Sketchy notes from a fantastic recent talk I heard Andy give at the Message offices
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
5 types of blessing there! (Count them for yourself)
Healthy things grow. Sometimes there’s pruning for growth. If it ain’t growing, do something!
Emerging church is okay, as long as it emerges! Because if we all sit around theologising while the world goes to hell… if we don’t proclaim this gospel – who else will?
How did that fivefold blessing come?
Paul hit the ground running.
Vs 19 – he went from someone who hated the church, to someone who loved the church.
Then, ‘at once’ we was preaching Jesus is Son of God, to the world.
So often new Christians are the best – don’t let anyone dampen the fire! Have we lost our first love?
All who heard him were astonished. Paul’s still a baby Christian – but he grew more and more POWERFUL. We want more power! The power of the Holy Spirit. We’re meant to move from more to more. We should be stepping into more anointing, not having the best somewhere long behind us.
That powerful kind of ministry stirs up hell. Opposition came. He had to make an unceremonious exit, in a basket.
Ends up going to Jerusalem, but they were scared of him. Wouldn’t receive him. Opposition from within is so much harder to take!If God’s people won’t have him, what will he do?
There are seasons of opposition. Paul, who went on to be arguably the greatest apostle, would have been ditched – were it not for Barnabas. PERSONAL encouragement, one to one is what people need.
By rights, Paul – the new guy, should have been bigging up the established guy. In the kingdom- it’s the other way round.
It costs NOTHING for us to be sons and daughters of encouragement.
I want to be like Barnabas, like Ananias. If we were like that, we’d live in the fivefold blessing.
By the way – Andy’s latest book, Hope Unleashed – is FANTASTIC. Preview here!