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Urgent Needs (Part B)

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

Urgent Needs (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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July 6, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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This is a lie in Jesus' name to say that God wants to make your bank account, you know, seven digits or something.

It's just not true. There are more to life than amassing wealth as Jesus taught. All that a man has is granted in this sense by God.

Everything you have, every possession that you have is granted. It is filtered through God. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is 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. Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching through Acts chapter 4 and his message called Urgent Needs. This same Apostle Paul that put serious restrictions on church giving to the needy, the same man is the one that rallied the Gentile church to send financial aid to poverty-stricken Jerusalem.

And you've got to say, well, why again? This is years later after the section in Acts. Why the Jerusalem Christians struggling financially? And Pentecost is the place that produced all of the converts who decided to stay and then struggled.

Life is real, serious business, and you can't hide behind religion to get away from the laws in a cursed world. You might say, well, some of them weren't planning it through, were they? Well, that might be true.

But this is the record we have, and this is what we have to evaluate alongside of life where we live today. It's very easy to say, well, we have enough social programs that can handle things. Well, you know, that's not always true. That's true in a lot of cases. But there are other cases that are genuine needs, and the social programs just mess it up.

You know, they put all these little laws on you and restrictions, and you have a genuine need, and they're not helping you. Well, I remember when this church used to meet in those apartments across the road there, just about five or six of us, those were hard times financially, and God sent a brother who was part of the little fellowship, and every now and then he'd slip a check under the door or something that would help. God put that on his heart, and God put it on my heart to cash that check. I'll never forget it. This brother was here last Sunday worshiping with us.

I'll never forget it. I won't go around saying, hey, it's him. God will do that when he gets there. So, you know, these needs, the Holy Spirit knows how to talk to people, and he knows how to move us if we're willing to be moved and we're willing to listen and we have the means. And I can also add in this church, we have some generous people here.

We have people that give large, and it is always a blessing to see that. I don't know who they are. I never want to know who they are. By the time we get to heaven, I won't be interested in that part. But that is the work of the Holy Spirit, and we should not undervalue it. This giving to the church initially for the people was given to the church for the people, but there were some other things going on here. At this point, again, the church is not moving out into the world as the Lord commanded. Jesus said, go into all the world, and they're just huddled in Jerusalem. At this point, there is no outreach.

There's only internal care. Well, a church wants to have outreach. A church wants to have some method of reaching out from itself. For us, radio has been very good. We have a much larger congregation in the airwaves than we do physically in the building.

In Florida, some in Ohio, and here in Virginia, it's been very good. And that's outreach. It's not cheap, and I'm not whining about the price.

I think it's worth it. A laborer is worthy of his wages. But we're always looking to do more, and that's why we have some outreaches coming up. We do not want to be just huddled in together doing our thing, and that's it, although we have our distinctives. We have a directive from God to the pastor, and that moves out to the congregation. If the congregation is leading the pastor, fire that pastor. He's not a pastor. I don't know what he is. He's a speaker or something. This is not, then, a pulpit.

It's a lectern. The word of God, the man of God, is to know the state of the flock. He is to lead the flock. This is biblical. We never read of Paul asking anybody, what do you think I should do, when it came to ministry? I mean, he might have said, you know, I don't know, what should I get?

The vanilla or the chocolate? But when he came to preaching the word and ministry, he got his orders from God, and it works wonderfully. The church at Laodicea in Revelation 7, the nauseating church, and that's what it is on the other hand, that was the people's church, and they did what the people wanted, and Jesus said, hey, I'm outside trying to get in, and you're all in there doing your thing in my name, and I have some objections for you. Anyway, coming back to verse 32, now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. Well, this is what Jesus asked the Father twice in one prayer, and when those kind of things happen, there's an emphasis that we should not dismiss. John's Gospel, chapter 17, truly this is the Lord's Prayer, whereas Matthew 6 gives us the prayer from Jesus to the disciples, our Father who ought in heaven, which every Christian should memorize. It is the template for prayer.

