By Pastor Wu
22 Jul. 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: Be filled with the spirit||video||audio||doc|
|Worship song: Here I Am To Worship||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Power of Your Love||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Psalm 19||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: You Are My All In All||video||audio||lyric|
Worship song: Here I Am To Worship
|Verse 1||Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You
|Chorus||Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether wonderful to me
|Verse 2||King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in Heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love's sake became poor
|Bridge||I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
Worship song: Power of Your love
|Verse 1||Lord, I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace That I found in You
Lord, I've come to know,
The weaknesses I see in me,
Will be stripped away,
By the power of Your love
|Verse 2||Lord, unveil my eyes,
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love, As You live in me
Lord, renew my mind,
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day,
By the power of Your Love
|Chorus||Hold me close, Let Your love surround me
Bring me near, Draw me to Your side
And as I wait, I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You,
Your Spirit leads me on in the power of Your Love
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-13
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues f as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?
9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine. ”
It is so good to come back to this church. It is so good to share my understanding of the Word of Jesus Christ with our fellow brothers and sisters at Haidian Church. It is always a blessing to worship together with brothers and sisters. It is always a blessing to sing songs with our worship team, and I love the songs that they were singing this morning. I’d like to rise like wings on eagles. I like to come to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. When I was singing that song, it seemed to me that our Lord Jesus Christ was walking side-by-side with me. I love the song they were singing this morning, “Here I am to bow down, here I am to worship” because when I was singing that song, it seemed to me our Lord Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father was reaching out his hand, touching my head, touching my shoulder, and touching my heart; healing me and restoring me with His power. So, I love those songs and I am grateful that we have such a great worship team to lead us to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This morning, our preaching will be focusing on the first part of Acts 2. In fact, this morning’s preaching will be focusing on the first part of the first verse of the book of Acts, chapter 2. Here Bible tells us when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together. Who? Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were all together in one place. Why were they together? The rest of the second chapter of Acts 2 tells us that they were waiting to be filled with the Spirit, that they can speak, and that they can preach the Gospel with the tongues of other people. So, they were waiting, they were together in one place to be filled with the Spirit. They were waiting in one place so that they could be empowered, so they could be strengthened with the power from God, from Jesus, that they could preach the Gospel which is about the birth of Jesus Christ. So, that is why they were waiting in one place; that is why they were together.
And the Bible also tells us in Acts 2:41-42, “On the same day 3000 people were baptized. So, 3000 people were added to their number.” So brothers and sisters, how many people were together that day worshiping our Lord? More than 3000 were gathering together worshipping our God, waiting to be filled with the Spirit, and were filled with the Spirit that day. And all of them came to share the Gospel. And brothers and sisters, we are also gathering together today in one place here at Haidian Church. What are some significant things we can learn from that gathering of the disciples, from the gathering of those 3000 people when the day of the Pentecost came? I think there are three things we can learn from them.
Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and those 3000 people were together. They were together. Not only seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but also to worship God. In the meantime, they were together to demonstrate and also to show to the world that our Lord is faithful, that our Lord is trustworthy, and that our Lord fulfills His promises. What kind of promises did our Lord fulfill on that day? What kind of promises did the Lord keep on that day? In the Gospel according to John, chapter 12, verse 32, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” That is one of the promises He was giving to His disciples when He was ascending to heaven.
One of the other promises He had given to His disciples was in Romans 16:26: “But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him.” Those are some of the promises our Lord fulfilled when the day of Pentecost came. Those are some of the promises that our God fulfilled when the disciples of the Lord were all together in one place. Those are some of the promises that our Lord fulfilled when the 3000 people were added to their number. So you see, the gathering of disciples and the gathering of the 3000 people demonstrate and also show to the world that our Lord is faithful. He keeps His promises. He is the only one who is trustworthy.
