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Fortified by Prayer (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2022 6:00 am

Fortified by Prayer (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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Always be this way. This time they avoided down, it will not always be this way. Maybe that's the case with you. Maybe you've had a beat down what it might not be that way. Maybe you avoided one will maybe one avoided next time. God is no less God's will is gracious, is no less good. His word is no less trustworthy regardless of what you experience God is God is not applying for the job's already established. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston because the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching fortified prayer is the title of Pastor Rick's message and today he will continue teaching in acts chapter 4 being let go. They went to their own companions and reported all that the chief elders had said to them when they had heard that they raise their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, you are God made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them by the mouth of your servant David said, why do the nations rage and the people plot vain things the kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers were gathered together against Yahweh and against his Messiah were truly against your holy servant Jesus, whom you appointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together to do whatever your hand in your purpose determined before to be done now, Lord look on their threats and grant your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word by stretching out your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus, 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 fortified by prayer, that is the title of this morning's message. There are three things I want to point out about this ongoing story that started in chapter 3 in the first verse, Peter and John going into the temple. They were met by this lame beggar whom they healed and converted also and then they were arrested the apostles because Peter went on to preach and he went on to preach Christ and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the authorities threatened them, telling them not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus and Peter said well we going to do what God tells us you had to figure out what you gonna do and and they were released.

Well went once released, they goat to where the brethren are those of the three things I want to point out going into this that hope is beneficial to all of us is that with the believers assembled together, they are fortifying themselves with prayer. The dictionary says that the word fortify means to provide with defensive works as a protection against attack Christianity has to do more than fortified self is not enough to be ready for an attack.

We have to be ready for attacks, for sure, but that that's just not enough is not enough to be ready, we must break enemy fortifications. We must go against what Satan has done his achievements, we must attack them. They don't mind attacking us didn't make a cake for me didn't take pictures of my wedding for me.

You didn't make the pizza that I wanted whatever we see the enemy just attacking these petty attacks to turn into these great victories for them. We do believe we need to be fortified in prayer and emphasizing again it's not enough just to be ready for the enemy's attacks is not easy but it is worth it if we remain only on defense. Satan gets to keep everything we don't take anything from him. What is implied when Jesus said the gates of hell shall not prevail. We are supposed to engage the enemy.

Otherwise, we will be besieged the enemy will just surround our fortifications. Napoleon and his maxims of war. He said the side that stays within its fortifications is beaten. All that's true of physical war, and it is true of spiritual war. The apostles are getting ready for conflict, having been arrested, having been threatened. They go to the believers to fortify themselves in prayer for what because they are getting ready to launch an offensive they're going to go on the attack.

Prayer is an assault weapon if used properly. Oh it's a defensive weapon to but it is also in an assault weapon. Jesus said do you think that I came to bring peace on earth.

I did not come to bring peace but a sword is going to be conflict and as I mentioned, it's worth as a matter of fact, to try to shy away from it is worse, not only for others but for the individual also fortified by prayer to advance forward to engage the interests of the enemy is what Jesus told his disciples to do.

We are the disciples to. We are no less disciples than the apostles and those who were the first Christians go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature said Jesus well wherever I am is part of all the world and wherever I am. I need to be ready to struggle without hatred not easy to do. In fact, without the spirit of God, we get very carnal and hatred comes very easy to us because Satan makes it so resistance without compromise. I mean, there are essential things about our faith, that which is not going to give up ever. I know people try to get us to compromise think that they are entitled to our surrender. They think that we should give and take, but the men might be true with you not picking out what restaurant to go to but it is not true when it comes to the doctrine into the leading of the Lord as guided by the word to have triumph without bitterness to gain the victory and not look back. As yeah but it would've been better just to go forward in the victories that God is giving us these are things that belong to going into all the world keep away from hatred, compromise and bitterness there other things with these of the ones on the surface this morning. It's not the miracle of Peter and John on the lame man that puts Satan on defense. It was the preaching that puts Satan on defense because they got very defensive.

We don't want you preaching in this name. The miracle was secondary.

That was used was important and doesn't diminish its value. It's just not as valuable as the preaching of the word. Otherwise preaching would be pointless without miracles, but as a matter of fact, preaching is very powerful without miracles with without miracles. As I said you going to have to get used to. If you attend here going to have to get used to the fact that my errors are correct. That's the first point. The fortify themselves in prayer so they could attack the second part of this section is Peter himself. May I know he's with John, but Peter is the one that is outstanding in the story Peter once greatly failed his Lord. This type of failure did not stop Jesus Christ from using him. Nonetheless, and in a positive way will God can use you in a negative way that the case of all of the of the villains in the Bible, God's sovereignty still controls them.

God also uses those who come to him.

