Church Definition: A movement of people on mission for God with a message of salvation.
1. A generous church is known for crazy prayers
Peter and John Timeline in Acts 4:1-26
- Seized by captain of the temple guard
- Unjustly imprisoned overnight
- Interrogated by officials
- Threatened by officials
- Returned to their friends and family
The Jerusalem Church prayed a crazy prayer – Acts 4:27-30
Dear God, help us make the message loud and clear. Work through us to bring help and healing to others.
When was the last time you prayed a crazy prayer?
2. Generous churches understand the vastness and power of God’s grace – Acts 4:32-37
- “One heart and mind”
- “they shared”
- “No needy persons among them”
- “sold possessions”
D.R.I.V.E. – Debt Reduction Increases Vision Expansion
Continue to Pray. Mark your calendar for January 26.
TALK IT OUT
- Read Acts 4:27-28. Although both Jews and Gentiles acted against Jesus to bring about his crucifixion, whose will and plan was actually being carried out? Why is this important?
- If you were being threatened and treated unfairly, what are some of the first things you would likely pray for? Now read Acts 4:29-30. What did the disciples pray for when they found themselves in that kind of situation? What does this tell us about where our focus should be as believers?
- Read Matthew 19:26, John 15:7-8, James 4:1-3 and 1 John 5:14-15. The disciples clearly weren’t afraid to pray big, bold prayers. What principles can we learn from these passages to help us do the same?
- Read Psalm 24:1 and Psalm 50:10-12. According to these verses, who is the owner of all that we have and are? Now read Acts 4:32-34. The generous lifestyle of the early believers conspicuously demonstrated the understanding that they were merely stewards (managers) – not owners – of everything God had given them. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well would you say you managed the resources God entrusted to you last year? What, if any, changes do you think you could make to become a better steward this year?
- Read 2 Corinthians 9:8-13. What is God’s purpose for blessing us? What is the end result when we live this out?
LIVE IT OUT
- Spend some time today reflecting on the amazing goodness and greatness of God, then pray some crazy, bold prayers that line up with that image of Him.
- Take a few moments to thank God for all the ways He has blessed you. Then ask Him how He would like you to use those blessings to be a blessing to others this year.