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FEED YOUR SOUL

"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)

Just as there is the need of food for the nourishment of our physical body, so as the need of spiritual food for the nourishment of our spiritual being which is far important than our physical being. Eventually, your physical body will return to the dirt in which it came from, but your soul will live on for eternity. Feed your soul.

WHAT DOES IT MATTER? CHRIST IS PREACHED

"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice," (Philippians 1:18)
The Apostle Paul writing to the church from prison. There were those that took advantage of his being in prison and started to preach in the church for self-glorification. Obviously, we still see that taking place in the body of Christ (church) today. Paul responded, "What does it matter? Whether from false motives or true, the important thing is, Christ is preached. And for that, I rejoice!" Let's continue to preach the Gospel out of love and with joy. Perhaps those with wrong motives may eventually change by observing what we do. Let God be the judge of those with bad motives. "What does it matter? Christ is preached!"

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LOVE, THE GREATEST OF THESE

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love,” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Christianity is all about LOVE. Anything less is not Christianity. You see, Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. Religion is a mad-made effort to appease God. Sadly, nothing we do will ever please God. "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags," Isaiah 64:6. You may label yourself as Christian, but if you don't love, you are not a genuine Christian, your religious works and righteous acts are only a sounding gong according to John. The Bible says God is not in you if you don't have love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

When the Pharisees asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). Hum? I wonder why it is the first and greatest commandment? You can guess that. And then Jesus further added, “And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” The first deals with our relationship with God and the latter deals with our relationship with others. Neighbor in our context is usually our next door neighbor, family, friends, people we know, people of our denomination. You can read a great example of neighbor told by Jesus Himself in Luke 10:25-37, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.”

If I profess I love God but hate others, then my love for God is not true. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)


DON'T FORFEIT THAT PRIVILEGE

Not about us, but all about God. Often we forget why we are here on planet hearth when things don't
go our way. The focus should not be what seem to be right and make sense to us. But rather how we can effectively used by God in this hostile world for the purposes in which He created us for.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither your ways are my mays," declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 55:8).

It is a humbling privilege to be handpicked by God to be used in a certain situation. Next time you face a challenge, pray something like this, "Lord, I have no clue what's going on, but I trust you. Empower me to over come." Don't forfeit that privilege.

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Robester Annes Pre-games Worship - 2013 MOMUSA Summer Ministry Games

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Lawrence Yinolang Pre-games Worship - 2013 MOMUSA Summer Ministry Games

DECISIONS

We all make decisions every day. From small decisions to big decisions, from not so important decisions to extremely important decisions. For instance, field of study you want to pursue, should I go to school or join the Armed Forces. What you want to do after school, doctor, lawyer, businessman, or a politician? Or should I get married? And to whom shall I marry? Still, there are decisions made based on influences by family, culture, environmental and social conditions.

These are vital decisions you make that set or change the course of your future. Many have made decisions based on desperation and only learned later that they are not living a satisfactory and fulfilling life.

Fortunately, the Bible provides guidance on how we should make wise decisions. "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to you," (James 1:5); "For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth, come knowledge and wisdom," (Proverbs 2:6); "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10); "Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall directs your path," (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Include God in your decision-making. Better yet, seek His plan instead of presenting yours. After all, He created us.


THE 1ST CENTURY CHURCH – POWERFUL AND SUCCESSFUL
Acts 1:8-31; Acts 1:14


THE GREAT COMMISSION – Known as Jesus’ last recorded words (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

ACTS - Story of men and women who took that commission seriously and began to share the news of a risen Savior. The book of Acts is an incredible account of the beginning of Christ’s church and tremendous church growth.
• Author Luke
• Named the book “Acts” to emphasize that this book records the “Acts of the Apostles through the work of the Holy Spirit.”

• To record how believers empowered by the Holy Spirit, worked to spread the Gospel and model for the future church.

• Acts is also the history of the birth, the founding, and the spread of the Church from Jerusalem to Rome.

• Also records the transition of the Church from being almost exclusively a Jewish institution into becoming a Gentile and an international institution.

• The Gospel of Salvation is for all because Jesus Christ is Lord of all.


