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How to start a New Year

Text: Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.


Introduction
 Remember the basic two concepts of this wonderful Psalm.
1.The Lord as the shepherd, believers as the sheep.
 Verses 1 – 4
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

2.The Lord as the host, believers as guest. Verses 5-6

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Let us learn together;

I. The Lord as our Shepherd/ Host
Psalm 23:1 
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

A.Communicate with Him.
 Psalm 5:1-3
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

B.Understand His strength. 
 John 1:1-5 
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

C.Our wonderful provider. 
Genesis 22:8 
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

II. The Lord is our Protector/ Host
Psalm 23:4
 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me

A.Armor of light
Romans 13:12 
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

B.Armor of Righteousness
2 Corinthians 6:7
7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

C.Whole Armor of God
Ephesians 6:11
  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

D.Comfort in the face of opposition
Psalm 23:5
 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

III. The Lord is our Provider of Eternal Life
Psalm 23:6
 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

A.Personal place
John 14:2-3
 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

B.Place of Praise
Revelation 5:9 
9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 15:3
 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!


C.Place with no more curse/ Sin
Revelation 22:6 
6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

Conclusion- We can face uncertain days, “Because He Lives”



January 2, 2022
The Church Prayed

Text: Acts 4:23-31 
23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
‘Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
26 The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Introduction- One of the most powerful forces in the world is when a body
of believers pray in agreement. Today we start a look at how the church prayed.


I. Why was there such a need for Prayer?

A.The beginning of persecution
Acts 4:1-3
 4 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.

  The persecution was many years in ending
  Peter, Paul, Andrew crucified
  Thomas speared
  John, Matthew old age
  Phillip killed by Romans
  Mathis burned to death
  James clubbed to death
  Simon killed after refusing to worship sun god
  Bartholomew unknown causes

B. The jailing and trial of Peter and Paul 
Acts 4:8-12
 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Peters defense The miracle was a good deed not a crime
 Acts 4:9 
9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,

  The power to allow the miracle to happen was given by Jesus

  Who you have already crucified Acts 4:10 
10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

  The rejection of Jesus was predicted
 Acts 4:11
11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’

Psalms 118:22 
22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.

  Salvation is only through Jesus who was crucified
 Acts 4:12
 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

C. The final verdict
Uneducated, untrained
 Acts 4:13 
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

The verdict was clear 
Acts 4:18-21
18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.

Conclusion- Is there ever a need to serious prayer in today’s church?



January 9, 2022
“Powerful Answers to Prayer “ part two
The Church Prayed

Text; Acts 4:31-33

Introduction – Review

A. Persecution begins
Acts 4:1 
4 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them,

B. People were grieved (sorrow mixed with anger)
Acts 4:2
 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

C. 4,000 found salvation through Jesus
 Acts 4:4
 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

D. Acts 4:21 They were released 
21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.

The church prayed,

I. God can answer prayer with clear results
A. Sudden, violent, supernatural
 Acts 4:31
 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

B. Acts 16:25-26 
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

C. Acts 2:1-2
2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

D. Psalm 68:8-10 
8 The earth shook;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary.
10 Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.


II. God can give Grace to stand
A.Acts 4:29-30
 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

 Psalm 46:10
 10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

B.God can give us boldness to speak truth

C.God can give the ability to represent Jesus

D. God can give us the power not to stop in face of opposition


III. God can transform people through the Church
A.Acts 4:33-34
 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,

  Acts 9:31
31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

B.Salvation often follows pain

C. C.S. Lewis “God speaks much more from times of pain than times of rejoicing “

Conclusion- Can help us with the great need if we agree and pray.



January 16, 2022