How To Make Your Own Memorial

These are abridged outlines of exhortations presented on the National Prayer Call during an exposition through the Book of the Acts ( “50 Days of Power”).

Acts 10:1-22

Proposition: God will remember your praying and giving (vs.4).

Praying, fasting and giving combined produce divine release and spiritual reward (Matthew 7:7, Luke 6:38). This is a compounded spiritual dynamic that creates a spiritual memorial. This combined dynamic is supernatural in its results.

Exposition: When a spiritual memorial is set before God, He will release to you:

1) Vision (vs. 3). God will show you a design for your destiny. Vision comes so that you can start to see what God sees. Vision is God’s gift to people who are pursuing His purpose.

2) Confirmation (vs. 4b). The angel confirmed to Cornelius that his praying and giving was the key to his breakthrough. What God had done is remembered. Not one thing Cornelius sacrificed in money or time was wasted. God saw it all.

3) Season (vs. 5). The angel says, “Now…”. Seasons are determined by what you pray and by what you give. Faith frames times and ages (Hebrews 11:3). Your faith activated by prayer and giving will bring you into your season.

4) Direction (vs. 6,22). The angel told him to send for Apostle Peter. The direction Cornelius needed was in the mouth of an anointed man. Connecting and submitting to the Apostle Peter gave Cornelius all he needed for a new encounter with God. The directions we need in this hour are apostolic. We all need spiritual generals who are saturated in the supernatural power of God to give us holy directions.

Application: If you want to experience the unparalleled power of God employ your spiritual disciplines.

Ministry: Jesus Style

Ministry: Jesus-Style

Acts 9:32-43

Proposition: The Holy Spirit empowers saints to do ministry Jesus-style.

Exposition: Jesus-style ministry employs supernatural strategies that:

1) Repair lives (vs. 33-34). Peter uses the same strategy of Jesus for the healing of the paralyzed (John 5).

2) Revive lives (vs. 36-42). Peter uses the same strategy as Jesus for the raising of the dead (Mark 5).

3) Reach lives (vs.43). Peter uses the same strategy as Jesus to reach and influence one life   (Luke 19).

Application: We are called to “re-present” Jesus in one-on-one ministry so that people can still experience His purpose, power and presence in their lives.

God’s Story

This is an abridged outline for the Acts series during the  “50 Days of Power”.

Text: Acts 7:1-60

Proposition: God is in history and over history.

God works through history writing His story.

Jesus is the point of God’s story.

Exposition: Stephen tells God’s story. What makes Stephen such an exceptional witness?

I. The Messenger (6:15). Stephen’s face was “like the face of an angel” for Stephen was living looking up. His focus was heavenly. When we live from above people will not only hear our witness, they will see our witness.  “It’s written all over your face” describes Stephen’s witness.

II. The Message (7:2-53).  Stephen’s message had three (3) particular points that must be included in the witnessing of God’s story:

1) God is a God of Faith (7:2-8). God’s covenant is the basis of all faith.  The story always begins with God calling and man responding. This is faith. See Romans 10:17.

2) God is a God of Grace (7:9-36). The lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David (vs. 45-46), Solomon reveal the favor and grace connected to the people and purposes of God. Seven men called and connected by the grace of God.

3) God is a God of Order (7:37-50) “The Prophet” God shall raise up is Jesus (vs. 37). The Prophet calls the nation to order (vs.42-43). The Tabernacle and Temple (the spiritual structures of the Old Testament) are according to the order (“fashion”) of God (vs. 44-50).

III. The Martyrdom (7:51-59). When the truth hurts, people will try to hurt the truth-teller.  Stephen is mobbed and murdered. He becomes the first martyr of the New Testament Church. He dies the way he lived, “looking up”. He died worshipping. He died praying. He died forgiving.

Emerging Ministries

This is an abridged outline to the Acts series for the “50 Days of Power”.

Acts 6:1-15

Proposition: The Holy Spirit empowers ministries to emerge.

Exposition: Emerging ministries must continue to :

1) Establish effective ministry strategies (vs. 1-3). Sharing the ministry is key to effective ministry. The apostles shared their ministry with the congregation. The “diaconate” were non-vocational men recruited into full-time ministry.

2) Establish effective ministry priorities (vs.4-7). The apostles kept the spiritual disciplines of the Word and prayer central and focal. Emerging ministries need leaders who keep the first things first. Spiritual leaders must be Spirit-led.

