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April 25, 2022 7:05 am
So can you honestly say you are enjoying your experience of church defined relationships authentic on the worship engaging.
Sometimes we find ourselves showing up on Sunday morning just going through the motions.
Well, today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll continues his signature series called the church awakening today were looking at the book of acts where we find the church in its infancy. As we observe the human struggles as we witness God's divine intervention, we discover the purpose of the local church and how to engage today's church back to the first century receives an early church of the first century church with depravity is alive and well within it.
So what we find in chapter 5 is a husband-and-wife team who hypocritically act like they are giving all the prophets in the sale of the land to the work of God, when in fact they held some back for themselves. Nothing wrong with having property. Nothing wrong with selling property, and there's nothing wrong with holding back some of the profit for yourself, something's wrong when you act like you're getting all the profit that's called hypocrisy. Lack of integrity, what time it is exposed.
Chapter 5 a man named Ananias, with his wife Safari sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself with his wife's full knowledge and bringing a portion of any related the apostles feet. Peter says to Ananias, verse three. Why is Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land. Now folks before we go any further, that's what I call a confrontation. Why has Satan filled your heart so that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and in fact to the people of this is simply while he remained unfolded, it remained not remain your own and after it was sold, was it not under your control.
Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart not lied to men but to God. You see to Peter the most significant presence was the Lord's presence.
That's the way it is mature. It is the Lord we magnify the Lord. We exalt the Lord misheard the Lord, to whom we answer not lied to men but to God. Dare you do that look further as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last.
And great fear came over all who heard young man got up and covered them up and after carrying amount buried in now watch closely there laughed an interval of about three hours and his wife came in not knowing what it happened and Peter responded to her tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price. She said yes that was the price.
Peter said to her, why is it you've agreed together to put the spirit of the Lord to the test. Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door and they will carry you out as well. Immediately she fell at his feet, breathed her last young men came in and found her dead.
They carried out buried her beside her husband, and great fear came over the whole church over all who heard the know what the problem was lack of integrity.
You know what it such a big problem because so many people were counting on so few to walk in integrity. You can't compromise your integrity without affecting the church. We can't play fast and loose with our morals are our lives are in his hands. How could we live a lie and stand and tell you to be holy serious business folks. God holds his own. Seriously, accountable, and it didn't divide the church when there was this divine discipline they operated under heightened fear of God, how healthy is that I'll tell you that will hold you pure you paint you play fast and loose with God. You can watch whatever channel you want to on a television set.
Go wherever you want to on the Internet and carry on. However you like will you trust in a holy God with fear and trembling very very fragile as you think through your lifestyle and realize you're hanging very heavy weights on very thin. Why should know the council doesn't give up the grab him again put them into prison and they threaten with their life and they say stop doing this, we demand that you will become silent. Verse 29 Peter and the apostles answered chapter 529. We must obey God rather than man. Verse 33 when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and they intended to kill him. Gamaliel stepsiblings is way way way way to men is think this through, so they listen to Gamaliel and then verse 40 that took his advice. After calling the apostles and they flog them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and then said I hear so they went on their way from the presence of the Council. Verse 41 what was it say rejoicing.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise him all creatures here below. Praise father son and Holy Ghost.
What an honor to suffer for his namesake. That's what verse 41 is all about the work they considered themselves up, grateful considered worthy to suffer shame for his name, what in enormous stature every day in the temple from house to house. Don't you love it. They kept right on preaching, teaching that Jesus is the Christ to love this kind of preaching. I love this kind of story I gotta tell you, it reminds me of J. Vernon McGee one point talking about Daniel. He said the reason the Lions didn't need him is he was three fourths backbone of the risk gristle. That's what Peter and John are you not intimidate them, threaten them and beaten in Beijing with their their know why is the answer to the living God and the not afraid of men. And they're not afraid of the authorities of the world system now wouldn't you know it.
The enemy even comes in attacks them on the inside at this time. Verse one of chapter 6. At this time what all this other stuff is going on while the disciples were increasing in numbers. Are there more people more people to take care of and they finally come up to this cultural conflict, quick!
In Jerusalem, which is deeply rooted in the in the Jewish lifestyle and culture the right command Hellenists who were Jews and roots, but they were Greek speaking and of Greek culture, so we got the native Hebrews who speak Aramaic living in and serving and worshiping alongside the Greek speaking Jews who are of a great culture, not because they all have needs and some of them with widows that can't support themselves.
