A Midweek Word of Prayer and Hope

(“My Lord is Near Me All The Time”) ♪ In the lighting flash across the sky ♪ ♪ His mighty power I see, ♪ ♪ And I know if he can reign on high ♪ ♪ His light can shine on me ♪ ♪ I’ve seen it in the lightning ♪ ♪ Heard it in the thunder ♪ ♪ And felt it in the rain ♪ ♪ My Lord is near me all the time ♪ ♪ My Lord is near me all the time ♪ ♪ When the thunder shakes the mighty hills ♪ ♪ And trembles every tree ♪ ♪ Then I know a God so great and strong ♪ ♪ Can surely harbor me ♪ ♪ I’ve seen it in the lightning ♪ ♪ Heard it in the thunder ♪ ♪ And felt it in the rain ♪ ♪ My Lord is near me all the time ♪ ♪ My Lord is near me all the time ♪ – Welcome church family and friends to our Wednesday Bible study and prayer time Glad you could join me I’m gonna begin with a reading from Psalm 40 and then we’ll pray “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he incline to me “and he heard my cry “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, “out of the miry clay, “and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps “He has put a new song in my mouth “Praise to our God “Many will see it and fear “and will trust in the Lord “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust “and does not respect the proud “nor such as turn aside to lies “Many, oh Lord, my God, are your wonderful works “which you have done, “and your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to you in order “If I would declare and speak of them, “they are more than can be numbered,” let’s pray Father, we thank you for the words of the Psalmist that encourage us and remind us of what you can do for us and how much you love us and how you guide us in the paths of truth and the paths of justice, and the path of righteousness Father, we pray for those that are ill, we pray for those that are recovering from surgery, we pray for those Lord, who are suffering from anxiety and stress during this time We need your peace, we need your healing We pray for our nation, for all the leaders that are involved, from the state to the federal government, asking you, Lord, to bring peace and let your light shine forth We pray in Christ’s name, amen Well today, I’m going to be picking up in Acts chapter two, where I had left off on Pentecost Sunday as we talked about Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, and if you wanna take a moment and find that in your Bible, I wanna share with you a few thoughts If you’re watching us today or on Sundays, and you would like to join our church, that is still possible, even in this time of distancing and not meeting in the building You can reach out to us through our website Just send an email indicating you have an interest in joining a Sunday School class that you’ve been Zooming with on Sunday, or you’re interested in joining the church Get it emailed to me at bert@fbcmadison.net, or just email the church address

and my secretary will get that to me, and I’ll be happy to reach out to you and to share with you Members, if you know somebody who’s thinkin’ about that, or would be interested, please do a referral for us and help ’em connect to me or one of the other staff I share with you that last week, the staff and the secretaries have resumed their normal office ours all of last week, and we’ll be doing that from now own we hope As things hopefully will be improving, we plan to restart worship on Sunday on June the 21st That’s a tentative date, ’cause we have to meet some standards to be able to do that, but that’s our plan We will continue to have our online message out there on Sunday and Wednesday for those that don’t need to get out or a little concerned about getting out Just remember, when you come, and we’ll be getting more information, things will be different if you come to a Sunday service That’s all we’ll be doin’ is an 11 o’clock service, no nursery, no Sunday Schools Sunday School will remain a Zoom activity, and we will do worship with social distancing, we will wear masks, we will do everything we can to keep you safe There’ll be more news coming out about that Well, in Acts chapter two we read about Pentecost, and now I want to share with you some thoughts about Simon Peter’s sermon that followed that Pentecostal moment Beginning in verse 22 of Acts two, “Men of Israel, hear these words “Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God “to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, “which God did through him in your midst, “as you yourselves also know “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose “and foreknowledge of God, “you have taken by lawless hands, “have crucified and put to death “whom God raised up, “having loosed the pains of death “because it was not possible “that he could be held by it.” Peter slams the Jews who will listen, and he slams them very hard He says to them, “You didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah, “you didn’t listen to his words, “you didn’t acknowledge his miracles, “your eyes didn’t open to see “that God Almighty was working in your midst “You blamed him, you betrayed him, “you crucified and killed him, “and you did that by getting the lawless Romans “to do your dirty work.” The Christian movement at this time is mostly a Jewish movement The Gentiles have not been brought in, at least not to any great extent, so in verses 24 through 28, he reminds them that their hero, King David, prophesied about the coming of Christ So let’s look at verses 24 through 48, through 28 “Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death “because it was not possible “that he should be held by it, “for David says concerning him, “‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, “‘and he is at my right hand, and I may not be shaken “‘Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue was glad “‘Moreover, my flesh also will rest in hope “‘For you will not leave my soul in Hades, “‘nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption “‘You have made known to me the ways of life, “‘you will make full, “‘make me full of joy in your presence.'” So we see here, he reminds them that their hero, King David, had seen the Christ in a prophecy He had seen the Lord Jesus and knew that he was with him even then, and that at one day, he was coming He says in verse 27, David says, quoted by Luke there,

