Hey Vinelife Church!
In case you missed yesterday’s service, here’s a recap to keep you in the loop.
WORSHIP THEMES //
We engaged in a powerful time of worship. Feel free to listen to these songs again and worship the Lord today.
We are excited to announce the kick-off of our new men’s ministry: Pýr. We will meet every third Friday at 7pm. Men of all ages and walks of life are encouraged to come to Pýr’s kickoff on September 15th at 7pm! Again, We’ll be meeting in the back of the parking lot here at the church. There’s an area back there set up for a bonfire and it’ll be a great place for us guys to talk and connect.
Perfect love is an inner healing course that focuses in on breaking free of things that hold us back and gaining freedom through the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. It’s a seven week course meeting on Monday nights from 6:30-9pm here at Vinelife Church. So again, this is a healing series looking at what Jesus did on the cross and how we can live from our spirits in true righteousness and holiness. There will be times of teaching, reflection and group ministry throughout the series.
Pastor Luke continued our series on the book of Acts with a message about the power of waiting. You can listen to the message here and read his notes below.
Jesus is alive. Jesus vanquished sin, death, brokenness on the cross. He powerfully rose from the grave to show that not only can I take on and break the power of the death. But I’m stronger than it too.
But according to Jesus, his resurrection life is not enough to sustain them for life. 40 days seminar on the kingdom of God is not enough to sustain the disciples. They only thing that can sustain you is the living Holy Spirit on the inside of you.
Living inside of ordinary people. The Story of Acts is about men and women trying to figure out how to co-exist with a king living inside of them.
Last week, we explored what it must have been like for the disciples to see their Master, their Teacher, the Messiah, just vanish in front of their eyes. Jesus thought it would be fun to start a movement by leaving.
This most likely had mixed reviews. Why did he have to leave NOW? Couldn’t he have waited until a ripe age for retirement? He’s only 33 – Jesus was at his prime.
They were all alone.
So what did they do?
Acts 1:12-14 (ESV)
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Jesus leaves and all they have is Jesus words and commands. The Holy Spirit hasn’t yet been poured out. They’re replaying his words like a voice recorder in their heads. So they close their eyes and go back to the last thing he commanded them to do. Their first response was simple obedience. They returned to Jerusalem. Imagine what that walk must have been like.
“Stay in Jerusalem and wait”
(close your eyes) – “Wait”
For the disciples it was only 10 days, but it probably felt like an eternity.
Why did Jesus make them WAIT?
Wouldn’t have been a smoother transition if Jesus did a straight hand-off?
“Hey Guys, before I go, let me introduce to my better third. This is Holy Spirit. I thought we could all sit down and talk about this transition. Might be appropriate to address any questions and concerns. I know Thomas has some doubts. Peter isn’t listening. Those three guys are sleeping. So, yeah, maybe we could go around and introduce ourselves. First name. Favorite fish. Greatest fear.”
It’s wild to think about. Why did Jesus make the disciples wait?
You see, we know what’s coming in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit is about to be poured out in ways never imagined. But what if you didn’t know that? What do you do when you’re in between the PROMISE and the POWER?
A bigger question, why does God make any of us wait?
The reality is we spend much of our lives waiting…
Human beings spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line for things, it means like 3 days a year of queueing up. The average person spends about 43 days on hold with automated customer service in one lifetime. Those who take the bus will wait about 27 days of their lives waiting around on the platform or at the bus stop. (https://logisticsmgepsupv.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/how-much-time-of-an-average-life-is-spent-waiting/)
This aside from waiting for other significant life events…
- Healing in our bodies
- Finances and Provision
- Restored Marriage
- A son or daughter to return home
- An adoption process to come through
- Justice for the oppressed
Doesn’t God know that we don’t have the time?
We HATE waiting. We pay money to not wait. I love Amazon Prime. I pay an extra $4/month to not watch commercials on my Hulu account.
It’s one of the most understated themes in all scripture and the Christian life.
In the Gospels we see this happening to Mary and Martha while they are waiting on Jesus to come and heal their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus finally shows up, He is accused of taking too long.
The Bible is full of stories of people having to wait on God, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Jesus, Paul and countless others.” – Relevant (https://relevantmagazine.com/god/practical-faith/5-reasons-god-makes-us-wait)
To be clear, we don’t have to wait on some things. The Scripture says that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. The Holy Spirit is now available to anyone on the spot.
But there are times, when the Lord makes a promise and then sends us through a process. These are typically the most critical times of our spiritual journeys, and the point at many bail. I can’t keep count of the amount of disappointed believers I talk to.
But the truth is, it’s in the process of waiting, that we are refined and matured.
- Waiting reveals our true motives. (what do you really want?)
- Waiting builds patience. (Is this worth waiting for?)
- Waiting builds anticipation.
- Waiting makes us more dependent on God.
“The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.” – St. Augustine
So what did the disciples do? In the waiting, they decided to gather and pray.
Prayer is the place where we come into agreement with God’s heart. It’s an environment that God cannot resist but to inhabit.
They went to pray, be in one accord, and wait.
Active Waiting vs. Passive Waiting
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. In prayer and waiting, they were led to their next step….
Acts 1:15-26 (ESV)
15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
They had eleven apostles and needed 12 to represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
This is last time they cast lots, because after this they would be given a new way to make decisions – the empowerment and leading of the Holy Spirit.
Mathias is chosen and Justus not. We don’t know what Justus did after this except that he probably just went on following Jesus. We have no idea happens to either of them after this except that it seems that we are called to play large parts without pride and small parts without shame.
They had no idea what they were about to step into. No clue what Chapter 2 would bring. But I believe it was their faithfulness to obey, to stay, to wait, and to pray that positioned for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
WORDS FOR HEALING PRAYER //
Every Sunday, our ministry team prays for physical conditions and we believe the God loves to heal our bodies. Here are some words for healing prayer from Sunday. If you would like prayer, feel free to post a prayer request as a comment on this topic.
- Eye issues
- Trouble involving the shin
- Pain/problem with the hamstrings
- Upper back issues
SERVING OPPORTUNITIES //
Vinelife Kids | We have re-launched our children’s ministry previously called KidsQuest. It is now Vinelife Kids. We are looking for 3 volunteers to commit to serving one Sunday a month as they invest in the future of the children of Vinelife. Several positions are available. Teachers, teacher’s aids, a management team, etc. Please email Valerie@vinelife.com if you are interested and she can work with you to provide you with the support you need to get started!