New Hope Notes
Go And Tell Faith
Faith In Action
Pastor Jon Burgess
Aloha, New Hope, and Happy New Year. It's 2018, and we're launching our brand new series called Faith in Action, and we're going to be studying the Book of Acts and how we are going to be putting our faith in action in every single area of our lives, not just talking it out, but walking it out.
It really looks like what happened on the birth of the church in Acts Chapter 2 when God's spirit was poured out on a group of people just like you and I, they were waiting in the upper room, and the Holy Spirit was poured out and they put their faith in action.
Peter quoted Joel Chapter 2: 28-29,
“‘And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days.’”
That means every one of you is ready for a faith adventure when God's spirit is poured out on you.
So look at your faith right now because when you and I are walking out in faith, it's literally putting one foot in front of the other and deciding, “I'm no longer going to be led by my feelings. I'm no longer going to be led by my failures of the past. I'm going to be led by the faith.” It's a combination of small acts of faith that leads to the culmination of an amazing move of God, and when we move from our small thinking to the big thinking, and we see what God has been up to the entire time.
We can learn how to do that by learning from the early church. They are our blueprint for how to walk by faith and not by sight.
But what's interesting is sometimes we put the cart before the horse, and we need to make room for the upper room before we leave the upper room. And the disciples were all fired up. Jesus said you need the fire of the Holy Spirit before you try and go do anything. Don't try anything until you do one thing, and that's the thing that's oftentimes the hardest for us. So he said I need you to go and tell everyone else, all the believers, to wait.
So what did Paul want the believers to do?
Go And Tell Other Believers To wait on The Holy Spirit.
We need to tell other believers that it's time for us to wait.
Read in Acts 1:4-5 what Jesus said:
“On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”(Acts 1:4-5)
So Jesus was telling them something. He was saying if you do not wait for the Holy Spirit, you're going to keep waiting for things to happen, and then you're going to try and make things happen on your own. And that's the opposite of faith, and that's flesh. And He was saying the way the church is going to expand, the way you're going to make disciples, from the very inception of the church is going to be by faith, and that's gonna be by waiting.
You see, we look at the miracles of Acts, and we think that they were seeing miracle every single day. But the Book of Acts is an accurate account of miracles that took place over a few decades. If we're willing to wait on the power of the Holy Spirit, I believe that this year, 2018, will be the year that we see the fruit of what we've been waiting on God for for so many years, that this will be the year we see the miraculous because you and I aren't going to rush ahead of the Holy Spirit. We're going to wait right here until we received what it is he's given us through this sacred assembly, through the fast that we're about to enter into.
The second thing we need to do is:
Go And Tell Other Believers To__witness With Jesus.
We need to go and tell other believers to witness with Jesus. Before we can witness about Him, we need to witness with Him.
The Bible says,
“Then they gathered around Him and asked Him, ‘Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 1:6-8)
And the reason why you and I don't like to wait is because we like control, and the quiet revolution of humility that God is calling this church to in 2018 is gonna require that you and I learn how to do this a lot more often, that we wait, so that we can witness what Jesus wants to do.
When did they get to become witnesses? After they waited. Witnessing came after waiting. You guys see the sequential importance there? A lot of times we're trying to tell other people about Jesus, but we need to see more of Jesus ourselves first.
So how did they respond to that command to wait? Well, probably a lot like I respond and maybe how you respond when God is saying I just want you to wait on me. Look what they did. They went to the upper room and they got really spiritual, started reading scripture. They started praying together. And it doesn't tell us how many days into this portion here that they went, but then they started thinking, “You know what? We need to do something while we're waiting.” So they took it into their own hands to choose a 12th disciple.
And so it says in verse 23 that they were missing a 12th disciple because of Judas’ betrayal and death. So lots were cast and they chose Matthias. But was it really necessary to choose a 12th disciple? Because a short time later Jesus chose Paul to be his vessel and to write many of the books in the New Testament. As for Matthias, nothing was mentioned about him after he became the 12th disciple.
Go And Tell Others the__ wonders of God.
Of course, Acts Chapter 2, the Holy Spirit is poured out, just like Jesus promised. Tongues of fire, wind, and then they receive tongues from the Holy Spirit and they begin to speak in other languages. It's so loud that all the nations that are gathered there for Pentecost, for the Feast of Pentecost, they all hear their own language which is really surprising to them because they know they're in Jerusalem. They weren't expecting people to be speaking in their language, except for the friends that came with them.
The Bible says, “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’”(Acts 2:5-12)
They made room for the upper room, and then God got them out of the room so they could tell everyone in Jerusalem God has made room for you. When you and I wait on the Holy Spirit and we witness what Jesus is doing, we can't help but tell others the wonders of God. What is it that they were speaking? The wonders of God. And they were speaking it in languages that they didn't even know.
And just like they heard the wonders of God in different languages, we're going to come up with creative and different ways to share of the wonders of God in our workplaces, in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our schools.
And you're like, wait a minute, how is this going to change anything? Here's how. We wait on the Holy Spirit. Every day we get up, we get up with a sense of expectation. The Holy Spirit is going to lead me to do something for somebody. And then we witness what Jesus is doing maybe in the Costco line or at school or in our office cubicle right next to us, and we begin to walk with eyes wide open and we begin to share the wonders of God.
We're going to wait on the Holy Spirit. We're going to witness what Jesus is doing in the room. And then we're going to share the wonders of God in that moment. See, we got to get the gospel out in as many ways as possible to as many people as possible as soon as possible because if this morning reminded us of anything, none of us know how long we have. All we have is right now.
I don't know about you, but I instantly thought this morning about the people in my family and my life that don't know Jesus yet, and it added an urgency, especially when I found out I wasn't gonna die. And it added an urgency that I need to make sure they know Jesus.
And it's with that urgency that I want to invite you tonight, before we take communion. Our first communion of the year is a celebration of what it is that Jesus did for us on the cross. At our communion when people begin to come forward, I want to ask that you, if you're in this room and you were there this morning and you weren't absolutely 100 percent that if a missile had come and we were taken to heaven, that you would be welcomed in, I have good news for you. You can know before you walk out here tonight. You can know before you take communion that the Jesus who shed his blood and broke his body did it for you. You don't have to just know about him. You can literally know him personally, and just like the men and the women in the upper room, you can receive a fresh infilling of a Holy Spirit right now. In fact, let's pray.