Trusting God doesn’t always feel sturdy and safe. At times, we might even wonder what we got ourselves into, but when we place our trust in Jesus, he gives us a vision, direction, and constant companionship. These things allow us to go on the journey with a sense of confidence and peace, knowing that while we aren’t exactly sure how, we’re going to safely cross to the other side of any trial we may face.
So many of us can name several types of our fears to others - from fear of heights to being outside. But what about those fears we don’t readily admit like the fear of failure or loss?
We wrapped up our collection of talks entitled Acts of the Apostles as VOUS Creative Director, Luke Barry preached a message titled Shipwrecked, Stranded, and Unshaken. He encouraged us through the story of Paul facing a defining storm with 275 people on a ship where he charged them to take courage and not be afraid for there won't be any loss of life. This, even after the storm left them shipwrecked and stranded, Paul showed them by example, to remain unshaken.
What troubles you the most, may be what God is calling you to change. We see this in Acts 17 when Paul notices the pervasive idolatry in his city of Athens, and becomes determined to transform it. He recognized that many people within the city had spiritual cravings, but were trying to appease them with idols that always fell short. Paul connected them to Jesus by immersing himself in the culture, rather than judging from afar. Like Paul, let's be people who transform our city by connecting with people, rather than correcting people.
Often we think courage is a feeling, but courage is actually a decision to take action in the presence of fear. Our actions can either suppress the word of God in us, or spread the word of God through us. In the book of Acts, Stephen exemplifies his unwavering courage by being the first Christian to die for his faith. How can we be like Stephen and learn to own the crown of victory and peel off the layers that cover our God given destiny?
Do you ever feel like sometimes God shows up at the last possible moment?
Like he waits right up until the moment of truth, with sweat dripping down your forehead, eyes darting at the clock, leaving you wondering if he’s even going to show up at all? This week, as we continue our study of the book of Acts, we learn that the sudden movements and miracles God performs are usually on the heels of earnest prayer, and a home full of faith, fellowship, and freedom. These are the values that we stand as we seek to build a church that shouts, “Welcome home.”
As we venture further into our discovery about the Acts of the Apostles, we are introduced to the idea of being activated into the world of the supernatural.
Everything we think, believe, and dream, God will exceed, but we need to do our part. By acting in faith, and giving God something to work with, He will provide the "super" to our "natural" act of obedience.
Have you ever tried to come up with an excuse for something you didn’t want to do? Or maybe you’ve made an excuse for something you didn’t think you could do. As Christians, we think we’re great at making excuses for why and how God can’t use us. But really, an excuse is just a cover-up to conceal the truth. Let's be honest, our excuses tend to be pretty lame. Luckily for us, God chooses to use us anyway. As we continue our collection of talks on the Acts of the Apostles, we see how God used ordinary men to do extraordinary things by the power of his Spirit.
As we start a new collection of talks on the acts of the Apostles, we take a deep dive into the book of Acts and look at life after Jesus. When Jesus resurrected and ascended into heaven, he assured us that we wouldn't be alone. He promised to send us a helper, a counselor, and friend to help us along our faith journey. The helper that Jesus promised us is the Holy Spirit, and through him we are empowered to do all things because he lives within us.
Culminating our seven-week collection of talks entitled, “Jesus”, we celebrated Easter in the promise that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. On our faith journey, it is important to lean not on our own timing but on Jesus’. Though we may be in a season of waiting on God’s promises, it doesn’t have to be a wasted season. His will is to work in us before working through us. If we understand that delayed does not mean denied, we put our faith in his plan and allow for him not to meet our expectations but to put his miracles in our life - no miracle bigger than our salvation.