Calibrate your heart, get it right first, who are you addressing, and who is He? Our Father who is in heaven. Holy is your name.

It is a big deal. Well, when Jesus prayed, He said to the Father, now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you, Holy Father, keep through your name those whom you have given Me, that they may be one as we are one. That's the first part of that prayer, first time in that prayer, that He asked for unity amongst His believers, and then it continues in verse 22 of John 17.

That was verse 11, here's verse 22. And the glory which you gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one. Christ said, I want the church, I want the assembly of believers, not just this universal church, which is global and covers every age of human history from the church age on, but also the local church. And it's, you know, you get a little disturbed when you hear, well, the church is everywhere. Yeah, it is everywhere, but there's also a local church, and without that local church, that church everywhere will die. And so, they're both a big deal, but let's make sure we don't put the cart in front of the horse. The local church has got to be strong in first, and then the other will come as a product of that. So, twice He asked for unity amongst believers.

He continues here in Acts 4 32. Let me pause here for a minute. Now, I might be going a little fast for some of you.

I don't know how to slow it down, except to say that you can, the recorded, the messages are recorded. There's a lot of information in the Scripture. God has a lot to say to us, and it is none of its casual. All of God's Word is deep and demanding.

His criteria is high. It is so high, we can't reach it without His grace and kindness. But we can glean so much from what God has made available to us that we are far better off than we ever would have been without it. God does not say, look, you know I love you, guess about everything else. He has it not only written down in blood and sweat, He has preserved it.

And so if you're sitting there saying, man, this is like phantasmagoria, this stuff is just flying out at me. That's the Holy Spirit saying, you got a lot of catching up to do, you're out of shape. You got to get in shape. You have to start getting into My Word, take little baby bites at first. And you will grow stronger, and I will use you. It's not enough to be loved by God. I want to be used by God.

I want Him to use me up without burning me out. And God does that. I don't stand up here talking to you from God's Word as though somehow I've dodged all the things that you struggle with.

Maybe not the same brand that you struggle with, but the same intensity. How about depression? What do you do with that? You stand up to depression. It ain't going to show you mercy. Oh, are you feeling bad today? Oh, okay, I'm going to back off.

That ain't happening. You stand up to it. So what? You again? I know who you are, trying to steal my hope.

I got courage to face you. Neither did anyone say that any of the things He possessed was His own, but they had all things in common. Now, this does not mean you could touch my truck. I just want to make this very clear.

If you're sitting in my truck after service, I'm calling 911 and ask for an ambulance for you. Anyway, Luke, this is repeated. He said this in chapter 2, in verse 42 through 46.

He repeats it because it's remarkable. Neither did anyone say anything of the things He possessed was His own. Now, of course, it doesn't mean that people say, hey, my house is your house. Just take it over.

Unless you couldn't make the mortgage. This is the spirit, the attitude. The people did not have a spirit of possessiveness. This is similar to the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness that God directed Moses to fabricate and erect, to make the materials and to build it. Exodus chapter 36. Moses, you know, they needed the resources, the gold. They did a lot of gold and silver for that tabernacle. Exodus 36, verse 3. And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary.

So, they continued bringing to Him free will offerings every morning. These people in the days of Moses that were banned from going into the promised land because of unbelief, because of those who were full of doubt and ready to tell it, ready to get others to doubt along, so we can't take them. They're giants in the land.

We can't do this. And Caleb says, we're like grasshoppers to those guys. And Caleb says, I ain't no grasshopper. I'll take those dudes out.

Let's go get them, boys. And, you know, him and the voice of Joshua did not prevail that day. And so, they were sentenced as a people to the wilderness, and good faithful people had to endure the punishment alongside the guilty, such is life.

Exodus 36, verse 5 in this time, what happened? People are bringing every morning. They're bringing the free will offering. Nobody's putting a gun to their head.

Nobody's up there. If you don't give $5 more, this radio ministry is going to go off the air. If you don't do this, we can't build a new gymnasium for the children to sweat in.