They need to find food from as well as financial assistance from the church so there is a preferential treatment given to the native Hebrews Jerusalem being in all of that culture. Probably they took better care of those widows than the Hellenistic widows. That's what we find. As we read about it there arose a complaint and that shirt see the word complaint go good so that we owed you heard Dr. to say a few moments ago. He taught me this great language of Greek used to say some words sound like the verb itself go good so when you complaint you go good so so can't you just see I member it say in a clinical political means a lot to me it means nothing to you, but I it's it's a commits a complaint to go good so Mr. murmur murmur is another word for it.
We use in the core but I am not going to use it here, is not appropriate.
Their dear complaining their whining Hellenistic Jews aren't being treated as well as the Hebrew jeeps in the Hebrew widows there being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
I watch closely, it's a valid complaint. So the 12 that would be the apostles. Some of the congregation of the disciples and said is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God, nor the serve tables. Praise God doesn't mean they were better than that, of course not all servants about is better than anybody else just their priorities.
I mean other people can do this while we do what we're called to do so matter of calling so the table of food and financial assistance needs to be carried out correctly.
We need to distribute the food and in light of that we have and that we have an idea brothers select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the spirit full of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this tax if they had been a professional ministry, they would've hired distributors are us, whose motto would be. We specialize in cultural conflicts murdering Christians and whining widows but they don't do that, you know, I because they're a family.
And when you're not slick you don't hire everything done you say to the flock. We have a need.
Some of you can help us with the need and you say in this case we need the right kind of people we need people that are filled with the spirit because they don't steal. When are filled with the spirit. Many people who are wise they will be prejudice if they're wise. Not just any seven. Let's pick seven. Interestingly there all of the Hellenistic roots check their names smart decision congregation. Look at verse five. One wag I read said is the first time in the last time in all of history that the entire congregation found approval in one decision statement found approval with the whole congregation. They chose Stephen man full of faith.
Philip Pecora's decanter team on apartment Aust Nicholas proselyte from India and what's interesting you never heard of five of couple of them you read about later. You know that's great because you don't have to hear about the servants. Can you imagine how politically it would be incorrect. It would be in a place where you work to say this is my executive assistant cheese. My sleep flow.
You're also the recipient of a pink slip that evening before the day is over, and in a family of God are all slaves. Never forget that. You know big deal. I'm a big deal get away from the big deal stop get away from his status away from title's always bothers me. People worried about what title they're going ahead will Housley about assistant to the sleeve is these are servants. That's what some of said these are the first deacons. We can't say that is because the bird disturb or to serve tables verse two into the verse is the can also deal. Can he offer which we get our word beyond cannot or deacon.
These may be worded official deacon deacons were never on the board. We don't all of that in the time it's past because we look like corporation.
We gotta give people a sense of feeling significant, since when why we have to make anybody feel significant.
This God's job to make me feel significant strange sign has skewed that it these these men are servants and they serve the widows and but you know they have to have a lot of gray, some of the widows would say what time you know she got hers and that you know you just serve you just serve you just serve you sir word for people to church to be easy. Congregation brought these people to the apostles and after praying they laid their hands on them always so good. The word of God kept on spreading in the number of the disciples continued is not great, that's weight is in the family whose turn is it to do the dishes. Let's mind will come on doing you and help your sister Jan help a sister that's great getting her do the dishes is a commune clean your room young to clean the room. That's good, that's what family members to clean your room is clean up after yourself, it's no big deal, it's just stuff and the world watches and said, how did they do that, I mean they got something we don't have we got all these layers of assignments and salaries. Specific details were so professional grade were servants. I love the way Jim Elliott put it, were a bunch of nobodies trying to please somebody. July the never forget that word of God kept on spreading the number, the disciples continued to increase in great many of the priest.
The priests all hotshot. Who's been throwing rocks at them now says stuff I don't have. How can we threaten Peter and John and not frighten what is it makes him different, something contagious about the spreading flame magnificent two things to remember were through. One is about the adversary one is about our Lord.
Number one, the adversary will stop at nothing to disrupt and if possible destroy the church, the adversary will stop at nothing to disrupt and if possible add enough chaos to destroy the church, and he can't do it. Gates of Hell will not prevail against it, but who will go right to the edge. He's disrupted many one a married couple tried to disrupt the church through hypocrisy squabbling widows try to disrupt things because they weren't being taken care of.