THREE KEY VERSES HIGHLIGHT THE EARLY CHURCH UNIQUENESS
The first two verses seem to lay the foundation for all the other events that take place in the first nine chapters.

1. Acts 1:8 “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

2. Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”

3. Acts 9:31 “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”


FIRST CENTURY CHURCH

• What made the church prosper and successful?

• What made the church so powerful and on fire?

• How was the Gospel able to reach so many people in so many different tongues?

• How did the church grow from 12 to over 10,000 in nine chapters?


I. THEY PRAYED

A. Constantly praying.

• Acts 1:14 indicates they constantly prayed.

• It begins in chapter one and the theme of prayer continues all through the book.

• Constantly – It means continuously over a period of time; always; persistently; again and again, hourly, night and day, unceasingly.


B. Notice how the early church used prayer.
• They prayed for: themselves, others, enemies, guidance, healing, wisdom, leaders.

• They prayed: in the streets, in houses, on rooftops, on the shore, in a boat and in the Temple.

• They prayed specifically at the ninth hour and at midnight and in between.

• They prayed individually, in small and large groups.

We’re asking the question, “What made the early church so successful?” Prayer was never a second thought, it was never a time when the church said, “Oh I think it’s time for prayer.”

D. We have a weekly prayer time as a church.

• How is our attitude to be there?

• Do we make the effort to be there on time?

• How do we pray as a group?

• How do we pray individually?

• How often do we pray?

• Where and when do we pray?


And we try to figure out why we’re not growing spiritually as a church and individually.



CONCLUSION:

Why do we need to pray when God already knows?

• First of all, God is not surprise when we pray.

• And God is not impressed of how fancy, lengthy and loud we pray.

• Jesus instructed us to make our prayers short, not babbling like the Pharisees. “Go into a closet when you pray.”

• Sometimes people preach in their prayers.

But why then do we need to pray?

• We invite God when we pray.

• God longs to hear from us.

• We fellowship with God.

• Prayer makes us grow spiritually.

• Prayer shows our dependency on God.


It worked for the First Century Church. They prayed constantly and they were empowered, did extra ordinary works and thousands were being added to faith in Christ. Do we pray enough? How’s our attitudes toward prayer?

PRAYER A PRIVILEGE AVAILABLE TO US

If you are a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, then this is intended for you.

Let's talk about something very important. It is a privilege available only to believers that so often we don't take advantage of. It is PRAYER. As we begin this New Year, what more better commitment could we make than more prayer? We talk about the seemingly unending problems surrounding us, the the increasing problems in the world, if we're going to impact anyone, our families, nation and world in these critical days, prayer is where it begins.

Tonight, I reminded our little prayer group of the very subject, prayer. We talked about growth in our spiritual walk as individuals and as a ministry group. So I reminded us of how and why the First Century Church was so successful in spite the persecutions they faced.

First thing they did, was prayer. After Jesus left and ascended up into heaven, they returned to Jerusalem to an upper room and they continued with one accord in prayer and supplication (Acts 1:12-14). Notice, nothing else but one accord in prayer. They dare not make a move without committing to prayer, seeking God's guidance. As a result, they were being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Peter who just recently denied Jesus three times was boldly able to preach a powerful sermon that converted two thousand plus people to faith in Christ. It began with prayer!

Well, many may say, "Why should we pray when God already knew?" True, there is nothing hidden from God. God is not surprised when He hears your prayers. And we definitely don’t pray to impress God. Jesus said to make your prayer few and not to babble like the Pharisees. We don't pray to inform God, He knew. But why then is the need to pray?

It is very important to pray because we are inviting God into our lives, into our personal affairs. Just as we long to hear from our loved ones, God longs to hear from us. Remember, He loves us to the extend that He gave His very best for us. Bible says He is a jealous God. When we pray to God, we are in fellowship with Him. Also prayer helps us to grow spiritually. Spending time in prayer makes us grow in love with Him more and more just as we do with people we spend more time with. Prayer also shows our dependency on God. He never wants us to live independently. Don't we all want to be dependent on someone else's support? Make that someone God then. He loves to hear from you.

Make a commitment to live a prayer life in 2016. I can assure you growth and blessings as a child of God. Prayer is a privilege available to you.
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