth with humanity. And that's how we all came to be. Well, they're just ripping off. Genesis is all they're doing.

And there's highly educated train. And we've got some videos in the, um, in the bookstore that, you know, these guys with PhDs, physicists, geologists talk about creation and they believe in creation. You know, you don't have to cut off reason to believe in creation.

You have to cut off reason to believe in evolution. I have a watch here. If I took this watch apart and put it in a bag and shook it up, you think it turned back to a watch?

No. But what have I shook it for a long time? Millions and millions of years still wouldn't turn back into a watch. See, and that's the flaw of the thinking of the evolutionists. You know how much more complex you are than this watch?

Credibly more complex. And you think you just came together? Even the notion of part of the theory of evolution, the big bang theory. Okay. There was nothing and then it exploded.

Let me ask you a question. Ever in your life, have you had nothing explode before? No, I usually there's something and then it explodes. That's the problem with evolution. Even when you introduce millions and millions of years or billions and billions of years, it still doesn't work. You can't get a complex organism from the process that's described and believed upon by evolution. So I believe the book.

The book says God created the heavens and the earth and that works. That works. So we should be praying. We should be praying and then we should do something. I'm not saying we just sit around and all we do is pray. I think it was Augustine that said, pray as in every, as if everything depends upon God and then act as if everything depends upon you.

So we should be active, but we should be in prayer first. Verse 25 who by the mouth of your servant, David has said, why did the nations rage and the people plot vain things and the kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ. This is a prophetic passage prophesying the coming of Jesus and his rejection. Verse 27 for truly against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together. And notice it includes, it includes the Gentiles in the execution of Jesus. Pontius Pilate was a Gentile.

The Roman soldiers were Gentiles. It's just not an accurate statement to say the Jewish people killed Jesus. When you get right down to it, the thing that killed Jesus was our sins. He looked at us struggling under the burdens of our sin and it killed him. And he would, he said, yeah, he made the decision that he would rather die than see us suffer under that burden.

That's what took Jesus out. Verse 28 to do whatever your hand and your purpose determined before to be done. So it was a fulfillment of prophecy, his crucifixion. It wasn't just happenstance or wasn't just a conspiracy. It was a plan, a plan of God so that we could be in fellowship with him.

We could have the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins and be in right standing with him. Now let's see what they asked for. Verse 29 now, Lord, look on their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word.

Wow. Not Lord help us escape. Lord send us somewhere else where there's not evil men like this.

They'll tell us to be quiet. Not Lord get us out of this trial. God give us boldness. Give us boldness. I believe the Lord longs for us to pray that prayer. God give us boldness because he understands that sometimes it's a fearful thing to share our faith.

So as you ask God, God give me power and give me boldness to share. Sometimes I get weak and sometimes I'm not strong and God will give you that boldness. And very often, you know, we're, we're praying for God to lighten our load when we need to be praying for stronger shoulders. Sometimes we pray for God to lighten our load when we shouldn't be asking for stronger shoulders. Verse 30 continues by stretching out your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your Holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed the place where they were assembled together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Isn't that cool? They prayed, God give us boldness. A few verses later, guess what? They got boldness. Now God doesn't always answer prayers that quickly, but he does sometimes.

He does sometimes. And also notice that says they prayed the place they were assembled was shaken. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Some people say, well that day of Pentecost, there's that that's never supposed to happen again. Well, wait a minute.

We're just few days away from it. We see a building shaking them getting filled with the spirit again. Some of them probably for the first time and speaking the word of God with boldness. And again, notice there's a real lack of regard in terms of themselves. They didn't say, God, make sure we don't get in jail again.

That was just, that jail was a horrible place. Just make sure we don't go to jail again. God give me boldness.

Give me boldness. The life lesson here is we should have the same thing. Our main concern should be the spread of the good news and teaching others. Our main concern should be the spread of the good news and teaching others and how often we're very concerned with other things and not with spreading the good news. But we see in Peter and John and the other disciples here, there was a real lack of regard for themselves as they continue to spread the word. They didn't care about jail.

They didn't care about the fact that they were being civilly disobedient to the authorities. They just wanted to get the word out. May God grant us that boldness. If you remember, it talks about the power of the Holy Spirit tied back to Acts chapter one, verse eight says, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the year. We're going to come back to that verse over and over again, as we look through the book of Acts, because what we're going to see is a fulfillment because now they're filled with this boldness where in Jerusalem later on, we're going to look and see that they're filled with boldness in the surrounding area of Judea and then Samaria.

And then finally to all parts of the world, we'll be right back with more from David McGee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor DA Brown. Hey guys, we want to take just a minute to pray for some cities in our listening audience, specifically Ashland, Oregon, and Baker City, Brookings, Canyonville, Cave Junction, Cloverdale, and Colton.

