Waynedale United Methodist Church
Friday, May 26, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

June 19, 2016 Sermon

“Transforming Momentum”
Acts 2:1 – 4, 14 – 21, 38 – 47
Ted Jansen  June 19, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        The church began with the Holy Spirit filling the hearts of those who believed in Jesus.  There were about 3,000 disciples at the birth of the church (Acts 2:41).  That was in the year 33AD. 
            In 2016, according to the Pew Research Council information from 2011, there are over 2.2 billion Christians in the world.  The majority of the population in the world are disciples of Jesus Christ.  This is wonderful and amazing.   3,000 to over 2.2 billion disciples of Jesus!      
How did the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost create momentum like that in our world?   Was there something else going on beyond the events of that one day?  How has the church been transforming the world for almost 2,000 years?       
 
2.)        Momentum, transforming momentum, is not about a one-time spectacular event, or experience.  It was about movement of the heart that God shapes and direct each day. 
The early church, believers who were filled by the Holy Spirit, were involved in six different habits of the heart, or six discipleship practices, on a consistent basis.  We discover those six when we read Acts 2:42 – 47. 
            “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
            Momentum and transformation occurred in the church and in people’s lives because they shared the Word of God together, joined in fellowship with one another, ate together, prayed together, gave to financial needs, and praised God together. 
            Let me condense those actions or practices into six words; scripture, fellowship, meals, prayer, give, praise.  The church and disciples that do these six things will have momentum and transformation will be visible.     
 
3.)        *Scripture – When we read, study, reflect and apply God’s word we gain momentum in our lives and in our church when we do this each day.  Scripture grows our lives from the inside out and we have God’s words shaping us.       
            *Fellowship – When we spend time together with other disciples each day our faith is strengthened. We know that when we are disconnected from fellow believers it is easier to get discouraged.  This is why it is important for disciples and others who are a part of a group, like AA or other groups, to stay connected in relationship each day. 
            *Meals – When we eat together in our homes, in restaurants, and in the church building each day we are nourished physically and emotionally.  When we offer a blessing before we eat together we allow our meal time to be a time of prayer, remembering Jesus who gave thanks.   
            *Prayer – When we pray together, out loud, with each other God’s presence is with us.  As we take time each day to pray we know that the Lord is near.  It is vital to share in prayer with others in our home, our group, our congregation.  It is important to have people in our lives that are praying people.  Prayer gives our faith fuel.       
            *Give – When we give financially to those in need, we give to the church, to ministries, our heart grows in faith and generosity.  Our heart follows our money.  When we lead financially as a part of our faith we desire that the first portion, the first fruits, be given to the Lord.  We desire to tithe, give 10%, and allow each day to reflect this commitment.   
*Praise – When we worship God together through our hearts and voices of praise we will grow closer to the Lord.  As we offer our praise each week we are stronger when we do so with others.  The offer of our praise to God needs to happen each day.  We can be creative in our prayers of praise.  Praise, in the form of singing, is wonderful, and gives us momentum.       
 
4.)        These six practices are great.  But what would our life, as the Waynedale UMC, look like if we made a decision not to: *personally read, study, or reflect on the scriptures, *join with other Christians for fellowship, relationship or fun, *eat together with other disciples, *pray with other people, *give financially to the church, to people or ministries, *praise God with others in worship? 
            We would not have any spiritual momentum in our own lives, or in our congregational.  If we read the scriptures once a year, never spent time with other disciples in fun or a meal, if we never prayed with others, only gave a $1 to the Lord once a year, or never came to worship to praise God, then we would not have much of a faith, or spiritual life.    
            We need daily discipleship practices to keep our momentum!     
 
5.)        Let’s compare spiritual momentum and gasoline. Let us say that each of those six practices represents 10 gallons of gas.  So, if you practiced all of those six you would have 60 gallons of gas.  What can you do with 60 gallons of gasoline?  
If you put 60 gallons of gasoline on a pile of wood and lit it you would have a tremendous fire and explosion.  It would be big and loud.  It would be dramatic, with lots of noise, size and impact.  Yet, it might last an hour or so at that intensity, with all the 60 gallons!             
What if you put that 60 gallons of gasoline in a car tank and controlled the explosion in a car engine?  You would have energy and momentum. 
The power that was created by the engine with 60 gallons of gas in the tank and transferred to the wheels could take you a long way.  If you had a car that got 30 miles per gallon, those 60 gallons would be enough to travel from Ft Wayne, Indiana to Phoenix, Arizona.    
   
6.)        Churches need special “moments” when God sized experiences happen in the hearts of people.  We might call them revivals, conversions, awakenings, renewals, transformations, etc.  I believe that momentum happens when we have controlled explosions of grace, like in an engine.  Those six practices create momentum and transformation day by day.     
Scripture – We read, study, reflect and apply God’s word.
            Fellowship – We spend time together with other disciples. 
            Meals – We eat together in our homes, in restaurants, and in the church building. 
            Prayer – We pray together, out loud, with each other. 
            Give – We give financially to those in need, we give to the church, we give to ministries.  Praise – We worship God together through our hearts and voices of praise.  
 
7.)        There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance.  He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note.
            The note read: "pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need." Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die. After thinking about it the man decided to risk it.
He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveler.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “Please prime the pump, believe me it works!” 
 
8.)        Once water starts flowing from a pump it creates more pressure and more water flows.  You have to get it started.  We can help the Lord by getting started in a practice that will allow God’s Spirit to flow. 
Nancy Reuille is going to share about a man named Charlie Strong.  God has used him to bring about transformation of people’s lives through God’s work in Costa Rica.  (Nancy to share)
 
9.)        As I share a closing prayer I want you to consider one of these six areas God is wanting you to pay attention to.  Decide what your next step will be.     
 
Closing Prayer