“And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31.
The bottle of cough syrup medication carried this prominent label: “Shake well before using.” We had to shake the bottle because the heavy medicine had settled to the bottom and the lighter liquid rose to the top of the bottle. The two ingredients had to become one substance for the medicine to be useful.
The church in Acts Brother Gearl spoke about Sunday experienced the same shake up. Jesus ministry, crucifixion and resurrection had shaken them all to their bones and marrow. Then in chapter 2 of Acts, while they were all together in one place they were filled with the Holy Spirit and the power that Jesus promised. Peter challenged them to believe the things they had seen and heard, and drove the Truth of the Gospel into their hearts and minds. His encouragement and the fire in his soul transformed their lives, and ours, forever.
Their transformation was profound and eternal. Acts tells us thousands were added to their numbers. They became the church of Jesus Christ. And they became of one heart. Acts’ early chapters paint a picture of a church that, after being shaken by the Gospel, became open and willing to do whatever was necessary to spread the good news of Jesus and to take care of one another. They surrendered their lives and all their worldly goods to the mission Christ set before them when He appeared to them after His resurrection. They had two goals: 1) meet all of each other’s needs; and 2) take the message of the Gospel to the world. And they literally turned the world upside down.
Can you imagine the joy, the freedom and the hearts on fire for Jesus in those early church services described in Acts? Can you read Peter’s remarks in Acts 2 and feel his passion, his excitement, his total surrender to evangelize in Jerusalem, Judea and the ends of the earth?
That “church” is the core of our One Heart Church here in Duluth, Georgia. Brother Gearl asked some penetrating questions of us Sunday. What does it take to shake you up? Are you open to a vibrant way of life? What will history write about One Heart Church? What will be our legacy?
We have a model to follow. The model born of the first “church” in Acts. Brother Gearl said that we, like them, must be open to do whatever God asks or needs to be done. The second thing Brother Gearl said was that we need to be willing to lay our lives before Him in total surrender.
On this third Sunday celebration of our fifth year at One Heart, take a few minutes to evaluate your heart and your personal mission at One Heart. Are you warming a chair or is your heart on fire for God? Are you coming to One Heart because going to church is a good idea? Or are you sharing your ideas and your testimony about what God is doing in your life with others? Are you sitting or serving? Are you coming to One Heart to get your needs met, or is your heart set on serving others?
This Sunday we will hear first hand what God is doing in the lives of some of our members called to missions. Some are called to serve in our own neighborhood. Some are called to travel the globe for the cause of Christ. God has a call on your life to serve Him. Are you listening? Do you know where and how God has called you to serve Him? Today is a good day to ask Him where, how, and when He wants you to go.
Are you already serving Him in some capacity at One Heart? Are you remaining open to His leading? Are you willing to go where He sends you? Is your heart right with God? What is your mission-minded temperature? Are you on fire for God in your service? Has the Gospel shaken you? Is your heart one with God and in sync with your One Heart family?
Here’s a challenge: Go back and read the first four chapters of Acts. Read how the Church was born. Then compare your answers to those questions above to what you read about those early believers. Then you can gauge your missions-minded temperature.