It's a valid reason but they murmured about it rather than saying we need. Could you help us. Here's the second, the Lord will honor and bless any plan that upholds prayer and promotes his word the Lord will honor any plan that upholds prayer and promotes his word on Lori don't skip far from that. Please, please guard us from processing people. Please remind us that we are all in. You know, just clay pots, moldy Steadman used to say just summer moldy or another's Lord.
Guard us from mom making this complicated turning this into slick operation. Eugene Peterson writes this of the church. When Christian believers gathering churches everything that can go wrong sooner or later. Does outsiders all observing this conclude there is nothing to the religion business except perhaps business and dishonest business and that insiders see it differently just as a hospital collects the sick, under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects centers. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised. It's similar with centers outside the church so Christian churches are not as a rule model communities of good behavior.
They are rather places where human misbehavior is brought out in the open faced and dealt with wise words, to which I would add and doing both requires a knowledge of the word and prevailing prayer have to catch you up briefly here on however coming along with our small gathering of individuals who were meeting thinking through and talking through our church and its future. It is wonderful. We met our last time last Tuesday at a room at the seminary, a limitary hug how it meant our Bibles were open start to finish. We pray before and following on one occasion the middle of it.
I want to pause for prayer. But it got so interesting I forgot and I later on. Thought I needed to have prayed right insights were were brought from the Scriptures we went through some of the very same passages we looked at today was invigorating. We were all taking notes and learning from one another was healthy. It was rich. The best part of it. It reminded me we have not lost our value, we have not lost our value by the grace of God we are in good hands.
The future is a wonderfully bright and admittedly for the Lord leads in this is it is a it is a discovery we will enjoy on tiptoe, no one has an agenda left we come around the word with open hearts seek his mind and the fellowship is enriching enriching is your shepherd long for you to have a life that is enriching for you to take time away from the demands of your work to be still open his word to pray, seek his mind to offer yourself a change agent first to be changed than to be a helpful person.
The life of another. Who needs to be changed. If you take your cues from the world you will never slow down and do that just be still, listen to him asking to guide you bow your heads with me please.
My heart goes out to any of you who may have never trusted in the Savior realize the message today is been for believers, but perhaps you realize what you been missing. Maybe a little confused like to know what to do now.
You've never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ come today our father in the hectic pace of life.
It's often easy to feel like a cage full of mice busily about the stuff of life and moving in our own direction and often even forgetting our young pursuing what we want, but would give us comfort significance. Today we've learned of another lifestyle. I pray that we might more and more model. It staying out of step with the world but not aloof from those in the world and give us a distinctive identity. We belong to Christ, to the point where others are amazed realizing that without letters and without training.
Here we are your representatives, so father use us in special ways the lives of those whom we touch this week and continue to guide this ministry by your grace and for your glory. Father, thank you for the role prayer plays a radical interference of the status quo. Thank you for the power of your word that cuts through life like a hot knife through butter.
Keep us on our knees keep our fingers in the page of Scripture. Guard us from trying to ape the world system. Help us to keep it simple, keep it spiritual so that you get all the glory. Just as you will have it someday.
In Immanuel's land Lamb is all glory pray in your powerful name. All this people said a man. These are the guiding principles that inform Chuck Swindoll's leadership at Stone Breyer Community Church because they are derived from the Bible. They apply to any church, including yours. You're listening to Insight for living and this is message number two. When Chuck's nine part series called the church awakening to learn more about Chuck Swindoll in this ministry.
Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, during these daily programs. Remember that every single sermon in this series is paired with an interactive study tool that chuckles searching the Scriptures.
It's interactive because you can jot down your personal notes online or print out the PDF for safekeeping is designed to help you truly engage with the Bible and its application. Take a look and discover how to learn more about the church awakening by going to Insight.org/studies will most of us have heard the desperate cries that are prevalent in Ukraine and surrounding regions will be encouraged to hear that our regional offices in Poland and Romania have worked tirelessly to care for the needs of the refugees that are pouring into their cities, our office in the United States, along with our other international offices are allocating funds as able to our Polish and Romanian offices to help ease what physical suffering we can and to help offer spiritual comfort in the love and power of Christ. These ministries are made possible when you give a much needed donation to Insight for to get a gift today. Call us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. You can also get email@example.com/donate when Chuck Swindoll continues a series called the church awakening on Insight for living. The preceding message challenges, struggles, solutions priorities was copyrighted in 2008 2010 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide.
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