Connecting 5: Expanding

God’s intent was never for a few to know and be redeemed. His intent was for the world. For all people. For every person. Throughout this five week series we see the love and community of Jesus’ Kingdom EXPANDING. From Jerusalem to the world. The Kingdom of Jesus, rich in power, unity, mission, grace and clarity, makes its way.

Expanding, part 5: Clarity
7/12/20
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  The devil, among other things, introduced confusion into humanity’s thinking and still muddles their clarity.  This reality only becomes worse when we follow his advice. Because of our fallen state, really smart people who clearly understand all kinds of things are naturally really confused about the most important things, no matter how simple you make them. They just can’t see and they just don’t get it no matter how well their minds work otherwise. It’s still the case that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). But perhaps what is most amazing is that when God does flip that switch and wake people up, he almost always involves his people to be there when it happens and even be instrumental to it.

Main Text: Acts 8:26–40

 

 

Expanding, part 4: Grace
7/5/20
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  This passage makes for an interesting contrast with 3:1–10, the text that began this Expanding series. In the earlier passage Peter and John have no conventional power and are open about the fact, but they do have power in the name of Jesus. In the story of Simon the magician in chapter 8, he had been known to have great power (it’s even called that!), and he couldn’t let go of his craving for more when a greater power comes along. We feel extreme discomfort when the power we have and take for granted is lost. What may be revealed in these moments is a bitterness inside us that needs to be cleansed by the Lord’s grace. God’s grace is a dangerous thing. It is highly disruptive. It won’t leave us alone. It will change and rearrange us all the way. But it’s the only way we can get the pain to stop. It’s the only way we can attain true power, not of ourselves but of him. It’s the only way we can be free.

Main Text: Acts 8:9–25

 

Expanding, part 3: Mission
6/28/20
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  God has to scatter His people to get his plan going. And, the result along the way “So there was much joy in that city.” Acts 8:8 That’s what can happen when you’re united in the same mission. Even when you’re forced to be apart, as sad as that is, you have the assurance that you’re all on the same team. “Whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27).

Main Text: Acts 8:4–8

 

Expanding, part 2: Unity
6/21/20
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  Living out “what’s mine is yours” is a visible and expanding demonstration of the statement that “all the believers were one in heart and mind.” The thought does come to mind: “if you have everything in common, you can’t lose anything.”  Here in Acts 4 & 5 we see somewhat of an emergence of what Adam & Eve must have experienced in the Garden- “abundant grace was upon them all” every day (v. 33). Every day they experienced the overflowing favor of God. There was nothing to lose. When we’re sure we have it all already, we don’t need to cling to things, and we aren’t as suspicious of others.

Main Text: Acts 4:32–37 (5:12–14)

 
 

Expanding, part 1: Power
6/14/20
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  Think of power in two ways: as influence, and as skill to do something. Have you ever felt powerless? Many of us look around and think “What can I do? When we see an obvious problem, we ask, “Why doesn’t somebody do something?” We question why people don’t step up and take action, but we assume that someone has an action to take—they know what to do and are able to do it. But the uncomfortable reality of life in a fallen world is that its needs outstrip our ability to “do something.”

Main Text: Acts 3:1–10