Acknowledging our weaknesses is a strength. Acknowledging something we cannot do is a strength. So you see, in this world, people lie. But, only our Lord Jesus Christ keeps His promises. He’s the one who is faithful and trustworthy. He tells us if we come to Him, He will save us. I think that is something that we can learn from the gathering of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
And second, what we can learn from the gathering of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and those 3000 people is that we can work together with our Lord Jesus Christ who is in heaven, and work together with the Spirit who was sent down to the world by Jesus Christ. The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and those 3000 people worked together with the son of God and also worked together with the Spirit to build a church on this earth; to build a nation of this Lord Jesus Christ on earth; to build a kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ on this earth; to form an army so that this army can share the Gospel in this world. They were gathering together to build a nation, to build a city, to build a kingdom on the earth. Who were working together? Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the disciples, and all those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, this kingdom was built up from the top to the bottom. From the top down. So you see, brothers and sisters, those disciples and those other believers were building a nation on this earth from the top down which can lead people of this world step-by-step, bit-by-bit to the presence of Jesus Christ who is sitting on the right hand of our Heavenly Father. But brothers and sisters, I want to remind you that people of this world have been building their own city, their own nation, their own country from the bottom up.
In Genesis 11, the Bible tells us that back in those days, there was only one common language, there was only one common speech. And one day people said to each other, “Let us make bricks.” So you see back in those days, people became smart enough to invent a new technology of making bricks. They thought they were smart and powerful enough that they wanted to build a city for themselves with a tower in the city that reached to the heavens, so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth. Let me repeat this again. People back in those days, because they believed that they had already become powerful enough to make bricks that they wanted to build themselves a city with a tower in the center that reached to the heaven. You see they were building a city from the bottom up, so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth, even though our Lord asked Abraham to be the blessing of all the nations. So, you see that people tended to build their cities, build their nations from the bottom up. Brothers and sisters, I want to encourage you, urge you to work together with Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit to build a city, build a country from the top down, so that you can step-by-step, bit-by-bit come to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Last year, last fall my wife got a short message from my daughter who was going to college in southern California. And in that message, my wife was told that one of my daughter’s best friends came back to Beijing for a few days. But, unfortunately, tragically she was robbed of her wallet, her belongings. So, she was desperately in need of help. So, my daughter told my wife to come to this lady’s desperate rescue by bringing her some money. And in that message, that lady’s telephone number was left with my wife. So, my wife was so nice and she picked up the phone and started to dial the number. But, she had a second thought because there were so many frauds on the internet these days, so she called my daughter in the middle of the night by Los Angeles time. And my daughter said, “Well, I didn’t send any message to you. I don’t have this kind of friend in Beijing.” So my wife thought, ok so this is fraudulence again.
But brothers and sisters, the reason I wanted to share this with you is that we human beings, we people tend to build our own city; to build a city for ourselves from the bottom up. Every day we build our own empire, we build our own nation. Every day we build our own city by connecting me, myself to another person, and to another person through another person. Then we connect to the world and build up a nation for ourselves. But you don’t know and you don’t realize that you are not aware that demons are also there, pushing you and trying to swallow you. And these days, many young people tend to like to play computer games. They try to break through, they try to storm one strategic path. And after they storm this strategic path, they see a piece of gold there, or they see some money there, or they see a half-naked lady there. And they start to work even harder to storm another strategic path. So one after another they are accumulating more money, more gold, or more fine, young, beautiful naked ladies. They will not recognize, they are not aware that demons are there and ambushing them. When we are doing those things, we are building a nation, we are building a whole empire from the bottom up. But brothers and sisters, I want to urge you to get together, to work together with the Holy Spirit, with Jesus Christ to build a nation from the top down. Then we can walk up, bit-by-bit to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The gathering of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gathering of those 3000 people when the Pentecost came also tell us today that we together should do five things. We, like the disciples of the Lord, should devote ourselves to the teachings of the Apostles. We should devote ourselves to the breaking of bread, to fellowship, to prayer so that we can be ready to be sent out to preach the Gospel, to share the message of the good news of Jesus Christ with unbelievers. In the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, the people could be tied up to this tower. Here, our Lord Jesus Christ worked together with His disciples, worked with the believers to build up a country from the top down, so that they can be ready. They could be armed and empowered with the Word of the Lord to be ready to go out, to be sent out to preach the Gospel.
