Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Don’t settle, Amigos!

The last sentence of Acts Chapter 1 reads, “They drew names to choose an apostle. Matthias was chosen and joined the eleven apostles. (GW)” The next verses (Acts 2:1-4) depict the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower the Church for witness. Within just a few more verses, the same guys who were drawing names to pick an apostle were turning the city upside down in the power of the Spirit. As the King James Version says, “This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel!” I’m sure they never drew names again. My question is, “Where are we in our churches? Are we drawing names, or is this still that?” With the coming of the Holy Spirit baptism came the power of God to speak with tongues, to prophesy, to deal with devils and heal the sick, to preach Christ in the face of persecution. A supernatural Church is a church that does church supernaturally.

In Acts 2:42-47 we see the first bunch of Spirit-baptized believers doing church together. Our challenge: If this is still that, how do we let the supernatural power of God flow in each area of the church’s life in our day? Here are five things churches do, and some short thoughts on the supernatural in each. We’ll pick each one apart in the days ahead:

  1. Worship. Ephesians 5:18-19. Every believer touching God, unified and impowered by the Holy Ghost, making a suitable throne for Jehovah God.
  2. Pray. 1 Corinthians14:2 / Romans 8:26. Re-finding the incredible power of prayer in the Holy Spirit.
  3. Make Disciples. Matthew 28:18-20 / Romans 1:9-12 More than education programs, impartation encounters. Not just information, but transformation
  4. Fellowship. Acts 2:46 / Hebrews 10:24-25. Build relationships that look more like family, holding the faith life in common.
  5. Evangelism and service. Acts 11:27-30 / Mark 16:15-21. Hearing from God to care for others in His strength, not ours. Demonstrating the resurrection to touch the world.

At the risk of being a little crazy, ask yourself, “What would my church look like if the power grid was gone, there was no tax deduction for giving, the government was penalizing faith, the hospitals were closed, and the pharmacies were empty?” The answer will give you a little better picture of where the church really is.

Somebody Said: “The church for too long has followed Casper, the friendly ghost instead of seeking the fire of the Holy Spirit. We have turned limp at the thought of our own cross; we faint when we think of suffering or sacrifice. Beloved, it is time to embrace the fire of God’s Presence. It is the fire that purifies our sacrifice.”- Francis Frangipane

Scripture Reading: For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. (1 Corinthians 4:20 NLT)

It took a miracle of resurrection to start the Church. It required a miraculous new birth to become part of it. The Holy Spirit came upon us to give us power, not to have better tea parties, but to impact the forces of evil and rescue the captives they hold in thrall. The Church is not made up of nice people trying to get nicer, but of transformed people who have died and been raised for a new purpose. Let’s not settle for a social club or a marketing plan when we can have a revolutionary movement. I believe that this is still that!

 

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