A Praying and Ministering Church (Part 2) 





(Acts 4:23-29 Pas. Baines, Jr. 10/2017)

Introduction: In our discussion notes’ text, Peter and John were released from being detained for doing ministry. There is a prayer service that leads to great ministry. A key idea in today’s discussion is “We should work on making our church more of a ministering church.”

(Click here for pdf version)

Applications:

1. God and threats. Notice in vs. 29 that the people prayed about God dealing with the treats that were before them. First, we should be thankful that whatever the devil can use people to do to us, God is able to block it.

Second, we should be willing to let God use us to be a part of dealing with threats. We can help by supporting discipline and holding authorities accountable. Let’s work on praying for God to handle our threats and being willing to be the answer to the prayer.

2. Holy boldness. Notice in vs. 29 that the people prayed for boldness in ministry. First, we should thank God that we can be bold in Him. I John 4:4 talks about greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.

Second, given that we can be bold in God, we should be bold in God. There are too many who act as if II Timothy 1:7 is not in the Bible. Saved people should be bold in the Lord, not afraid of what others may say. Let’s work on being bold in the Lord.

3. Being the hand of God. Notice in vs. 30 that the people prayed for God to stretch out His hands to perform signs and wonders. First, we should be thankful that God is able to do signs and wonders that help unbelievers draw closer to trusting in Him.

Second, we should let God use us to do ministry, so people can see the reality of serving a true and living God. Some of the best signs and wonders that lead to people drawing closer to God are our testimonies and examples of living lives of loving service.

Every saved person has a service/ministry to perform (see Eph. 2:10; Rom. 10:5). What ministry are you performing? Are you letting God use you to meet the greatest need, or are you just doing what is comfortable for you?

Let’s work on being the hand of God. No matter how poorly we have served up to today, we can repent and make today the first day of the rest of our lives with the Lord. Contact Sis. Baines about the GPS effort.


4. Practical Ministry. Notice in vs. 32 that the people sold their goods and shared among one another, as a means of practical ministry. When a person’s practical needs are unmet, it is difficult for them to really appreciate stuff like Jesus is the bread of life, hope for tomorrow, and redeemer. James 2:15-17 supports the need for practical ministry.

Churches may have limited benevolent funds and donations for human and community service organizations (and volunteerism). However, our churches don’t have enough resources to be welfare agencies.

But we can still provide education and encouragement in the areas of financial literacy, discipline, and cooperation, so people can stand on their own feet, instead of needing church support. Let’s do what we can in practical ministry.

5. Spiritual Ministry. Notice in vs. 31 that the people engaged in the spiritual ministry of sharing God’s word with boldness. As important as practical ministry is, spiritual ministry is more important. Passages like Matthew 16:26 and II Corinthians 5:8 support the idea that our spirit/soul will outlive our bodies.

Therefore, we need to make sure that we, the church, give high priority to the spirits/souls of people. If the church didn’t provide for practical ministries someone else would. But no one provides the spiritual ministry that the church provides. We are called to prioritize helping people get saved and growing in the Lord (see Mt. 28:19-10; Jn. 15:14).

Let’s prioritize spiritual ministry. This comes back to “each reach one” – inviting and bringing people to worship and growth groups, so we can grow together.

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