World-Changing Obedience


today we are in the final week our finale of our world-changers series and if you're just kind of tuning in today we wrapping up a four week series where we've been talking about what it means to be a world changer what it means to be a world changer and what it takes to be a world changer and if you've been with us since the beginning of the series we started off talking about a group of guys an ordinary group of guys twelve guys physically specifically we're talking about Peter and John who before a certain event were just normal ordinary people alright and they were timid and they were you know a bashful and they were afraid and one of them even to the point like he loved Jesus so much but he even denied that he knew who Jesus was all right now as Peter before the the death and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ ordinary guys who as soon as trouble came they ran the other way and then something happened something happened in the world and this thing that happened in the world changed them forever and that was the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ but what we saw in the first week of the series it wasn't it's not the resurrection that changed them because it's the same resurrection that me and you believe in so to speak it's not the resurrection that changed them it was blank in the resurrection that changed them it was their faith in the resurrection and what we agreed from the very beginning is that faith is not belief faith is behavior born out of belief so these guys we say we believe in the resurrection of Christ these guys never said they believed these guys every single person in the universe knew they believed by the way their lives were lived as specifically we said there be three ways that your faith your world-changing faith will be manifested the first way is if you really believe you have real faith and in the resurrection of Christ and that he died and that he is risen and he lives forever and he gives new life to those who believe in him then it'll change the way you pray you will pray with world-changing prayers and we said world-changing prayers are categorized by two things boldness praying for boldness and praying for miracles and that's what these guys did these guys everywhere they went they pray boldly they pray big prayers and they prayed for miracles and they saw a miracles and then they didn't just pray in a world-changing way but in the second manifestation of world-changing faith was their world changing speech and these guys when they prayed for miracles and they saw miracles and then they got in trouble for those miracles I never called in by the bad guys and they said don't say this stuff again don't do this stuff again I said look we cannot but Speak what we have seen and heard and as we don't care what you do you cannot shut us up you we cannot stop speaking the things that we've seen and we heard it made a difference in the way they speak and then what we're gonna see today as you see up there on the screen as we're gonna talk about world-changing obedience and I'll be honest with you of all the messages in the series this is the one that is closest to my heart because I have a fundamental belief in life it is if you go deep inside me it is at the core of Who I am and is at the core and is the cause of 99% of the things I do is based on this fundamental belief in life and I believe this so strongly and if there's one thing that I could ingrain and people whenever I talk to them it's this one thing and that is this the more than anything else obedience is the means by which God will bless our lives you thought I was gonna say something very profound didn't you not profound enough to say something profound obedience is the means by which God wants to bless our lives you see I guess this this belief that I have which is like our key thought here for today is really based on a couple different like underlying assumptions and the first one is that God wants to bless us all right and we started off this series talking about our church promise for the year jeremiah 29:7 it talks about that we will seek the peace of the city around us because in its peace you will find peace that's what God promised us that when we seek the peace the prosperity the blessing for the world around us that we will find peace blessing and prosperity in ourselves that when we seek it we will become channels for it so I have this fundamental to belief and I hope you ever - that God wants to bless our lives the God does not want us to always be miserable always be suffering always be like depressed kind of people that doesn't mean he give us everything we want and that doesn't mean that in this world you won't have tribulation but it means that God wants to give us something greater than the tribulations that the world offers us God wants to give us something to overcome those tribulations that he wants to give us in a world you'll have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world I hope you have this fundamental belief some people don't have it they think God is against them I believe that God wants to bless us and God wants to give us good things and then the second belief that I have is just as strong is that God wants to bless me more than I want to be blessed God wants to bless me more than I want to be blessed and if you are not a parent you may not understand that if you are if you have a son or a daughter you understand exactly what I'm talking about because when you have a son or a daughter you know that they want their best I want their best more than they want their best as their father I want their health more than they want their health I want their prosperity more than they wanted and God is our Father desires us not to say I want to bless you but to say I want even more than you do and I want to show you the way in other words what I'm trying to say is it's not a game of hide and seek it's not God saying I have something good guess which door it's behind and good luck to you and then God kind