Monday, February 20, 2017

Classic Mouse Davis

Mouse Davis Talks Run and Shoot

Simplify: The Secrets of the Church of Acts Part III

Acts 1:4-8
The Holy Spirit Promised

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a]in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth

We have always tried to figure it out. Humans philosophize and use the intelligence that God gave us as a gift to figure it all out. We are so smart yet so limited in our view of things. The disciples had walked with Jesus and heard his teachings, yet they still missed it. They ask Jesus, Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom of Israel? Such a small and narrow vision of what God wanted to do. They wanted the Earthly Kingdom of Israel to be restored, God wanted the Spiritual Kingdom of God advanced. But I don’t think it is fair for us to judge them. They after all were Israelites and they viewed the world through the lens of who they were and how they were raised. And in fairness this same group will successfully establish the church and will grow it into a dynamic, powerful, world changing church with a lot less to work with from a worldly point of view than we have. 

This leads me to my next point. Jesus instructed them to wait in Jerusalem to be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Why, because He knew them and loved them. He knew that on their own with all of their flaws and weaknesses could never do what needed to be done. And praise God, He loved them anyway, despite their flaws and weaknesses. He gives them a slight rebuke and reason for hope and in his words, I think there is a lot of wisdom for us the American Christian and Church of 2017. It is not for us to know the times or the seasons. Quit trying to figure everything out. I think one of the foundations of Christian wisdom is to understand and be content not knowing what is not for us to know! God has revealed things to us in simple and clear ways, it is those things he wants us to live in. And after the rebuke, comes the hope.

Point # 2: POWER

You shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Some people get very nervous when you start talking about the Holy Spirit, it is because we get convicted as Christians because we know we are walking well below where we should in terms of our relationship with the Holy Spirit. We are to walk in Power and why, to be witnesses for Jesus. Why is the church not growing and thriving? The answer is simple, we are not walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit!

Next week we will look at when the Power came down and the real secret to why the church in Acts was so much more effective than our churches today. We will also try to get real practical on how we can be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Before now, I will share this song which I think expresses what God desires for us to be when the Holy Spirit comes in all his fullness!

In Christ Love,

Humbly His By Grace,

Coach Jackson

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Simplify: The Secrets of the Church of Acts Part II

2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

Here in Acts 1:2 we find an interesting statement. “Through the Holy Spirit”. What makes this interesting is to whom this is referring to. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, taught his commandments to his apostles. If Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit, then who do we think we are when we live in our flesh. I was going to move on and go further in Acts today, but I think the Holy Spirit said not so fast. The next part of Acts is where Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the new church and sent them to Jerusalem to wait on him. My point yesterday was “Experience”. Why did Jesus send them to Jerusalem, to have an “experience” with the Holy Spirit! I did a whole teaching on the Holy Spirit last year. But I sense what the Holy Spirit wants to tell you this morning, that if you want to Experience God, look no further than to the Holy Spirit who lives on the inside of you. He is saying, if Jesus relied on me, don’t you think you should too. Jesus didn’t teach out of knowledge, his wisdom, or experience he taught what the Holy Spirit directed Him to teach. When Jesus answered the Pharisees who were so smart and self-reliant they left God out of the equation, He answered them by the words of the Holy Spirit.

It is time we start living through the Holy Spirit! The Series is Simplify right. I stressed yesterday that the church of Acts did not have buildings, denominational organizations, the internet, or any other of the modern advantages we have, but they did have a life directed by the Holy Spirit! Simplify by depending on the Holy Spirt instead of the many things us Americans like to rely on. In the process we might just “Experience” life more abundantly!

It is Not that Complicated

Simplify: The Secrets of the Church of Acts

So what did the church in Acts have that we are missing today? As I read the book, I see a powerful, dynamic, growing church that was literally turning their Roman world upside down! Then I look back at the American church and well you know.

So what was it that made this group different? The first thing I think they had was an experience.

Point #1: Experience

Acts 1New King James Version (NKJV)

1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Think about what this group of small believers had just went through, and keep mind they are human. First, they were convinced they had found the Messiah, something they had been waiting for all their lives and they had ridden the highs of having Jesus on Earth. But then it all came crashing down, at least that is what is looked like on the outside. I mean Jesus was arrested in crucified and even though he told them it was coming, as in the account with Peter we see that circumstances had trumped faith and they were in the lowest of lows and I am sure they questioned everything they had believed. But then, don’t you just love when God does a “but then”, then He rose from the grave and as we see in first part of Acts above, they had just spent forty days with a risen savior! That is enough to create momentum and energy. And that to me is the first thing a lot of Christians and churches are missing. An “Experience” that creates that kind of momentum and energy!

I pray that each of you on my devotional list has had an experience with God. If not I challenge you to seek Him until you do. For many of us, it quite frankly has been to long since you have had a real experience with God. Then it is time you seek Him and change that! As the American Church in general I am going to spend the next few days in Acts looking at what they had that we are missing, but it would be a great start for God to show up in Churches all across America and that truly have a corporate experience with Him. Even though when he shows up, He has this attitude, He thinks He is God and He will want to do it His way. As humans, we don’t like to give up control and it is that control that we often miss our experience with God. Look for ways as you do through your day today to Experience God in both big and small ways. It could be as simple as stopping to watch children play.

My prayer as I close this morning is that we Experience God today and remember days past when we have Experienced God!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Great Reminder from John Maxwell about Integrity