The thing that's stopping you from giving yourself to the Body
Intro and Engage
Intro and Engage
Question; If I asked you right now, What’s stopping you from giving yourself completely over to the Body? | Committing? | What would you say?
We are told; Life is not our own | that we Belong to Each other | and part of a the Body.
In fact the word says;
from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
It clearly states that we are better together - Why then, do we find it hard to commit? Let go of “me” and become “we”?
Not only may we find it hard to commit to the body, but when we do, why do we fall away? Why don’t we feel committed? A bit of pressure, rockiness, and it falls apart?
Sermon Series: Come Together | Book of Acts | Earch Church Live togehter | face challenges | apply today | We have been through how the early Church Lived | Our Role | Last week Boldness
TOday I want to look at: The thing sthat may be stopping you from giving yourself to the Body of believers. And what makes us strong.
Title: What Builds a body of believers, and what destroys it. - Strong words, but something that needs to be spoken about
My Hope: You will realise why you have been called here | You will be able to be watchful for what might rock us | And you might find a reason to why you’re not fully committing and aware for what might destroy us.
What I want to do today | Go through Acts | and we are going to jump around | But I want you to pay close attention to the people and their motivations | Actions | Results | Motivations | Actions and Results.
Illustrations about the motivations
2 things | Builds the body of Christ - What makes us STRONG | Resiliant | Loving | what may destroy us, bring us down, hurt us - and ultimately, isolate us.
What do we know? Real Enemy | Steal Kill and Destroy | Like nothing more, than to isolate you | Then to let the things of Flesh rise up | Hurt you - Let’s talk about it.
Where are we - We went through some of acts 4 last week | Believers had just prayed for Boldness | Skip what happened and come back to it | Prayed for Boldness | Annananias and Sapphira just got striked down | Many signs nad wonders where done AGAIN - Pick it up in Acts 5:17 -
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy
they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison.
Saducees - Same people that Killed Jesus | that yelled out at “This mans blood is on us” | Saducees had such hard time with Jesus | Peter | John | The Good News | Because it wasn’t them that bought the good news | Not a Jew | None where disciples | What did it say? Riddled with Jelousy |
Numbers - Wilderness long time iwth people of israeal - issues and challenges - story during that time, God moved upon elders of Isreal - Spirit fell on them - they begun to prophesy - Blessed of the lord - Joshua came to moses, and said to moses, stop, and moses looked at Joshua and said “Are you jealous for my sake” - I wish the spirit would fall on the whole nature of Isreal.
Moses was not taken by envy and jealousy - why was it different to moses that he was not able to get jealous? He had the antidote, the antidote to jealousy and envy.
Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.
You can’t give yourself over unless you are humbe - Listen - Humility is the antidote for Jealousy | What fuels Jelousy then? If Humility is the antidote, what is the thing that stirs it all up? Pride | Opposite of Humity is Pride | Pride = Original Sin. Satan filled with Pride | That’s how Satan fell from Heaven - Pride - Wanted to be God - Tempted eve with Pride | Issue | We all struggle with Pride | If Pride grabs you, grabs you by throat.
David rose in popularity | Lead the armies when Saul was king | Women use to sing a song when he came back “Saul has killed thousands, David has killed tens of thousands” | Saul heard it, gauled him - Rubbed him wrong way | Saul couldn’t let it go | Overtaken by Jealousy | Goal in life, eliminate David | Drove him insane | Lost mind | See the gravity of what we are dealing with here |
As believers, in the Body, we can’t even begin to toy with it | Can’t Ignore it, it can corrupt us.
in acts these saducees where Jelous - listen, their Jealousy killed Jesus - Great victory for us | They had the messiah right there |
What do we do? When we feel jealous - We pray for Humility - Why? We are told to live together humbly, we are told to value others above ourselves and paul tells us to think of ourselves as we ought - Glorified pieces of Dust. I love what what Paul says about humility
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
There is no place for Pride, in the Body of Christ - It’s something that we all wrestle with, it’s something we all need each others help with, but it’s something that can destroy a healthy body.