of hides it and different places we got to figure it out that's not God what kind of father would do that I have dinner in one of my hands guess which one it is guess wrong no no soup for you if you guess wrong what kind of father would do that well if we being evil give good things to our children our Heavenly Father's Daughter game of hide and seek he wants to give to us good things he wants to give to his peace he wants to give to us love he wants to give to us joy but the path to get it is obedience obedience is the fork in the road and we face this fork every single day multiple times a day that you are faced with a decision will you obey God or will you not obey God disobey and I'm telling you that fork in the road that's what at the end of the hey at the end of the week at the end of your life when you look back and see there was no blessing all my life go back to these forks in the road and you will see exactly why it's not a mystery and then vice versa anyone who has the blessing of God upon their life it is because they get to the same fork in the road and there's God's path and there's other and God will speak to us we have to believe that again it's not hide-and-seek God will speak to us through his word Word of God which we talked about before that's why we're committed to reading our Bible on a regular basis I don't want to say reading our Bible I want to say in graining the Word of God in us God will speak to us through his spirit which is inside of us sometimes you don't know but you know and that's that gut spirit that that gut inside you that's the spirit speaking to you and you just know sometimes to speak through you're very very very wise priest who is always speaking knowledge and dropping wisdom and sometimes it'll speak through that kind of stuff and you'll sit there in your seat and you'll be convicted by a message from God and the question is when you get out of here are you going to obey or disobey if you disobey then you have no room to complain about lack of blessing in your lives that's what we're going to talk about today we're talk about how our obedience to God will be world changing and because of that what effect it's gonna have on our lives let's take a step back just kind of recap what we've been doing for the past several weeks is looking at a story from acts 3 4 and 5 it's like one long story but it's just kind of divided into three chapters and just a quick recap you see like I said Peter and John the original world changers who like I said ordinary people nothing special about them just just less than two months ago before this day someone came to Peter and said hey you're with Jesus and I'm having them do with him I don't know anything about him so these were not super men these were not courageous people who were born with like ice in their blood these people who were scared were timid were afraid they ran they fled as soon as anyone said you guys know Jesus they loved him but they were not world changes by any means and then the events happened and it wasn't just the event then they believed in the event and they believed with all their heart soul mind and strength the Jesus is risen from the dead and it changed everything in their lives one day they're outside in the street they're walking down Street and they see a man who is lame paralyzed been like that his whole life 140 years they go to him and they say you you stand up and you rise and you walk and he did and all everyone said wow these guys are amazing these guys are the best and they said it's not us it's Jesus who you guys crucified he is the true God and they started preaching the name of Christ bad guys the guys who killed Christ the Sanhedrin ok the Jewish rulers didn't like this called them in and said you people stop doing this and they said well we would like to stop doing it but like I said we can't stop because if you've seen what we've seen and you heard what we heard and you heard Jesus tell us to preach his name sorry y'all can beat us which they did y'all can imprison us which they did y'all cut off our heads we can't stop and we won't stop ever preaching the name of Christ and they basically they wanted to kill them but they couldn't kill them why couldn't they kill them because there was a mob of people outside that said we need these guys back these guys are doing miracles and we got I got my sick grandma out here and then my cousin's got this thing on the bottom of his foot we need them to see him and they said we cannot kill these people because they the mob will kill us so they beat them and then they let them go we'll pick up the story there and now these guys are back out on the street and they're out preaching the Word of God again and look what's going on try to picture the scene right here this is after the rulers had beaten them and imprison them said never do this again says in through the hands of the Apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people and they were all with one Accord in Solomon's porch yet none of the rest dare join but the people esteem them highly and the believers were increasingly added to the Lord multitudes both of men and women they're outside everyone's together they're doing miracles they're preaching people are saying I believe and they join and then it keeps on going so he says they brought the sick out into the streets that's your grandma your cousin whatever it is and they laid hand they lay them on beds and couches that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them the shadow was doing miracles also multitude gather from their surrounding cities to Jerusalem bringing sick people and those who are tormented by unclean spirits and they were all healed you're the Sanhedrin you're the ruling body ok let's make it let's make it modern day yeah Supreme Court this person came in you told him you never ever do this again or else we're gonna block you up and the person says since the Supreme Court sorry I'll be doing it later today and the Supreme Court can't say anything because there's a mob outside their houses