Lord, we thank you for these cities and everyone listening. Lord, we pray that you would pour out your spirit on these broadcast audiences. Father, we pray that pastors would have wisdom in these cities on how to love their communities. Lord, I pray that people would put their trust in you.

God, I pray that you would give the governmental leaders wisdom and discernment, that you would protect these cities, Father, that there'd be peace in these cities. And Lord, that your word would be high and lifted up in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Thank you, brother. And now let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Verse 32. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul.

Neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. They're loving one another and they showed love to one another and we should be showing love to one another. Being divisive in the body of Christ is a horrible thing. Being divisive, I'm talking about speaking against the church or speaking against leadership or whatever. As a spiritual leader, I've come to see how destructive division is, and for no other reason because of this. Occasionally we hear of somebody that's being divisive here, saying things that either aren't true or just, I don't know, just run in their mouth. Then we have to take time as leaders and they have, okay, I'll go address the situation.

They go to the person and say, look, you can't really do that. If you've got a problem, you go to somebody that can help you work through the problem or if you've got a problem with something that we're doing and you see a better way to do it, we want to hear it, but take it to somebody that can help you work through it. While we're addressing that problem with somebody being divisive, guess what we're not doing?

Not doing what we're supposed to be doing, reaching out to people and teaching people. It's interesting when there's division in your body, we have some pretty strong words for it, don't we? When part of your body starts working against the rest of your body and being divisive, one of the words we use is cancer. And cancer is dealt with in a strong fashion. And the Bible says to deal with those who are divisive in strong fashion.

Or, you know, another kind of form of that is parasite. Those are strong words. But see, division can be really destructive to the body of Christ. And one of the reasons I think this early church was so effective is there was such unity.

There was such unity. Now God dealt with division in an interesting way we're going to see in the next chapter. But, you know, I want to encourage you guys. Again, if you've got a problem, there's a biblical way to handle that.

You go to somebody in leadership and sit down with them, and you work through it. And then you grow, we grow, and it's a great thing. But being divisive is not a good thing. It's not for you, not for the church. Notice again, they're praying. They're praying in this thing. And so, again, pray. If you disagree with something, pray about it. Pray for the church. Pray for leadership. Pray for me. I love your prayers.

And notice again that the naysayers are not having that big of an effect, huh? Verse 33, and with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. I like the fact that it has great power and great grace in the same verse.

We should have great grace towards one another, love each other through stuff, and also be walking in great power. Verse 34, nor was there anyone among them who lacked for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet, and they distributed to each as anyone who had need. And Hosea, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles, which is translated son of encouragement, a Levite of the country of Cyprus. Barnabas that were introduced to here ends up to be a major player in the book of Acts. Barnabas ends up to team up with Paul, and many of us have heard of Paul. Perhaps you've not heard of Barnabas. Well, you will as we go through the book of Acts. But what a beautiful thing, because God knew Paul would need a Barnabas. As we go through the book of Acts, you see all the stuff that Paul went through. He was beat up.

He was thrown in jail. And what a blessing it must have been to have Barnabas with him. Barnabas, they get thrown in jail. It's okay. Paul, we'll get out, maybe.

Or you get beat up, and Barnabas is like, oh, that's all right. Even if they kill us, we go to heaven. It's great.

It's fine. We'll recover. We're not dead yet, you know? And it's such a good thing to have an encourager around you. Can you imagine for a moment if all of us took that responsibility serious and started encouraging people around us, started encouraging people in this fellowship?

You know how little that cost you? To go up to somebody and go, hey, man, it's so good to see you here today. Glad you're here. Or to say to somebody, man, I've been praying for you. Happy you're getting plugged in here. Happy you're serving and encouraging.

That cost you like 10 or 15 seconds. Some of you may go, well, I have a different ministry. My ministry is the ministry of discouragement. Well, there's plenty of people in the world with that gift. It's not a gift.

If it is, it's an extremely cheap gift. We should be encouraging one another. Now, what does encourage mean?

It means to fill with courage, literally what it means. And I can say things to you that fill you with courage. Like just a moment ago, I was talking about, hey, you guys, you're inviting people, and that's an awesome thing. Some of you are like, yeah, yeah, praise God, I am inviting people.

And some of you are like, not actually me. I need to be inviting people. You were filled with courage to invite people. Encourage one another.

It's something so easy to do and so missing in the body of Christ. I need encouragement. You need encouragement. Maybe you're sitting there and go, well, I need, I need encouragement.