Not in the scripture. I hope a distinctive of this ministry is the minute we find out we're shoving this thing forward, we're going to stop. It goes away. If workers don't come out and do it joyfully, then we get rid of it. That would be all the way to, if no one showed up here, well, we'd have to just close up the doors, and then I'd have to go be a fashion model or something. Anyway, verse 5, and they spoke to Moses saying, the leaders are coming to Moses, the people bring much more than enough for the service of the work of Yahweh that he commanded us to do. So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp saying, let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary, and the people were restrained from bringing for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done indeed too much. Do you think there's anybody, there aren't many on television that would tell people, please, you're giving too much. Prosperity teaches us, you know, God made you rich.

Anyway, I'm off on my own thing there, because it's annoying. This is a lie in Jesus' name to say that God wants to make your bank account, you know, seven digits or something. It's just not true. There are more to life than amassing wealth, as Jesus taught. All that a man has is granted in this sense by God. Everything you have, every possession that you have is granted. It is filtered through God, which some would say, well, hey, there's a discrepancy here.

You know, why does this one get more and this one get less? Well, if you're faithful to God, you'll find out when you get to heaven. But for right now, we have to be faithful with what we've been entrusted with. When the Jews divvied up their land, this tribe got this lot, and it was really small, and then the other tribe got this lot, and it was really big. Well, God was the one that assigned the allotment, and that is continued. So let's take old and New Testament alike. Deuteronomy 8, Moses saying to the people that they need to depend on God, Then you say in your heart, My power and My might of My hand have gained me this wealth, and you shall remember Yahweh your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant, which He swore to your fathers as it is this day. Now, many of them are going to abuse these kind of verses. Ezekiel points it out this way to the people. He says, You have also taken your beautiful jewelry from My gold and My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images, and played the harlot with them. So Ezekiel, God is saying through the prophet Ezekiel, I've given you gold and I've given you silver, and this is what you've done with it? You've made monuments to perverse idols? What's going on with that?

And it is to this day. What God gives you, what are you going to do with it? Well, these Christians here, many of them were selling land and bringing the money to the church and saying, We need you to take this and help the people out. God was moving in them that way, and that's happened in other stages of Christianity in the world. You just can't sustain it, nor should it be sustained.

It's certainly good for the time that it was alive and working. 1 Corinthians 4, Paul says, And what do you have that you have not received? Name one thing that you have that God did not allow. Whatever blessings you have, every good gift is from the Father, says James.

All right, so we've established that. Verse 33, I'll pause here again. Maybe you're not a believer in Jesus Christ, maybe you don't get it yet, that Christians want to follow everything we're taught to do from Scripture. We don't say, Never mind God, I'll run my own life. Then he is not Lord. See, that word Lord means he's the master.

He's the one that directs my steps and my light. When David brought the Ark of the Covenant, that chest that represented the presence of God to the Jewish people, when he brought it to Jerusalem, they walked six steps and they stopped and they worshiped and sacrificed unto the Lord. Six is that number in Scripture that speaks of man. And it was David saying, We only go but so far without worship. We've got to stop to worship. And David, the consummate man of worship in the Scripture, we'll be covering him on Wednesdays where we discovered he is the most named human being in all the Bible. Well, so you're getting these Scripture verses, that's because that's the authority behind what we pursue as believers. They're not just these little snacks we throw out and say, Isn't that cute?

It should be on a t-shirt. This is God's word to us, and it's to direct our lives. And when God says, If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven.

We quake in our shoes, or cowboy boots as I prefer, because it's true. The mercy of God is something that is not to be dismissed. Verse 33, And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Think about how many believers, since these ancient Christians came along, have suffered and died for preaching the gospel because they believed this, because they fulfilled this. If we were looking for a verse to summarize the entire book of Acts, this would be a good one, would it not?

Let's see it again. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. The apostles are referred to 30 times in this book of Acts. This is why it is mostly referred to the Acts of the Apostles, interchangeable with the Acts of the Holy Spirit.