all right ready to burn their house down they say okay just they beat him and they let him go and then Supreme Court guys the justices look out their window what do they see these two guys got like a million man march going on and they got a million people in the street and people are coming from other cities to hear them preach and to be healed and now there is like chaos in the city because the rulers said no and people said we don't care about your rulers y'all go away there's anarchy about to happen right here and remember who are like the Sanhedrin the ruling body of the Jews they were under Roman occupation so Rome was in charge and then Rome said okay we hire you guys you guys run the people and if you own a new a good job keeping them quiet we're cut y'all's head off and hire those three people like Rome had no problem killing these people real quick I'm real easy so that's why these guys they're really scared like if we can't control the mob Rome's not gonna be happy we're gonna lose our lives and they can put someone else in place of us so look what happens next verse 17 then the high priest the the head of the Supreme Court rose up and all who are with him which is the sect of the Sadducees and they were filled with indignation a Furious the smoke coming out the ears how dare they I know and it says they laid their hands on the Apostles and put them in common prison they said bring me those guys but they couldn't even face them they're so angry he's had you bring them and you locked them up until I know so I'm ready to deal with them like I can't even see them right now you just lock them up and do they have to search hard for the Apostles no they're right outside the door do they have to put up a fight your pasta said we don't care though you want to rest this Orestes we were just in jail yesterday well I'll have no problem go back to the gate look here's the second time they've been in jail in a week and they go into the prison but they didn't say there very long verse 18 look at verse 19 then at night an angel the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said go stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life we need to break this down there's too much going on in these couple verses right we need to take a step back I need to break this down over here's how we're gonna look at this we are going to look at what happens when you have world-changing obedience the kind of obedience that these guys had that there's no limit to whatever God says no matter how crazy these guys never said no God told him this they said sure God told a mist they said sure God so no matter what it was they never ever said no and we're going to see the blessing and the power that God pours upon the life that says no limits to my obedience God says no limits to by blessing or break it down systematically right here do this organize three characteristics of world changing obedience number one we have to start with number one world changing obedience usually triggers opposition and we can't gloss over this I can't just paint a nice picture and say whatever God tells you to do you do it and life will be peachy keen and you'll be rich and you'd be the happiest person world and nothing bad will ever happen to you anyone who tries to teach you that as a person who doesn't read the Bible or there have other means they have other interests at stake the simple fact of the matter is as much as they obeyed God Peter and John and as much as God did miracles in their lives at this point in his story and acts 5 verse 18 where are they standing in prison and what are they awaiting most likely death and this is how many times they've been arrested in a week second time so you know somebody who got arrested 20 years ago 30 years ago and then they're back in prison again second offense that's not good I'm talking about twice in a week I'm talking about like they went in on Monday came out on Tuesday by Thursday afternoon they're back in prison you can't look at this and say that sometimes you will not have tribulation and sometimes you will not have opposition and in fact what I truly believe is that the more you obey God the more people will oppose you what did they do to warrant being in prison what was their crime what was their crime I'm Peters wife not Peter I'm Peters wife and I stand before God and what do I say how do I pray thank you Lord for putting them in prison you were so good to those who obey you Lord anyone who obeys you everyone obey God just like my husband obeyed God he's about to get his head chopped off what would you say someone who obeyed obeyed obeyed obeyed obeyed obeyed and they find themselves in prison you say the same thing my kids these days are in this kind of a phase that is not fair you know in kids getting a not fair face that's what it is right now why does he get to stay up and she gets to not faired that's what I would say and that's what you would say and if you're honest take off the the Sunday School answer the church face if we're honest this is not fair this is not fair all they did was obey God and ended up in prompts I'll give you an example I'll make it modern day for you I'm driving a church and I'm running a little bit late but I want to get there early because I'm the preacher man I'm the priest I get there early horn prepare I want I want to go and I want to pray I'm going to pray so maybe I put my foot a little bit too much on the gas all right maybe I'd tend to go a little bit over the speed limit and a cop pulls me over and I pull over and I say Lord I'm going to serve you so I have no doubt that you will get me off this ticket Jesus he will get me off this ticket because I'm going to serve his holy name and you get a ticket hey you say God doesn't care and you say well how come I'm going to serve God okay the last time I go to church early that's the last time you care about getting there on time because that is not fair I did everything right not fair another example God I'm a young man I've been pure my whole life I didn't do all that