4 Books: 4 Questions ~ The Gospel of Luke, Baptisms, and Filling with the Spirit

holy-spirit-1315165On Sunday we heard really two messages: first, testimonies from baptism, and a short message from me. The truth is the baptism stories and personal sharing were the best. They are always the best.

But I also offered a few short thoughts on the book of Luke. We are in the midst of a series looking at the different books of the Bible from a high level and seeing what and who were the writing to and why? Luke is an investigator and a historian looking into the stories of Jesus and compiling them. But the point for Luke isn’t just history, but transformation. Joel Green writes this, “He did not, however, intend to provide just a historical justification of the Christian faith – ‘did it happen?’ – but to encourage faith – ‘what happened, and what does it all mean?’” And that’s what we looked at – what does it all mean?

And I think the point of Luke (and Acts which he also wrote) is really to encourage us to walk in service, sacrifice, and maturity. Luke is a book filled with a practical model for how we are to  follow Jesus. It’s like Luke outlines the first few acts in a play, and then encourages us to finish the play in line with what’s been laid down. And part of what Luke really recognizes is that to step out in service and sacrifice we need the Holy Spirit.

So we took sometime looking at the Baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit Baptism in Acts 2. And what we noticed was that the Holy Spirit fills people, and empowers people to share his Good News. That if we want to walk in maturity and service to the world we need to be filled with God’s Spirit that allows us to follow. We need the Spirit to truly serve and sacrifice.

So we ended with this simple main point from Luke: To serve and sacrifice we all need to encounter and experience a fresh filling of the Spirit. We all need the Spirit to continually fill us. So we ended with a time for prayer for being filled with the Spirit, and cheering on baptisms as people were filled deeper with the Spirit than ever before.

Sermon Notes:

Big IdeaTo serve and sacrifice we all need to encounter and experience a fresh filling of the Spirit,

Teaching Points:

  • What should we do?
  • Luke is about courageously following God, in service and sacrifice
  • The Holy Spirit fills people, and empowers people to share his Good News

Adult Discussion Questions:

What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? What was new? Had you ever thought about the gospels being different before? What stood our to you from the testimonies? Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit in a strong way before? Why do you think we need the Spirit to serve the world deeper and fuller? How can you continue to ensure you are filled deeper and deeper with the Spirit?

Challenge for the Week: Be filled with the Spirit and step out and serve.

Called to Spread and Go #missional

This Sunday I preached on how in Acts 1 Jesus tells his disciples to spread out and be a witness to his new reign or Kingdom of grace, love, and life. He gives them the green light to literally go into new areas and places with the message of the Kingdom.

Jesus is very specific and says go to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. For me I think these are places that not only were the early Christians sent but also we’re sent today.

We’re sent to our Jerusalem’s the places around us where we have natural and established relationships. These can be at work, in your neighborhood, or even in your family. We’re called to be a witness to God’s grace there.

We are also called to move, to expand, to go to our Judea’s. These are nearby places where relationships aren’t difficult, or awkward to start. They are people who are similar to you and can be found at local coffee shops, sports clubs, in a large office, or just people a few doors down. The point is that we aren’t to be comfortable with just blessing (literally to give life) to people we know but are called to expand and grow giving life to new relationships as well.

This then also includes our Samaria’s. These are people different from us, that are difficult to get to know. There are obstacles, and boundaries maybe cultural, religious, or social. The point though is that the Gospel is too beautiful to be stopped by any boundary and is to cross over the boundaries with us as we go to give life and be a blessing.

And lastly God wants to send us to the ends of the earth – places we haven’t been or even dreamed of going. But God has. And his plan to save creation, is to send us, if we are willing.

So for me the question is are we willing to go, and where is God sending us. Who are we to meet, to connect with, to bless? Who is in our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria that this week we can show love too?

And are you willing to do it?

Discussion Questions from this Week Sermon

  • Adult Questions
  • Where is your Jerusalem? The place you find yourself in often and are comfortable.
  • Where is your Samaria? A place where you meet and mingle with different people who stretch you?
  • Where is your “ends of the earth”? Where might God be sending you?
  • Questions for Young Families
  • Talk to your kids about the idea that God sends us out to make the world a better place. Ask them to think of places that God might send them to make better. Maybe it will be their class through accepting a lonely boy or girl. Maybe it will be at a friends who doesn’t have a lot. Maybe it will be to grandma and grandpa in the nursing home. But start them thinking that they are sent out to make the world a better place. And if they have ideas how make sure to do them.

Weekly Challenge: Go to your Jerusalem and Samaria with the intention to bless…