Part 9 of 9 – Bigger Than… Series
Acts 2:2-4 (NLT) Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
The Day Christianity Went Nuts! Until this moment, the disciples were fear-filled at best. But, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, there was a dramatic change. Now they were fearless. They repeatedly alluded to the unjust Crucifixion of Jesus in their preaching. A lame man was told to get up and walk. They preached Jesus loud and without reservation. And, they were soon arrested but that didn’t slow them down or quiet their voice. “Jesus is the Answer!”, they cried. “You tried to kill Him but He rose again.” “Repent, be baptized in Jesus name, and you will also be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.”
They changed the world! They headed out into the masses just like Jesus said they would. When they prayed, they did not ask for ease. Instead, they asked for courage to make Jesus known. This is our heritage. The wild, untamed reality of Discipleship. The day we start asking ourselves why our faith doesn’t look like it once did is the day we start to turn things around. May God bless us with a passion that reveals that our “good enough” is just NOT good enough!
A Day In The Life Of An Orphan.
Something happened along the way. Followers of Jesus began acting like the disciples BEFORE the Holy Spirit arrived. We have forgotten that we are sons of God, by His Holy Spirit. We tend toward believing that we are actually on our own and are orphans without a Heavenly Father.
John 20:25 (NLT) “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
We struggle with our Faith. Like Thomas, who once boldly declared that he would die with Christ (John 11:16). We doubt God. We doubt His goodness, His presence in our lives, and His care for our futures. We never doubt because of evidence. It is always because we are so absorbed in our current dilemma that we forget the evidence of God’s care for our lives.
Luke 22:33 (NLT) “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”
We struggle with our Insecurities. Jesus had just told Peter what was going to happen. Why did Peter call Jesus a liar? The same reason we waste so much energy trying to earn the things God has given us – Approval. Peter wanted to be the person he imagined himself to be so badly. He wanted to deserve the leadership role, to be noticed, and to be the greatest among them. These insecurities are the inheritance of orphans. Orphans will always need approval because they will always feel like outsiders. But, something changed for Peter and it can change for us too.
A Day In The Life Of A Son.
Romans 8:14 (NLT) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Psalms 5:3 (NLT) Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Start The Day With Dad. God wants a relationship with you like the one he had with Jesus. What do you think the Father and Son talked about? Hint: Everything… Have you ever considered that the things God said to and over Jesus, He was saying over us as well? God was also speaking to us when He said, “You are My beloved Son, I am so pleased with You.” (Mk 1:11). Or, “I will glorify My name through Your surrender.” (John 12:25-28). We should also pay attention to the things Jesus said. They are the words of a Son and teach us how a son of God should talk. “Not my will but yours.” “Where the Father works, I work.” “I lay down my life.”
Colossians 3:1 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Live The Day From Headquarters. We are able to live from God’s kingdom. When Paul talked about “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), he meant that we should live our lives in response to our heavenly Father, not that we should ask God for stuff constantly. He taught us to interpret our visible reality in cooperation with heaven’s INVISIBLE reality. 2 Cor 4:18
Expect The Day To Rock! Do you think Jesus started His day as we do? “I sure hope that guy doesn’t show up today.” “I bet it’s gonna rain/snow.” Do you think Jesus sounded like Eeyore headed into each day? Or, maybe like Piglet, “Oh, bother, I sure hope the Pharisees don’t outsmart me today.” What if Jesus started each day excited for the things God would do?
What do we think God might do through us today? Maybe we’ll make a difference and really help someone. Today could be a key step toward a great blessing in our future. We might really make a connection with our spouse, kids, parents, or even God today. Today has so many possibilities. No wonder God calls Today the day of salvation! (Heb 4:7)
God is Our Father. You can be Son or Daughter or stay an Orphan.
Hebrews 2:3 (NLT) So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?
This great salvation. Jesus did not suffer, die, and rise again so we could barely survive. He did everything possible so that we never live as “orphans” but as God’s own sons and Daughters.
John 14:18 (NLT) No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.
1 John 3:1 (NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!…
When we let go of the complaining, whining, and the need for approval and run to our Father God, we discover more acceptance than we ever dreamed. We are not orphans. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. As we learn to believe it, we will grow in our experience of it.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- Review Acts 1:4-5, 2:1-13. What do you think about this story? Describe the changes in the Disciples behavior that resulted from it?
- What do we expect a normal Christian life to be like? Give examples of how a normal Christian lives and behaves? What would have been normal in the book of Acts?
- Why do Christians live in Fear? What do Christians Fear?
- How does a person get God’s approval? How does a person keep God’s approval?
- Which of the Disciples struggles are you more prone to experience – fear, anger, or insecurity?
- How could we practically take the three actions mentioned? (Start the day with God. Live from Headquarters. And, Expect the day to Rock.)
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?