nonsense if those other idiots did I didn't like party and girls and all that stuff I kept myself pure for this moment now send that smokin hot chick I deserve it and there's no smoking-hot chick that comes while the bad guys get the smokin hot chicks and you say that is not fair do I keep going on about work when we're honest and he's not and he gets promoted and I don't they go on about my 401 K versus her 401 okay the hers goes up my goes out even though she's a cheat and she's in whatever so I go on and on and on about all the things that we say I'm a sports fan we do this in sports to our quarterback he's got a Bible verse that his Twitter page so nothing bad should happen to him his ACL should be perfectly fine he's got a Bible verse on his Twitter page I got more could you want our team has more Christians in that team so God should make this team win for the glory of his name that's not world-changing obedience that's negotiations we try to bribe God try to make a deal with him you scratch my back I scratch your back that's not obedience let me tell you something honestly if you're not ready to face opposition for obedience you are not ready to be used by God simple if you are not ready if you are not ready to face opposition for obedience you are not ready to be blessed by God and listen carefully what I'm saying here I didn't say suffering for obedience suffering and opposition are different suffering is bad stuff happened to me opposition is people do bad stuff to me and there's a difference and opposition is always harder st. Paul says is this way to hit his disciple Timothy who our church is named after this guy and he was reading his verse to all of us together so verse 2 Timothy and it says yes all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution not just will suffer not just stuff will happen to them but people will oppose them and try to get them to stop what they are doing you say I want to take three weeks off this summer I want to go on a mission trip I'm gonna go serve in Africa I'll go serve in Egypt I'm telling you expect a phone call from mommy and daddy saying you better not go or expect your work to say we ain't giving you the time off or expect your friends to say that's the worst idea I've ever heard what is wrong with you you make a decision to say I want to live pure I want to live I want to keep these eyes pure then you expect that the next day temperature goes up to 100 degrees and the clothes get a lot skimpier around campus you expected you expected the day you say I want to get my body in shape I want to start to eat healthy I want to start to get my life on track you expect it everywhere you drive you see that McDonald's sign is safe five dollars 20 milk it's everywhere I can't escape 20 no get $5 can't escape and God knows how irresistible those things are there's no way you're gonna do something great for the kingdom of God and the devil is just gonna lie down and not try to fight you not try to oppose you I'll give you some some personal examples okay here with this church here with STS a st. Timothy st. Athanasius Church a church that we're now 2 years old God's gonna do great things for this church and he already has done great things for this church but don't you think for one second that it hasn't been opposition at every single step of the way and I'll just say me personally and I'm sure it's not just me but I can only speak about myself why are you gonna leave st. Mark's there's a lot a lot of work to be done here a lot of these youth love you this is your home why are you gonna leave here how could you you're gonna hurt us you're gonna leave here you're not hurt us as are some people some people mentality now I'm not saying like the the church was saying that I'm saying like individuals you have the church here you're really gonna have a church where you're gonna invite like unchurched people any table you invite their friends from work and and and people who aren't like like hardcore spiritual like I've been Church their whole lives but that's just gonna water down the church and that's just gonna you gonna put those people in leadership positions oh yeah that's just gonna water things down not on our Oh be crazy you're ruining the you have a church and you start saying that anyone who's a member of the church should take this membership group why you say that why do you make it difficult to the people invite and open and make it easy on the people more people will come bottom line is anything you are going to do anything you are going to do great for God you must not only expect our position man you'd be ready you put the gloves on before you even leave the house you're ready to go and I'm telling you if you don't find any opposition in your life like don't worry when you find our position worry when you don't find our position worry when you think you're doing great and there's no opposition to you that's why I questioned without your living truly obedient number one world changing obedience usually usually triggers opposition but it doesn't just stop there number two world changing obedience often unleashes God's powered it brings opposition but it also brings power and the power is always greater than the opposition I love ok the verse acts 17 said they were filled with indignation or acts 5:17 acts 5:18 said they brought them into the prison and then verse 19 no transition whatsoever very matter-of-fact says they were in prison but at night the angel came open the doors and took them out ho-hum and by the way oh yeah they were in prison for life buhbuh by the way they went out at midnight angel came and freed them very matter-of-fact why if you were telling this story is that how you say it oh yeah the person doors are open all the prisoners escaped then they had lunch is that how you tell hide say get this man sit down sit down sit down midnight struck and an angel came and he was nine feet tall and he had muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger and he had a sword that could kill an elephant and he came