Either one is fine, because these men were chosen by Jesus Christ himself, and it is showing us the actions they took after Christ was risen and then ascended to heaven. These are the actions of the followers of Christ. It has 29 chapters. If you look in your Bible, 28 of them are posted. We are the 29th chapter.

Every church after the apostles is the 29th chapter of Acts. It is still going, the Acts of the followers, the disciples of Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful book, and we haven't even started yet.

It is going to intensify very much. It would be easier to read these things that are coming than it would be to have lived them. So, here again the emphasis is on preaching the resurrection. That's what is clearly stated, because the resurrection of Jesus Christ encapsulates multiple doctrines.

The sovereignty of God, the love of God. Because you have to say, well, what precipitated? What happened before the resurrection? Well, there was a death. There was a death of God the Son.

Why? For sinners, to pay their penalty. Because we are all sinners, every single one. There are sinners that are saved by grace, and there are sinners who are not saved by grace. There are saints, and there are aunts. And a saint is someone separated by God.

It's not someone that the church voted on, okay, this guy, we really like what he did, we're going to make them a saint. That is unbiblical. That is anti-scriptural. And you say, I'm offended by that. Well, then you're offended by the scripture. A saint in the scripture, when Paul says, to the saints at Colossae, they were living individual Christians. When he says, to the saints at Corinth, they were Christians who were a problem.

You know that emoji with the hand over the face, like, oh, boy. That goes on Corinth, because that was the church. Thank God for that letter. But I tell you, I would have moved out of Corinth and moved to Philadelphia, not Pennsylvania. Philadelphia and Asia Minor. I don't know if I would have wanted to go to Smyrna where they were killing Christians.

But, all right, well, that's just a little side note. Maybe you would have stayed in Corinth, because they were kooky. I mean, not all of them, but a great many of them had hijacked the church, and they broke Paul's heart. So much so, one of the Corinthian letters we don't even have. It wasn't preserved.

And Paul just, you know, it was a real tough fight for him. Anyway, their eyewitness account made them what? Witnesses. We see it with other things than just our eyes. They don't need my eyeballs to see what God is doing. I have a spirit that is alive.

I can see in other ways. Fanny Cosby, who wrote so many hymns that we sing, in hymn books. She was blind, and she just loved on the Lord.

And, of course, she's not the only one. Peter, in his letter, one of his letters, these men, they followed Christ, they were chosen by Christ to lead the church, and they wrote things to the church, and the Holy Spirit has preserved them, and they have become scripture, the Bible. Well, Peter saw Jesus, used to walk with him, dine with him, saw Jesus angry, saw him happy, saw him in all of the facial expressions and mannerisms, gestures that go with that. And yet he finds himself amongst believers who never met Jesus Christ, never saw him with their eyeballs, but loved him just as much as Peter loved him. And this had to have been something that one day he's in the congregation singing with the congregation, realizing these people loved my Lord, and they've never met him. 1 Peter 1, verse 8, Whom having not seen you love, though now you do not see him, yet believing, you rejoiced with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

He saw the glory, he saw these people are at it. When we were singing, we're not singing to the ceiling, we're not singing to the singers, we're not singing to some lover on earth, a romantic ballad, not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, we're singing to the one we love, Christ, God the Son, on the throne of God and here right now. And that's what we believe, and we're not ashamed of it.

In fact, not only are we not ashamed, we're eager to tell it, we're excited about it. And great grace was upon them all. And grace is love in action, among other things. It is undeserved kindness. When you show grace, you're not saying, listen, you deserve this niceness I'm showing you. Most of the time you're saying, not every time, but many times, you're saying, you don't deserve this, but here.

Maybe you're just letting an insult fly by when Jesus had turned the other cheek. That's grace. Psalm 90, verse 17, And let the beauty of Yahweh, our God, be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us. Yes, establish the work of our hands. Oh man, dependence on God.

And it's painful sometimes. You've been listening to Cross-Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of 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 crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd 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 can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com, or simply search for Cross-Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 12:57:19 / 2023-03-27 13:07:15 / 10

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