that the Messiah will never die or be corrupted in the grave So he predicted the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ Even a thousand years before Jesus was born, he’s predicting that the Holy One will not be corrupted by death, he will not rot in a grave He will be alive forever In verse 28, “He makes now the way to everlasting life.” David points out in a prophecy so long ago that this Messiah that is coming, the Messiah that is guiding him as a king is the Messiah that will bring everlasting life to everybody The Messiah has everlasting life and David says, “He’s going to make it possible for all of us.” He’s made known to David even that life In verse 29, “Men and brethren, “let me speak freely to you of the patriarch, David, “that he is both dead and buried “and his tomb is with us to this day.” So he’s saying your hero is dead, and we know where he’s buried He’s not putting David down, he is just saying Jesus was the Messiah, so much greater than your hero, David We know where David’s buried, but you cannot find where Jesus is buried, because he rose from the dead “Therefore, being a prophet “and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him “that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, “he would raise up the Christ to sit on the throne “He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning “the resurrection of the Christ, “that his soul was not left in Hades, “nor did his flesh see corruption “This Jesus God has raised up, “of which we are all witnesses,” which implies that he knows people he’s speaking to have seen the risen Christ walking around after the resurrection and before the ascension “Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God, “and having received from the Father “the promise of the Holy Spirit, “he poured out this which you now see and hear.” He’s givin’ an explanation for the tongues of fire, that everybody’s hearing the gospel in their own mother tongue and then on their language Verse 34, “For David did not ascend into the heavens, “but he says himself, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “‘sit at my right hand “”til I make your enemies your footstool.'” David was saying, “The Lord says to my Lord, “Almighty God say to the Son of God, “‘Sit at my right hand.'” That is where Jesus is today He’s not in a grave somewhere in Israel His body was not stolen He rose from the dead Verse 36, “Therefore, “let all the house of Israel know assuredly “that God has made this Jesus, “whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” This is a very powerful sermon This is a very strong sermon where he calls out all of the men of Judea, he calls out all of Judea, and he calls out everybody who is a resident in Jerusalem They knew what was going on, and they knew that Jesus rose from the dead He calls out all these Jews in such a harsh way If you could read this, it sounds like that he’s really angry, he’s put out You might think someone had slain your best friend, had slain your master, had slain somebody you’d been following for three years, that you could never forgive them You’d be so angry, you might wanna hurt them Peter preaches this hard sermon, but in verse 37, when they hear this, it says, “It cut them to the heart.” It just slayed them They said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, “What are we gonna do? “Brothers, what do you have to do to make this right?” Verse 38 says, “Then Peter said to them,

“‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized “‘in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, “‘and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,'” just like they had, “‘for the promise is to you, “‘and to your children, “‘and to all who are far off, “‘as many as the Lord our God will call.’ “And with many other words, he testified “and exhorted them saying, “‘Be saved from this perverse generation.'” You might have thought that Peter wouldn’t be understanding, but Peter says, if your heart is broken and you realize that you’ve sinned and done wrong, not only can God forgive you, Peter could forgive them, and he said, “Repent, this is what you need to do “First and foremost, you need to change your heart.” To repent is not just simply to say, “Oh, I’m sorry I did that.” To repent is to change the way you think The Greek word for repentance is (speaking in foreign language), and it means to change your mind The only way you can stop living in a perverse situation, the only way you can stop any sin in your life is to change your mind, to think about that sin the way God thinks about it, and that’s what true repentance is It’s not sayin’, “I’m sorry,” it’s sayin’, “I hate that sin like God hates that sin “I don’t want that sin in my life “I wanna be forgiven of that sin, “I wanna be healed from that.” To be, fix that problem they had, just like a problem you have with sin, you have to repent of it and say, “I don’t want it anymore, “I wanna feel about that sin “the way God feels about that sin and let it go.” Number two, you have to immerse yourself into Christ Well, the scripture actually says, “Repent and be baptized.” Well, to be baptized is to immersed in water, which is symbolic of immersing yourself into Christ, to just get soaking wet with the what the Lord wants for your life, to immerse yourself in the work of the kingdom It’s not enough to go to Jesus and say, “I’m a sinner, I wanna get saved, “and I don’t wanna go to hell, I wanna go to heaven.” It’s, you have to say, “I wanna follow you “I wanna immerse myself in what you’re doing.” That’s what baptism symbolizes When you stand up before people and you’re baptized, you are saying, “I am all in “I am all in with Jesus and following him.” Three, live every day filled with God’s Spirit and his kingdom and his ways Get up every day saying, “What does God want me to do today?” Not, “What do I wanna do today,” or, “What do I have to do today,” ’cause we all have those have to do things, but to get up and start your day by saying, “God, I want you to use me today, “and if there’s something I need to do today, “I want you to reveal that to me,” and God will speak and reveal that to you in prayer Peter’s sermon was rough, but his heart was tender He wanted all the Jews that had rejected the Messiah to be saved, and lives changed that day, and lives have been changing ever since Nothing has changed in the year 2020 If you’re afraid and you have no faith, Jesus is welcoming you into the faith He can save you to the uttermost, he can help you overcome fear, he can help you be filled with love and a church community like ours or like others in our community can fill you with fellowship and friends Christians are instant friends, they are instant brothers and sisters in Christ One of the most appealing things about being a part of a church family is you have family God bless you, God loves you, and I love you, and I’ll see you Sunday (“Fairest Lord Jesus”)