down there and was Thunder and there was lightning and he kicked the prison doors and screamed booyah as soon as he did and everything shook and he took them out with glory and all kinds of stuff That's not me and you would tell the story but Luke just says oh yeah oh I forgot the angel came and freed them why why he tells us so matter-of-factly he's used to it exactly because we just read that the shadow of Peter walking down this tree was cured people's sicknesses we just read the people are coming from towns all around to be healed this was not new to them when you live a life of world-changing obedience it is not new to you to see the power of God yes and as something not only is something to be expected y'all remember we said this one of our core values remember our core value number six faith filled vision we said that we believe in a big God and we rely on that big God to do extraordinary things and remember what we said we said we are not surprised when God does a miracle we are surprised when he does not and I know we wrote that down we said none of us believed that but that's how we're gonna get to and that's how these guys lived they weren't surprised when God did miracles they were more surprised when he didn't do miracle Deuteronomy chapter 28 verse 1 through 9 so long passage and put in your handout but it's up on the screen if you aren't convinced that world changing obedience will lead to blessing unparalleled in your life just read these verses and tell me what y'all think this is God commanding them in the Old Testament through the prophet Moses says now it shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God to observe carefully all his commandments which I command you today that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations on the earth and all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you because you obeyed all these blessings because you obey not because your Kube not because you have a nice smile not because you came to church early because you obey the voice of the Lord your God bless hey now he talks about the blessings blessed you shall be in the city and blessed you shall be in that country blessed shall be the fruit of your body the produce of your ground increase of your herds the increase of your cattle offstring your flocks in practical ways not just blessing like I love you I'll pour my my love upon you all these fluffy things we don't know what it means no real stuff I'll bless your cattle i bless your horsies I'd bless your your crops I bless real stuff blessed I'll be your basket in your kneading bowl blessed shall be when you come in blessed you shall be when you go out I don't know what that means but when you come in when you go out those are the only two options that I can think of if you're going in or you're going out if everywhere you go you're blessed when you go in you can bless when you go out the Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face yes you may apply that to your boss at work the Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways the Lord will command the blessing on you and your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand that's a beautiful verse and he will bless you in the land which the Lord your God has given you the Lord will establish you as a holy people to himself just as he has sworn to you if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways man if that doesn't get you pumped up to obey God I don't know what does if that doesn't get you pumped up to obey that hard thing which you know you should obey may I don't know what will and that doesn't make you let heaven and earth let one rise and the dead it won't be changed if God's promises don't move you one example one example and I'm not picking on this area in particular just one example that God promises specific blessing for obedience and one area that sometimes I like to talk about is kind of sensitive all kind of stuff I want to talk about giving because it's the one area we talk about giving that God is so clear that if you obey me and you are charitable and you are generous with your finances I will be so generous and blessing you and so much not my words let's read the command and I'm gonna read you I'll tell you a real story about how you see this blessing Malachi 3:8 verse 10 will a man Rob God yea you have robbed me but you say in what way have we robbed God is coming and saying you guys are stealing from me and they saying we don't my god we didn't steal anything from the backup what happened he says this how you stole from me in tithes and offerings because you you are cursed with a curse for you have robbed me even this whole nation well God is saying just those who understand tithing all right is the principle of giving 10% of what God gives us back to him and we give it through his body on earth which is the church tithing means like God gives me this and then I give back to him and it's from the very beginning of the Bible it was the way that God commanded people to understand that he's the owner and they're just managing what he gives them that even though they think it's from them know it's from God and they say bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house and try me now in this says the Lord of Hosts if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that they will be not there will not be enough room to receive that's a great promise God says you give and I will give you and we look at that and say ok that's spiritual I have in my hand here email that I printed up something someone sent me recently a couple of years ago some won't I was speaking about the concept of tithing in church okay and someone apparently was moved by something that I said and they wrote me this email asked him to like they told me the story and I said put it in writing cuz I think it's a nice story and they sent me this email I'll read the highlights of the letter it says this is a married couple all right saying we have never had a consistent habit a routine of giving to church we have other things