Ok if that is going to destroy us, who wants to hear what will build us? | What do we know? Disciples are going through MASSIVE …Pressure | Who here, likes to go through pressure? What about when competing for the olympics? Massive Pressure | People can edure massive pressure | If, there is a purpose | There is Purpose in becoming a Body of Believers | In Coming Together | Let’s look at Acts
Massive Pressure | Stood Firm | Prayed for Boldness | Holy Spirit just descended on them | then What?
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
You might say “This sounds like acts 4:32-33” No - Listen, before they where together | Now, after going through an attack = one Heart | One Mind.
What else | Great POWER | and …Great GRACE was upon them all - Not a select few | Everytime through Acts | Pressure would build | They would stand firm | God would move, and move in a big way. Here is the kicker though - There was purpose in the pressure, and the purpose was to hold them tighter together.
Crisis Connection - Go through something, some out the other side, so much stronger together | Sometimes, we can take pressure, and we don’t stand firm | We forget | Got has a purpose | and I believe God has purpose for this Body right here
There was one verse that kind of disturbed me in the bible | can I say that?
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
And then Jesus said “I’ll kick him in the teeth” - No
but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
I will pray | Devil wants permission | But I’ll be praying | Jesus, stop that, lightning fingers and let’s get this done | Jesus didn’t cause it, but allowed the pressure, why?
Illustration about witholding pressure
Do you feel under pressure? State of hte world? When is it all going to end?
When ever it feels like the devil is attacking | Important to remember, God’s preperations comes packaged as pressure | We have spoke about this.
Pressure that you are enduring | when you’re at the end | God may be about to do something | Something in you, before for you |
So Peter, Peter keeps messing up | stuffs up all the time, best sort of friend - They make you look good |
Matthew 16 - Jesus Predicts his death | Peter what? Rebukes him, noo, If Jesus calls you satan, it’s not good
Garden of Gethsemene, tells peter to stay awake - found napping
John 18 - Jesus arrested, Peter swings at soldiers head, couldn’t even get that right - cuts ear - Jesus - “Go find the ear” (How funny)
Big One - “You’ll deny me” Peter , no, i won’t - What happened, 3 times - Peter said no,
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”
Where was God in hte middle of Peters Failures? Maybe you feel like peter? God’s Prep comes as pressure | Maybe he is telling you what you CANT handle and what GOD CAN handle | Don’t look at it from a “I am under so much pressure” Perspective - See pressure through a perspective of Purpose.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
He is preparing, for a time such as this
What Did Jesus say?
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
When you turn back, after the sifting, you will be stronger, you will be different, you will be prepared - and you’ll look back and say, actually, that was preperation. Might not always see it | by FAITH - We are going to choose, to believe it
What will make our body stronger? build the Body? Is if we: Handle the pressure together. | Stand Firm, Together | Realise, purpose in the pressure | Bible Study Thursday night - We continue to meet | Contiue to spur each other on
What ever happened to Peter? oh that’s right | Filled with the Holy Spirit | His first sermon on Repentence and Forgiveness, 3,000 was saved | The SAME PETER | He felt pressure, he felt hte pain of letting down his saviour, and he felt His Forgiveness!!! He FELT IT |
What did Peter stand up and say? After being jailed | let go |
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
There is Power here for us to grab, if we come together | If you feeled called here, if you feel loved here, we stand firm here, through any pressure | Through any Trials | We stand Firm
Inspo and Close
Inspo and Close
Listen - We are told to give our Bodies over as living sacrafice | There is humility in it | It’s like “Here, use it for what ever is required” | It’s not elevating, it’s humbling |
Humility is the antidote for Jealousy | Pride is the undercurrent | We need to strip it away | We need Jesus to just wipe it clean | Pride created the whole fall, it can bring down a church | What do we do? When we are jealous? We Pray to God for Humility - to think of us as we ought |
We build our community by standing firm TOGETHER | Through the Pressure | So we, as a body, can fulfill God’s Purpose | You have been called
There is no greater mission than the Gospel
No greater purpose than the one God gives you
There is not a more important time than Now - To be the Church that God wants
There is no greater Lord that is Jesus
And he is calling on you to join His Body - Will you answer the call?