TEACHER:  Ken Hicks

SCRIPTURES: Acts 2:41-47

BOTTOM LINE:  An Attitude of Gratitude is how we go from Thanks-Giving to Thanks-Living!

QUESTION:   How did the Early Church cultivate such a grateful heart, spirit and ministry together?

 

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Every week, our CONNECTION Group on Thursday evenings has a time when someone shares the Vision of our group w/ the entire group … just reminding all of us as to why we’re gathering … and our purpose and vision.  Acts 2 happens to be one of the passages people choose sometimes … but I wonder … if we dive into this a little closer, maybe we can determine What Made this Early Church so Powerful?

This EARLY CHURCH had discovered the Secret to the Body of Christ, the Fellowship gathering and living and functioning the way God intended … that started the most Powerful Movement in History!

They were constantly talking about and leading their Fellowship in the directions of these 5 spaces … and it propelled them into launching the Church and the Mission of God in a way that was unbelievably Powerful:

5 Functions of the Church:

  1. Fortify Their FaithDiscipleship.
  2. Find Their TalentsMinistry.
  3. Focus on GodWorship.
  4. Face Life’s Problems TogetherFellowship.
  5. Fulfill Their Mission Evangelism.

 

Focus on God …“CONTINUING DAILY WITH ONE ACCORD IN THE TEMPLE … PRAISING GOD.”

One of the keys for the Early Churchhere that we’re reading about … is they figured out how to transition from THANKS-GIVING to THANKS-LIVING … not just a Day of Gratitude… but an Attitude of Grattitude!!!!

  • THANKS-GIVING… is pausing amongst everything else to Give Thanks to God on Turkey Day!
  • THANKS-LIVING… is living from that Attitude all year long!
  • THANKS-GIVING… is giving a few words to God once a year!
  • THANKS-LIVING… giving YOURSELF to God Daily … every day of the year!

 

  1. It Saves Us from BITTERNESS!
  2. It Saves Us From PRIDE.
  3. It Saves Us From INGRATITUDE.

 

APPLICATION:

I’ve never met anyone in my life that truly desired to be Un-Grateful.  Those of us who have exchanged our lives w/ the Life, Death & Resurrection of Jesus,  we know Jesus wasn’t that way.  As we walk In-Christ, there’s no way we can be walking In-Him and lacking a Grateful Heart and Spirit.

The Early Church … they somehow got this!  They somehow understood this idea, perhaps because they were the Hunted?   They needed one another so much more than we live like we need one another in our culture, so the idea of Hey, let’s put it all in the middle and make sure everyone has what they need literally just seemed logical.

So, when someone was in the season where others were willing to bless them … wow … they understood the sacrifice and love that were being expressed … and there hearts and words and actions were from a place of Gratitude.

 

When we think about all we have to be THANKFUL for … and I’m praying for me … and for this Fellowship … that God would cultivate a Heart of Gratitude in our lives, to save us from:

  1. Pride
  2. Bitterness
  3. Un-Gratefulness …

 

And to serve as a constant reminder together …

  1. We share time together as a Body of Christ.
  2. We thank God in our own Personal Time w/ God.
  3. We give thanks daily w/ our family.
  4. We continue to memorize verses that remind us of Truth … so when we’re struggling, we have something to draw truth from.
  5. And we constantly tell others about who God is and What God has Done.

 

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