Of course we understand that and it's good that we are reminded that Peter was a failure, but used also greatly by the Lord and he would never have served had he remained under the imprisonment or in the imprisonment of his guilt if he just that I just can't. You know I tried serving Christ. I failed him. I denied him three times. I got the womb crisis forgiven. Yeah, I know that but I just can't, then we would not be reading about Peter in the book of acts later. He is rearrested again for preaching Christ, he is chained in a jail and then he is miraculously released from his chains, but before he could be free to serve. There was an iron gate in front of you had to get past that iron gate. It wasn't enough that he was unshackled, it was not enough that it was free from the chains. There's more to be done. There was that iron gate. Maybe that's the way it is in your life. Maybe there's some iron gate borrowing your way out into freedom to preach some guilt still on you even though you're not change your saved you just not free. Acts chapter 12. This speaks about when the angel brought Peter out when they were past the first and second guard post they came to the iron gate that leads to the city which open to them of its own accord and they went out, we come across design gates and a life in our tears in our hands cannot open them. Peter Spears in his hands cannot open this gate, but God can and God did. And if God did not than it would've been a redirect of Peter's assignment. That's all it would've meant with a nod of meant defeat.

It was okay this is what God is doing. He wants me here that, but again the years the gate is open, God has opened the iron gate that kept Peter locked in and we either walk through it as free or remain bound behind the open gate. I don't want to remain a prisoner behind an open gate. If God is open something up for me.

I want to go through and what is the first thing that he God is opened up for Peter. Forgiveness took away the guilt.

If Peter wanted to keep his guilt. He could've It and stayed behind the open gate, but he does not he goes through it. Peter walked through unworthy, but love forgiven and one more thing useful. The whole story of an SMS in Philemon. He may not of been useful to you at one time but he was useful to me and now he's coming back to you every single believer are this to say you every single believers useful to God that I want to finish that sentence now. Next sentence, maybe you don't assemble.

Maybe you're watching online, you don't come the church okay you know you're supposed on I going to browbeat you for that. Therefore, what are you going to do now you can just say what I don't attend assembly and that's pretty much it.

Or you can find ways to attack the enemy from her your remote location from your outpost.

God doesn't love you any less.

I think it is a very important that we scan often our lives to see what God is doing. Always knowing it on my worst times and I get up always been mindful of the love of Jesus Christ on me to the cross.

I've always been mindful of my failures do, but I've always been mindful that his grace is greater. While it that's the second point Peter did let the great the guilt stay on him the third point is anyone here this morning trying to live for Christ beneath the rubble of guilt. Failure if you are then you're always on defense, not the fence defense you're always looking to adjuster where and where is the enemy to come next. You don't know where you going to be you not taking anything. You're just defending yourself all the time because of the guilt.

Unable to effectively damage enemy interest. I didn't want to encourage you. God wants you through that iron gate.

He says I've taken it away God's grace has a very short memory. This is how he has designed.

I couldn't say God's memory is defective because there's nothing defective about God, but I can say in his grace is memory. It is very short for those who have come to him.

I'm going to read the two Old Testament verses that the Hebrew writer Paul, as I believe he quotes them which means they are valid in the New Testament some 25 or seven do not remember.

While this one. Paul doesn't quote I'm quoting but that's okay.

Paul would not object do not remember the sins of my youth nor my transgressions according to your mercy, remember me for your goodness sake, or Yahweh the sins remember not the sins of my youth. You know some of you the younger ones you haven't yet piled up enough guilt to get it, it's there. You just don't get it. I hope you younger Christians. I hope you are not dumb enough dumb enough to let Satan choose your friends. I rather have good friends that God is brought into my life, then evil friends that the devil has chosen for me who has to even say that what I did I had to sit because I use don't get it you think now you're breaking free from home breaking free from mom and dad that you're smart enough not so fast you might not be as smart as you infected probably on a smart as you think. Unless, as a Christian you are adhering to Christ you come the church.

How many of you a golden teenager alike.

Prepare yourself to come into the house of God. There are multiple steps that would enhance that experience. One is, of course, prayer, and to say okay I'm going into the assembly.

Yes, and it's better to listen than to speak since the Bible were going into the house of God asked Lester the speaker. Of course, also would be like this getting but the other thing is, why not read the section were going to be in so that you're not guessing where we are trying to connect the dots into you just get bored and sets it because you know if if I'm speaking to you from the Scripture and your board. It ain't me you now I can make boric know I can't know nevermind strike that seam errors are correct. Isaiah 43.

So what we got. First was the psalmist saying do not remember the sins of my youth. Thank you God. Your mercy washes though those sins away.

We were just singing about God's mercy and his removing our sins as far as East is from West, but God also says I don't even remember what you talking about Isaiah 43 verse 25 I even I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.

