17
Jun
10

Weekend Recap 6-13-10 and the SBC Pastor’s Conference

This past Sunday @ The Ridge was a very special day. Part two of our New Thru 30 series was about Why the book of Acts matters. We talked about how the book could be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” rather than “The Acts of the Apostles.”  The Acts matters because its about The Witness. The Acts are foremost about the witness and power of the Holy Spirit and the expansion of the church.

 In Acts 1:4-8, the witness is promised, prepared & empowered, prayerful, persecuted and proclaimed and expanded. 

Here’s The So-What…why does this matter?

We ARE the witness.  If we are His witnesses, the POWER of the Holy Spirit will fill us and fulfill His purposes in and through us.

Here’s what we need to grasp from reading Acts: Warren Weirsbe says that every Christian needs to move out of Luke’s Gospel into Acts. What does that mean?  It means that “knowing about the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ is enough for salvation but not for Spirit-empowered living and service. We must identify ourselves with Him as our risen and ascended Lord and allow Him to work through us in the world. The church is not simply an organization engaged in religious work; it is a divine organism, the body of Christ on earth, through which His life and power must operate. We are an organism that is alive by the power of the HS in us. We are all parts of ONE body. Jesus died for the lost world; we must live to bring that world to Christ.”  (Wiersbe, Warren W.: Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament)

Why does Acts matter? Look back at what Jesus said… 

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

We have a job to do. Acts should inspire us to know that God is going to accomplish His work through us, if we allow Him to. His purposes will prevail. It’s just a question of whether or not we’ll be a part of it. If we are a Christ follower, we should WANT to be. If we don’t WANT to be a part of what God is doing, then we need to examine our relationship with Him.

Sunday afternoon, my wife and I had the chance to go down to Orlando tot he Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference. I have never been to this conference, but because of the line up of speakers and because a good friend and former seminary roomate of mine was one of them, we decided to go. It was really a great time. Lots of fantastic speakers that inspired, challenged and encouraged. Tony Evans, Ravi Zacharias, Andy Stanley, Ken Whitten, David Platt, CJ Mahaney, Ed Stetzer, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan as well as my friend and former roomie David Landrith. Some powerful speakers and godly men. It was a quick trip as we came back Tuesday morning, but it was good. Got to reconnect with a lot of old friends too. Thankful for the church allowing me to go. It was especially nice to have my bride along!

I think God is really changing some things in the SBC and it’s good. Under the leadership of this past year’s convention president Johnny Hunt there has been quite a resurrgence back to the roots of souther Baptists, which is missions and the Great Commission. I’m glad to see it. I’m not into church and denominational politics at all. I can’t stand the fact that we let stuff like that get in the way of what God has called us to be and do. I’m glad to see a younger guard taking leadership and a renewed passion for missions and the expansion of the Gospel. We need to be about finishing the job Christ gave us…empowered by the Holy Spirit just as the early church in Acts was. Will we as individuals and as the church decide that we will allow Him to do in us ans through us whatever He pleases?

The book of Acts matters because it is all about the HS witnessing through US of the power and promise of the Gospel. Eternity is at stake!  Will you and I prepare, pray, allow Him to empower us, and proclaim the promise no matter what persecution might come? I pray that we would do no less. The HS is active in this world. God is working all around us, every day… will we join Him in what He is doing…or not?

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