3) Establish effective ministry personalities (vs. 8-15). Stephen is representative of the kind of people that emerging ministries must have connected to their vision. Stephen is out among the community declaring and demonstrating the Word.

Application: Emerging ministries must be prepared to face the challenges that come with change.

A Worthy Witness

This is an abridged outline for the Acts series in the “50 Days of Power”

Acts 5:17-42

Proposition: The Holy Spirit makes our witness worthy.

Exposition: The Holy Spirit makes our witness worthy by helping us to:

1) Say what we need to say (vs. 20, 25, 28)

2) Stand where we need to stand (vs. 27-32)

3) Suffer what needs to be suffered (vs. 40-41).

Application: We must be prepared for the warfare against our witness.

“The Jesus Controversy”

“If you are wrong on Jesus, you are wrong on everything.”  I said it!  The idea that you can have a misguided and mislead understanding of the most important person to ever live is deceptive and dangerous. You have to know who Jesus really is.

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16).

When the Apostle Paul says, “without controversy” he is not intimating that the person and ministry of Jesus is without refutation, opposition or contentions. Jesus is still a most polarizing figure. There are perhaps as many books  that attempt to minimize Jesus as there are that seek to interpret his personality and ministry through a biblical prism.

What is without controversy is the empirical truth of Jesus. Jesus was and is. In eternity and in history Jesus is real and central.  Jesus cannot be ignored. He cannot be dismissed. Jesus is the centerpiece of all civilization. Jesus is essential.

There are a myriad of false dogmas and empty doctrines that seek to explain Jesus. Paul, arguably the greatest Christologist to have ever lived, does not try to explain the mystery of the divinity and humanity of Jesus. Paul honors the study of Christ by saying, “great is the mystery”. He views Jesus in the hypostatic union (all God and all man) and the Incarnation (God manifested in flesh) as the “great mystery of godliness”.

For those who have to know the “how?” of Jesus, the answer of the apostle is succinct and put forth in these terms:

“God was manifested in the flesh”. This is the Incarnation. Jesus is not other than God. Jesus is all that God is revealed in a man. Paul calls Him, “the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form” (Colossians 2:8).  Jesus is God.  Jesus is God in the world in the flesh living among His own creation. Jesus is God the Creator taking on the nature of the created in order to rescue all of creation.

“Justified in the Spirit”. This refers specifically to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Now don’t miss this!  The baptism in the Holy Spirit that Jesus experienced at the Jordan at the time of His water baptism was a signature confirmation that He was the authentic Son of God (John 1:33-34). The word “justified” means “vindicated”.  The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a major asset. The baptism in the Holy Spirit should confirms the sonship and service of every saint.

“Seen of angels”. The appearance and attendance of the angels in the life of Christ confirm that the Son of God was unique in His relationship with the Father and His coordination with heaven. While many great men of God had angelic encounters and assistance none had the the kind of angelic devotion that accompanied Jesus.  At His birth the angels worshipped Him. At His temptation the angels ministered unto Him. At His agony in  Gethsemane He was served by the angels. On His way to the cross He had 12 legions of angels waiting to rescue Him at his command. At His resurrection angels were there to announce His triumph. At His ascension angels escorted Him back to heaven.

“Preached unto the Gentiles”. Jesus did not come into the world trapped within the Jewish culture. Jesus is Savior of the world. He proclaimed the good news of God to non-Jews. He even preached to the pagan Pontius Pilate. Throughout His ministry Jesus found Himself rejected by Jews and received by Gentiles. Some of the most powerful examples of faith in Jesus and the power that comes with it involve and include Gentiles. The Syro-Phoenician woman, the demoniac of Gadara, the Roman centurion were all miracles for Gentiles.

“Believed on in the world”. There was a revelation of God presented to the world and some believed. While Jesus was living among them, they believed. They believed not because of religion, they believed because of revelation. By revelation Peter says, “Thou art the Christ, Son of the living God” . “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Word was enfleshed, revealed unlike any word God have ever spoken before. Jesus becomes the author and finisher of the faith of those believe.

“Received up into glory”. The ascension of Jesus is the great affirmation of Jesus’ success. Jesus successfully purchased our redemption. Jesus was definitely resurrected from death. The ascension confirms “mission accomplished” for Jesus. The glory of the pre-incarnate Christ is restored. He who took on flesh is again glorified. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; behold I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18).

The message of Jesus does not require an explanation. It is a proclamation! You don’t have to argue for Jesus, you have to agree with Jesus. Jesus is who He says He is. Do you agree?