I don't know. I'm not ready to give anybody else any encouragement. I need encouragement. You know, there's been times in my life that I need encouragement back before I became a pastor.

No, I'm kidding. I mean, even as a pastor, I need encouragement. And you know what happens? Bizarrely enough, oftentimes somebody across my path that is discouraged as well. And I encourage them and guess what happens? I walk away in courage. I encourage somebody that was discouraged and I walk away filled with courage.

See how beautiful that works. Instead of just waiting with nobody saying anything, nobody going to fill me with courage. Nobody going to encourage me. Look for somebody to do encourage and you encourage somebody else. You get encouraged.

That's a wonderful thing. It's awesome spiritual truth. And if we can do that, if we can begin to do that, if you can make it a point, just jot down encourage in your Bible, jot down on the bulletin, encourage jot down Thursday night, I'm going to find somebody encouraging Sunday morning.

I'm going to find somebody to encourage them and watch how your life begins to change. Now that's a biblical thing. I'll give you some scriptures.

We'll run through them quickly. Romans 1 12 says, I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours in this way. Each of us will be a blessing to the other.

See how that works. This is Paul talking. Paul says, look, you encourage me. I'll encourage you and we'll be encouraged by each other. And as we're filled with courage, guess what? We'll do great things for God.

Romans 12, eight starts out says, if your gift is to encourage others, do it, do it. I'll skip the rest of that verse, but second Corinthians 13 11 says, dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words. Rejoice, change your ways, encourage each other, live in harmony and peace.

Then the God of love and peace will be with you. First Thessalonians four eight. So comfort and encourage each other with these words. First Thessalonians five 11. So encourage each other, build each other up just as you were already doing. See how often this is happening in scripture. First Thessalonians five 14 brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy, encourage those who are timid. Second Peter four two says, preach the word of God, be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not, patiently, correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. It's part of what I'm supposed to be doing is encouraging you guys.

Now it says rebuke. Occasionally I'll do that. Occasionally I issue a correction, maybe in the form, you know, talking about silent witness. You can't just be, that was kind of a correction, but now I'm encouraging you. And it's interesting.

You go through the new living translation. You'll find the word encouraged in there about 36 times. You'll find the word rebuke 22 times. You know, it tells me we should be encouraging more than we're rebuking. Are you encouraging people? And then Hebrews 10 24 says, think of ways to encourage one another to outburst of love and good deeds.

That's a great verse, isn't it? Not perform acts of random kindness. No, encourage one another to outburst of love and good deeds.

If you do this, I guarantee you, it will be life changing. I promise you that pastor, my life has just been filled with all sorts of garbage and trash, and it's just hard to have any encouragement. You know, the wonderful thing about God is you can take garbage and trash and you can add three elements, light and moisture, and you can grow things in it. We call it a compost pile. We take throwaway items.

We add water and maybe like the water into the word. We had God's light, God's warmth, maybe God's love, and things begin to grow in what used to be a trash heap. And if God can do that with a compost pile, man, he can do it with your life because he's able. He is able to do this.

Verse 37, having land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. So Barnabas does this act. He's not, he's doing his faith. He's living his faith. He's encouraging others. He's taking this step and this act, this simple act of generosity and servanthood will lead Barnabas to great things.

Why? The Bible says he who is faithful in small things will be faithful in big things. A lot of times in our lives we kick back and we think, well, I want to do something big for God. Well, do something little for God. Maybe you're sitting there and go, I want to be the next Billy Graham or Greg Laurie or Pastor David, God forbid. But you know, I want to do something big.

I want to teach on Sunday morning. Do something little. Do something little. You know, I just ask you to encourage somebody. You know how easy that is?

That's so easy. And as you're faithful in the small things, God will raise you up just like he raised up Barnabas to be Paul's partner in changing the world. Barnabas poured into Paul.

We're going to see that. Find somebody and pour into them. Encourage them.

Pray for them. The final life lesson. If you help to disciple others, your faith will have a bigger impact. If we take this to heart and truly encourage one another, you're going to be amazed at what God will continue to do here in this fellowship. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can visit crossthebridge.com to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Or you can write to Cross the Bridge at PO Box 12515, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27117, and share how God is working in your life. You know, the Bible tells us that the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. But it does cost for us to come and bring that message to you and to others in your neighborhood through radio, through the internet, and through the mobile technologies that God has gifted us to be able to use. So if you'd like to support this ministry, please go to crossthebridge.com, click on the donate button, and ask God how much he would have you give, either on a one-time basis or a continuing basis each month to help ensure that the teaching of God's Word continues to go out through Cross the Bridge. Thank you so much. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God, with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-27 21:12:24 / 2023-11-27 21:23:19 / 11

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