So if you got this guilt on you. You're doing all the remembering you're the one all my sins though I denied the Lord three times, all I just can't all your behind the gate. You're free.

The gate is open which you won't come out will you and God says you gotta take the first step you have to take the first full step. When I learned to walk hi iron hi steel is two things I had to take a step and it had to be a full step. Not one of little baby steps and it was liberated. Wives told us who know when he walked to sticks full step step out there and you are the step out and make it across the you have nobody to blame but anyway God uses save sinners with their past failures and S were seeing in Peter this morning, Christ died to save sinners lawbreakers breakers of God's law.

We got that what he rose not only to demonstrate his power to save them, but to use them.

And this is why the apostles keep preaching the resurrection everywhere they go, and we should too. It's not outdated well you know when the preacher resurrection so much.

Why don't we think the world understands it. Resurrection is an ultimatum you believe he died in got up when he wasn't revived and Lazarus was revived, he was resurrected he was.

Not to say when he got now we look at the 23rd verse, keeping in mind this is that Peter got past his guilt was being used by God and in verse 23 and being let go. They went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them, so this time they released they won't always be this way. This time they avoided a beat down it will not always be this way. Maybe that's the case with you. Maybe you've had a beat down while it might not be that way. Maybe you avoided one will. Maybe you won't avoided next time. God is no less God is not as gracious, is no less good. His word is no less trustworthy regardless of what you experience God is God and he's not applying for the job's already established in the cut to the last verse I want to read this morning because it's appropriate now. The psalmist Psalm 119 celebrating God's word saying how magnificent God's word is even though God's word is not a magic want to take away all our problems in the psalmist says trouble and anguish have overtaken me yet.

Your commandments are my delight. I still love you word God, trouble and anguish, pain is in my life but I still love you and I love your word. This is the pattern we have from Scripture, so these two apostles Peter and John are released from jail this time they don't go straight home. I think I would've gone home, I would've gone home to get something to eat because jail food could not, then I would've gone to sleep well shower first.

Krista jail dungeon like what they go instead to church to the assembly. These men were going to fortify themselves through prayer. They were going to get with other believers. And that's what we are seeing them doing the Holy Spirit is preserve this record for us to say this is how it can be done. And there they delivered the. The praise report to the believers. We stood up in front of these. Good luck. The guys at Peterson opposite look at whether you assume you will obey God or not we're going to obey God knew these guys were they killed his lord he witnessed this. There was not like well you know these guys that you know they might be good, they might know they were evil men.

They were masterminds of the crucifixion in Peter, standing up to them and they go undetected all the way all of the believers that there live in Jerusalem at the time they knew this so they share this amazing victory in spite of the opposition and the threats verse 24 so when they heard that that is the other disciples they raised their voice to God with one accord, and said Lord your God made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them that Greek word for Accord is a compound Greek word, it means that they had eight shared passion. They were passionate about this. They didn't just say, wow, that's just wonderful news. What times the café open, though they were into this emotionally as well as spiritually raising their voices together, praising God again. They knew what those Christ hating men were capable of. They knew them as the masterminds of the cross, but they stood their ground. Nonetheless, that's what we're looking at Peter does not say well okay look, they don't want us preaching anymore. So we better not do it goes the other direction but to do this, he's gotta get with God and he gets with God's people to get with God determine determine to further the gospel, building themselves up in prayer with the assembly and said this is what they were saying in their prayer Lord your God made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in straight to the first verse of the Bible is where they go in the beginning God created God created from nothing. God created no one can do that they boast about creating things in the laboratory able to using other created things to do. It none of them are going with the uncreated abilities abilities to create from from nothing that belongs to God word of God in prayer. They always go together. Where is that in the Bible John chapter 15 verse seven.

If you abide in me and my word, my words plural abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. If my word is in you. If you're sticking with my word, which it has my will, within it when you pray when you ask their inseparable what characterized these first Christians. Jesus name number one there very clear about that. There was nothing in a while. I'm a Christian wasn't me.

What is it mean to be a Christian. It means I love Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. He died for me. I am a sinner I should go to hell for breaking his law but he saved me from that judgment he was crucified on my behalf and he rose again. Prayer characterized the resurrection there preaching the resurrection Scripture we going to come to that. They're all about the word.

These people what is wrong with them from hell's perspective that's what's wrong there into the word of God is this emotional Christianity, will I know the plan of salvation that will get out of my face you can't tell me anything else is not enough God and just say here's my plan of salvation or need anything more about 30,000 chapters in this verses in the Scripture move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast. Today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit cross reference that's cross reference would also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference radio podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick you could subscribe to cross reference or simply search for cross reference radio your favorite podcast to the next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of acts right here on cross reference radio

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