So, brothers and sisters, I truly want each one of us to come to the presence of the Lord, to be filled with the Holy Spirit just like the disciples of the Lord. To be filled with the Spirit to go out and preach the Gospel, and to be a living Christian not a dead Christian. Brothers and sisters, today I believe that you are all living Christians. But, today I want to name a few living Christians who are from the United States. They were in the States. They were very good Christians in the States, but they always remember they are not supposed to be tied up to their own church, to their own people. They are supposed to be sent out to other nations, to other countries to make the presence of the Lord available to people who need salvation. So, I would like to have them come to the front to share their testimony for us. Steve.
Hello, my name is Steve Allan and this is my daughter, Hannah. And listening to Pastor Wu’s message in Acts 2 reminds me of what happened in Acts 1:8 prior to that, where it says, “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.” And it’s that question in a room this size with these many people, Can you really make a difference? Can the Holy Spirit use you to make a difference? And a lot of the attitude is, “Well, yeah, as soon as I graduate from high school…As soon as I graduate from college…As soon as I get married…When I get a good job…When I have enough money…Ok, when I retire…Ok, when I die.” And we spend our life waiting for that perfect time where you embrace the things of the Lord. And people, today is that day, to embrace the things of the Lord.
You know I invite my daughter Hannah to co-share this with me, because when she was 11, we had a moment in our adoptive life as a family-- we had adopted a little girl from Guangzhou and were in the process of adopting another one from Chongqing -- we were invited to participate in helping some other children in southern China. They sent pictures to us of these 20 kids. And picture one came, and picture two came, and picture three. And picture eight came and Hannah, who is 11 years old at the time, she was sitting right next to me at the time, and she goes, “Dad, I think she is supposed to be my sister.” That was the same response I had, like, huh really?! And so this was a moment that Hannah was hearing from the Lord. Sometimes we expect to hear the Lord in earthquakes or maybe giant rainstorms, but sometimes it’s that still small whisper that we try to hear from the Lord. And so I’m going to let Hannah continue the story. Hannah?
Hi. As my dad said, my name is Hannah and I just graduated from high school so I’m 18 years old, and I’m just your typical, normal teenage girl. I want to share how the Holy Spirit has moved me. It doesn’t matter how old you are, but God can teach you and move you no matter how old. Last year I lived here in China, and I interned at an orphanage and I taught English and I did physical therapy. I was coming to China to serve, and as it says in James 1:27 to care and to love the orphans. I had no idea that that summer would change my life.
There was this little girl named Joelle. She was blind, deaf, and had many other complications. They said she was the next to die. I have three sisters from China and I know that if any of them were in that position, I would hope that someone would love them. I just felt drawn to this little girl who laid in the corner of the room. Every day I would go and hold her for hours wondering which day would be my last with her. Even though there were kids healthier than she was, God called me to care for Joelle. I learned through this that God calls you to do hard things. For me, this was a hard thing, but another thing that was hard was that there were dozens of kids just like Joelle.
This wasn’t something I chose. It was the Holy Spirit that spoke to my heart. It doesn’t matter your age. If God called you to do it, just do it. As an 11 year old girl being called by my family to adopt this little girl, I had no idea. I just had a feeling that she was supposed to be my sister. And a year later, she was my sister. Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed 100, feed one.” My one was my sister, Grace. My one was Joelle. Who is your one?
And you see, this is what I have to live with. But as a little girl, she was sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. At 11, not understanding what it meant, she heard the voice of the Lord. And if you go back to the book of Isaiah 30:21where it says, “do not turn to the right or to the left, but listen to the voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” This is the way; walk in it. And just as Pastor Wu was talking about how to spread the Gospel to the corners of the world, it’s just what we are trying to do in the United States. We want people to come to know Jesus Christ as much as Pastor Wu wants the people in China come to know Jesus Christ. And so as you’re sitting there wondering, “Can God use me?” Well, he used an 11-year-old girl. And it has radically changed her life, just as it has radically changed the lives of those that she’s come across. Thank you.