in place meaning other donations that they give to some Christian organizations or charities but never to the church I guess we've been doing it backwards we wait until a windfall of some sort of money comes or we saved up a bunch and then we give a small portion in any case I was laid off and he gave us the date December whatever year it was ok I was laid off in this year and by the way this person it was a very very successful executive and like a high tech company and then there was it was like in the 2005-2006 time period where they started laying off they was cutting off it was like best presidents and stuff like that person who had always known prosperity all of a sudden gets laid off he says while we felt comfortable through God's blessing with some transactions we had done outside of work and I was getting a severance package for a few months there was a lot of worry because we didn't know where the next steady stream of income would come from so I decided to try my hand at some real estate investment activities since I'd been doing it on the side for so many years then he goes on ok I'll kind of skip through some of it talk about the different things he tried to provide income for his family real estate investing all those kinds of stuff and he basically says that all of it none of it produced anything and he says about how he started to feel his exact word confused disappointed feeling like God was letting us down and then came your message and the small group that I was in after hearing your sermon on giving and meditating on this passage Malachi 3:10 and being encouraged by my brothers and small group we were both struck by God asking us to test him we were of course praying for our hearts out for God to do just whatever he wants but to solve our income issue somehow we were waiting for God to answer our prayers the best part he wrote it in bold we were waiting for God to answer our prayers but now we felt he was the one waiting for us to obey his command so I got my checkbook and I wrote a cheque to the church the following day we had originally discussed a certain amount and then I decided to write a little bit more so they discussed this and he wrote this exact words not making this up the following day I couldn't believe what happened I got a phone call about a job and they made me an offer just like that one day after obeying God's command to tithe and it turned out to even be more than what I used to make at my old job basically what he was doing is connecting we felt commanded to do this I gave this and then God had been giving this and God gave this they even gave me a security clearance I'm now typing this email sitting in a government building working at my new job thank you so much for your prayers for us and for all that you do we love you appreciate you for you nice words about me and my family glory be to God speaks for itself God speaks for itself speaks for himself and especially with its issue okay sometimes people come to me and say like you know and money and stuff like that we don't give and all that stuff I always say the same thing I don't care if you give you're not helping me if you give like not me but I'm telling you if you're struggling financially you can't afford not to give you can't afford not to give you can't afford not to have that blessing in your life same thing in all aspects of your life you struggle in your career man you can't afford to cut corners spiritually and morally in your job because you really need the blessing of God in your job you're single and you're saying this girl or this boy man you really can't afford to be messing around with your Bible reading and your time and prayer because you really need God's guidance in these areas if you don't need God blessing don't obey I agree but the more you need the blessing the more you need to obey because obedience is the means by which God will bless God wants to bless but the fork in the road is the obedience again I'm not saying just no one makes it clear make everyone make it clear no one thinks that I'm saying write a check to church you'll get a new job tomorrow I'm not saying it no one thinks that I'm saying that you do what God tells you you never have problems I already told you point number one that's why I did at the beginning you will always have opposition you will always have in the world you will always have tribulation but God always overcomes the tribulation God always brings good from the tribulation in a better way and that actually gets us to our third lesson about world changing obedience obedience will always trigger up it will usually trigger opposition will often lead to God's power but 100 percent of the time it will always stretch our faith and that's actually the purpose of God blessing us through obedience because in the end all this stuff goes away but what remains is our relationship with God and God will use any means he can to strengthen that relationship look at this verse after says the angel let them go angel tells them acts 5:29 you angel is commanding them to do this to stretch their faith how would you respond to this like let's be honest I'm Peter I'm John man we're making miracles we're walking by and shadows are healing stuff I'm talking about we have faith we have enough faith we have plenty of faith go work on some of the week people faith we have more than enough faith we've shown you God more than enough we preached prison preach prison again let's cut back on the preacher let's cut back on this and let's go a different route I'm afraid if these guys let's say I'm the priest and these guys come to me and say we're gonna go back out and preach I'm afraid I would say to them God was nice to you he freed you from prison don't push your luck I'm afraid I'd be logical and I'd say don't push your luck we need to bail you out any more like God freed you like if God wanted you in prison he left you in prison he freed you and logic would have said don't do it what said do it though faith and God was trying to get them and I'm sure they struggled with it because you know what faith is faith is like muscles and you say I can lift more than anybody else and then you say you know what I need to put more weight on so I get stronger is there ever a time you can say I'm so strong I don't need lift anymore now when it comes to faith because God wants more faith and if you can bench 200 you put 205 on that bad boy now you get 205 you go to 10 you get 210 you go to 20 and you're gonna keep on going with faith that's what God does he's lifting us up from glory to glory from faith to faith from level to level to level to level and with every level of faith is blessing upon blessing upon blessing two verses that show you tell you why you need faith why you want faith Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please him for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him why faith why without faith it is impossible to please him why because God is our Father and we are his son or daughter and what characterizes a relationship a good relationship between a son and a father is trust and if there is no trust there's no relationship so God is trying to increase that father-son bond by building the trust I'll give you another verse that I just discovered recently actually just saw it yesterday for the first time in my life I never saw this verse before in my life that's why it's not in your handout I just added it to the presentation this morning Romans 14:23 why faith why God is always trying to build our faith the goal of life is to build faith because plain and simple whatever is not from faith is sin whatever is not from faith is sin I'll tell you something I'll be honest God has teaching me this lesson very powerfully these days these days well God is teaching me is about faith in prayer I told you all this before okay so just so we're clear I am NOT a pray or expert I'm not a prayer person I've made it clear like when I we spoke up weeks ago I'm not a natural prayer person I'm not someone who's like prayer meeting six hours yes prayer that's not really my thing I'm not so good at it but God is teaching me more and more these days to do less and pray more and if you know me that's a very hard lesson because I'm very good at doing I stink at prank but God is telling me more and more do and he and it's it I want to say okay I'll pray more and do more he says no because by doing more to me this this is just personal don't don't take this and if like if you don't do enough do more okay but he's telling me that by the doing you are negating your faith in the prayer because if you really had faith in this prayer you'd do less and you would pray more and that's what God is trying to tell me one of the things that I did recently is again I've shared this before like I have prayer cards like I write down my prayers and what it is I want God to do and I did this recently about a week ago week and a half ago I made all new prayer cards okay and I try to you know renew them every so often and I had certain prayers I promise you in front of God everything that I prayed for came true I promise you in front of God I didn't pray for lottery and stuff like that got about spiritual things and specifically me ask my wife because I'll be honest nope shouldn't kill me for saying this I prayed like for our marriage and I prayed for like closeness in our marriage and the day after I pray that prayer God is my witness we faced one of the biggest challenges that we faced in our 13 years of marriage and it was tough but I promise you we are closer to date because of that God answered that prayer through the tough and then through the power same thing with my children I prayed specific prayers for my children and regard to their relationships their friendships at school and I promise you I know you I'm being dramatic okay but when it's your kid you be dramatic too alright my son is nine in his short nine-year life he faced one of the biggest challenges like relationally and socially in his little nine year old life and it started and then it came and that's when I hit the trend hit me that I'm praying that he would have this and God says okay he's gonna have this but it usually starts like this why why why does it have to be this because that's when you build the faith and that's when you're down here and you say I don't know and I don't know and I'm doubting and I'm struggling but I believe I believe and I will show you I believe by my obedience I feel so confident that God really does answer prayers on my list I have someone who just had like a surgery recently and I'm terrified to call him and ask him how he's doing see how I ended up going because everything that I prayed for comes down so I'm terrified I want to say just yeah he's okay but I'm telling you I'm telling you that God will challenge you to obey and then when you obey and you take that step and you say Lord I believe and I not just I believe not like like we said not just I believe but behavior born out of belief but I will show you my belief by the way I pray by the way I speak and the way I act in obedience and I will not say no to God and I will not say I can't to God if God says go I will say yes sir and if God says speak I will say okay and if God says don't speak I will shut my mouth and through that obedience God will pour his blessing upon us I promise you there's not a person in this room that God is not challenging to obey Him in a big way or hurt each one of you is sitting in your chair I don't know what it is could be the exact opposite of me could be the same it could be something completely different God is challenging you to obey because I know God wants to bless you I know God wants to bless you but the question is will you obey will you take that step of faith will you be faithful financially will you do what God is commanding you to do with your finances will you be faithful in terms of witnessing when God is calling you to speak and to say something will you will you let spoke a lot about the relationships your single guy and God is putting that girl on your heart and he's telling you go for it man be a man man up ask her out will you man up and do it and will you take that step and then when you do and God blesses you and you get married you have a children you will name him Anthony and you would tell the whole wide world that you got the best priest in all I real cuz he is telling you to date and urging you to go for it will you take a step of faith and will you do what God wants you to do let's finish up the story of Acts chapter 5 after the angel told him to go and preach speak the word when they heard that this is world-changing obedience watcher they did when they heard that they entered the temple early in the morning and talked I love that you know what that would say if that was us when they heard that they fasted and prayed for six months to see if this was truly the will of God they asked their advisor and they prayed and they made a pros and cons list didn't know that stuff he said speak they set the alarm early they walk straight to the temple and they spoke the Word of God when they did that the religious leaders obviously we're not too keen about that and says that the high priest and those with him came and called the council together with all the elders the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought so picture the scene okay they put them in prison they lock them up they get together the next morning say okay what are we to do about those guys in prison bring them to us and then the guards go and they say they're not in there say where did they go they look outside the window in the temple courts and they see they are preaching in the temple and here's a thousand people are on them and they're preaching the name of Jesus and everyone is worshiping their feet and saying we love you y'all are the best what would you do if you're the temple if you're the elders and all that kind of stuff of course they went crazy and then they say bring them here to us we'll skip down to verse 27 and when they had brought them they set them before the council and the high priest asked them saying did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name and look you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man's blood on us y'all note the next verses next verse is so good next verse is so good they're standing in front of the Supreme Court people had the power to throw them in prison and cut their heads off I said didn't we tell you not to do this and they said look Peter and the other apostles answer to said we ought to obey God rather than men and I think when they said that the Saint Hayden was like we beat them we threatened them we put them in prison we locked them up I said sorry we respect you we came when you called us but now we need to go because we ought to obey God rather than men my prayer for myself and for every one of us for our church is this is us this is the characteristic that defines who we are as a church and we ought to obey God rather than men and if God says I don't care if the whole world is against us if God says we will do it and I don't care for my logic okay if logic is against me logic is saying no and it doesn't make sense I will go and I because if you seen what I seen and you heard what I heard and you believe what I believe that Jesus was a man on this earth just like me and you and he really died and he really is risen from the dead and he promised his life to those who walk in his commandments and he promised to give anyone who believes in him and anyone who lives in him he promised to give them eternal life why am I worried about these guys if I really believe this stuff that I say I believe it has to make a difference and how I prayed and how I speak and how I obey those are the characteristics of a world changing and those are the marks that define us that should define us we pray big we speak bold we obey bravely but brave there's more symmetrical okay we pray big we speak bold we obey brave ly we answer to a higher call around here we are answer to people here we don't answer to logic we answer our God is risen and he is ascended to the highest place in heaven and I'ma stand before him and I'm gonna answer to him and he's the one who I'm gonna obey mornin why would I obey the peasants when I stand in front of the king why would I tell the king no and obey the we won't will never who pray big will speak bold will obey brave and then God will never stop to pour his blessing upon us upon our church upon our homes upon our marriages upon our careers upon everything when we follow these characteristics of world changers let's stand up and say a prayer together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit one God amen Lord we thank you from the depth of our heart for calling us to be your children and inviting us to live this life a blessing life of power and life of miracles I pray Lord that you would give us the faith that doesn't just believe but behaves and acts from that belief and that everywhere and everywhere we go people could like smell the faith inside of us and they can hear it in our words and see it in our action and they can feel it in our interaction with one another pray Lord that you would make us a church of world-changers that you would truly change the world around us by changing us and then sending us out to be lights to the world and salt to the earth pray for every person here that whoever struggling to obey you that you'd give them the strength to this week take that step of faith that you that they know they need to take we ask this in the name of your only begotten Son our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ with the prayers and intercessions of all your saints here says we pray thankfully our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name like them come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one in Christ Jesus our Lord 9 is the kingdom the power and the glory forever amen don't forget next week as friends and family date make sure that you come and bring a friend or family with you have a great week guys