September 2, 2012

Spirit Filled Confidence

Passage: Acts 12:1-17

Bible Text: Acts 12:1-17 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: The Solid Acts of God
A difficult, rough life does not necessarily mean that we are doing something wrong
Acts 12:1-4 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
Four generations of the Herod clan are noted in the Bible
What we say and how we live are important
Exodus 34:6-7 I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness. I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.
Acts 12:5-6 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
John 21:18-19 Jesus said, then feed my sheep. The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go. Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would die to glorify God. Then Jesus told him, Follow me.
Acts 12:7-10 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, Arise quickly! And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, Gird yourself and tie on your sandals; and so he did. And he said to him, put on your garment and follow me.
So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
Acts 12:11-15 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people. So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.
And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, you are beside yourself! Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, it is his angel.
Acts 12:16-17 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren. And he departed and went to another place.
Why did James die and Peter live?
God is in control! He is sovereign! He is Lord!
Then why do we need to pray?
Did the prayer of the church for Peter make the difference?
1 John 5:14-15 And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.
God hears our prayer! And prayer does make a difference!
James 4:2 Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
Matthew 7:7-9 Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.
We know that we may never understand THE WHY but we can live with THE WHO and that God is in control!
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Never forget that we are in a spiritual battle!
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places
Never forget that we are in this battle together!
Matthew 5:45…for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust…
Never forget that there is everlasting, amazing hope!
1 Corinthians 15:21-34 …Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life…all his people will be raised…the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, God has given him authority over all things…And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour? For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, I face death daily…
And what value was there in fighting wild beasts — those men of Ephesus — if there will be no resurrection from the dead? If there is no resurrection, let’s feast and get drunk, for tomorrow we die! Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for bad company corrupts good character. Come to your senses and stop sinning…
Never forget that we are to come together to HIS table!
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For this is what the Lord himself said, and I pass it on to you just as I received it. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it. For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.

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