The Same Call

I will never forget how I felt staring out the window of the airplane as we took off.  As my friends and I began our journey to take the gospel into a closed country, the gravity of it all hit me.  These nine guys had decided to join me on this mission trip, and we had no …


“Call Me Jeff”

  On Sunday, we surprised Jeff and Sandy Lethco with a banquet after morning services to celebrate their 15 years at North Side.  We shared testimonies, gave 15 gifts, and thanked God for their influence in our lives. I spoke to many who were excited about this time, but who got very emotional during the …


Empowered by the Spirit

But when the Father sends the Counselor as My representative–and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit–He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I Myself have told you.  –John 14:26 (NLT)

Jesus Christ was an amazing example for the disciples to follow as they learned how to be on mission to tell the world about the grace and love of Jesus Christ.  As Jesus ascended into heaven, He told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come over them because Jesus knew that the Spirit would serve as a guide and a teacher in His physical absence.

During the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the disciples got what they were waiting for.  The Holy Spirit, the presence of God Himself, took up residence inside ordinary bodies – their bodies.  The disciples immediately hit the streets with a bold new style that the world has never recovered from.


The Withstanding Church



Continuing on through the Book of Acts, we arrive at one of my favorite passages of Scripture.  In Acts 5, Peter and the disciples are at it again.  Preaching in the name of Jesus when they have been warned to stop.

They continue anyway.

While they are threatened, they show no sign of wavering.  One of the Pharisees, Gamaliel, escorts the disciples out and tries to reason with the angered religious leaders.

His comments are incredible:


The Lying Church



In this week’s study of the Book of Acts, we have arrived at the Lying Church present in Acts 4:32-5:16.  In this section, it shows how the early church continued to grow and how no one was in need because people were actually selling land and homes and giving it away to those who had need.

Pretty incredible stuff!  We think it is awesome when people give 10% to meet a need, and these people were actually selling stuff if the need was too great.

Then, they walked in.

Ananias and Sapphira were a part of the church.  They were watching all the hype happening with the people.  The church was celebrating individuals for their acts of holiness, and they decided to try to cash in on the excitement.

Bad, bad idea.

They did sell a piece of land.  They did give some of the money to the church, but they lied about how much it was so that they could: 1) benefit themselves, and 2) receive praise from man.  The Holy Spirit alerted Peter of their deception, and he calls them out individually and each of them dies in the midst of the church body.

I’m sure Peter had everyone’s attention then!  Can you imagine this scene at your church house if this happened on a Sunday morning?!

Here’s what we can take away:


The Proclaiming Church


In Acts 3-4, we see the story of the lame man sitting outside the temple.  Peter and John pass by and instead of giving him money, they get him to walk.  Much better.

As they enter the temple, the man is leaping and praising God.  He is also clinging to those that reached out to him.  And with the great thing that happened, enemies of Jesus are against it completely.

Here are some things to note about this proclaiming church:


The Family Church

As we continue our study in Acts, we come to the topic of the family church.  While Acts 2:42-47 is descriptive in nature, it does have some activities in which all churches should emulate.

Here’s the description of what the Church looked like after Peter’s message at Pentecost:


The Empowered Church

02 - The empowered Church


Week 2 in our study of Acts and we come to see what the empowered Church looks like.  What could happen when the Spirit of God radically changes lives in a congregation?

One of my mentors, Chuck Lawless, once taught me that the scary thing about many people is how much “ministry” they could actually do in their own power.  Natural talents and gifts could be so visible that it appears that God is blessing something when in actuality, maybe it’s just worldly success.  It could be simple influence.

I don’t want to settle for influence.  I want the Spirit of God.


The Clueless Church

The Clueless Church.001

I’m teaching through the Book of Acts this semester.  I’m not teaching at Lander this Spring, but I am teaching a survey of sorts.  I’m teaching it in 3 places: 1) College group at our house on Wednesday nights, 2) worship team practices on Wednesday nights, and 3) this blog.  I will be sharing some insights here weekly.

I’m teaching on Acts for a few different reasons: 1) it’s a book of the Bible, 2) it’s really good, 3) we are tragically neglecting the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and 4) I have never known such a time as then when Christians were more confused concerning what the Church really is.

We are clueless to what the Church really is.


God Is More Concerned with Your Future Than Your Past

In church, we want any change in you that happens to be change that lasts for a lifetime. If we can’t apply the message, we are wasting our time in learning the truths (James 1:22-25).

We don’t want to make shallow commitments. We want to start walking in this truth, and we want to be faithful for the long haul. Oftentimes, we get bogged down in our past mistakes or our shallow commitments.  But God is more concerned with your future than your past.

Let’s learn from Peter’s example. His words and actions changed from time to time and reveal some of our own tendencies.  Look at how quickly his words and actions change: