Heart and Soul

Acts 4:32-5:16
Sunday, July 31, 2022

The early believers lived, breathed, and immersed themselves into the truth of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial, and ascension. They were thoroughly convinced of the mission of Christ, of the great commission; therefore, they gave all they were to speak the Word of God. Nothing, not even threats and persecution could keep them from proclaiming the Word and carrying out the mission of Christ.

The early church grew because the believers were united in their desire to reach others for Christ. As we see from the example of Ananias and Saphira, God knows who is united and who isn’t.

Think for a second about what disunity does to a church. It tears it apart. Maybe not obviously, maybe not quickly, but if we are not in unison working toward the mission God has given us of reaching others with the transformative power of Jesus Christ, we might as well be a social club.

If you are in a social club working on a project, little cliques are going to form in the group. This clique is going to talk about that clique, personalities are going to clash. If you miss a club meeting, no biggie. Y’all know what I’m talking about; social clubs prove that the high school mentality stays with us long past graduation.

But these ways of the world don’t work in God’s Church. We are called to be different from the world. Are we going to get under each other’s skin? You betcha! But if we are filled with the Holy Spirit in union with each other and with God focusing on our mission, the problems of man – those things that we let come between us and each other – will fall by the wayside.

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Daily prayers for July 31-August 6

Sunday, July 31, 2022
Acts 4:32-35

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Lord, how awesome are your deeds, how great is your power! (Psalm 66:2) Not only do you provide for us, you give us our church family to help and be helped by, thank you. Meeting the personal demands we have can make us hesitant to give back to you what your Holy Spirit leads us to give and for those times, we ask your forgiveness for not listening to your Spirit. Help us trust in you in all things. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Monday, August 1, 2022
Acts 4:36-5:6

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. 1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

God of all, all of the earth bows down to you. We sing praise to you and praise your name! (Psalm 66:4) You are all seeing and all knowing. We can’t hide from you Lord because you do see all. Your omniscience lays us bare before you. Forgive us for the times we try to hide things from you. Help our trust in you grow daily. In the name of Christ we pray, Amen

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Acts 5:7-11

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Lord, we sing for joy to you, the rock of our salvation! (Psalm 95:1) God, we read these verses and they sound harsh! But, they do show the possible outcomes when we try to hide things from you. Satan tries to make us believe that we can do our own thing even when your Spirit is leading us in your way. Help us listen to your Spirit and follow your lead always. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Acts 5:12-13

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.

We bow down in worship of you God, our Lord and our maker! (Psalm 95:6-7) Do we ever put people off from joining us in worship Lord? We know that your Spirit can guide us in our conversations about you and lead us to say the words that will speak to the need in others to worship you. Guide us, lead us, and direct us we pray in the name of Jesus, Amen!

Thursday, August 4, 2022
Acts 5:12-13

14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

Lord you are good and your love endures forever, your faithfulness continues through the generations all the way to us. (Psalm 100:5) You can use us to bring others to you even when we feel that we aren’t an effective witness to Jesus. We know that our efforts cannot do justice to the sacrifice He made for us Father, but help us keep trying even when we fail. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Friday, August 5, 2022
Acts 5:12-13

15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

Lord, we hold on to hope in you and praise you more and more. (Psalm 7:14) Others in the community see our church Lord, but do they really see it? We long to be the church where people come to find healing from the sickness of living without you. You alone provide the healing for the emptiness that comes from not have total faith in you. Show us ways to touch those in our communities with the joy that comes from a life with you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Thank you for bringing us to the end of another week Lord, by your mercy, we will gather in your house tomorrow and bow down and worship you with reverence for who you are. (Psalm 5:7) Help us let go of the things that come between us and worshiping you, things such as worry, depression, and anger, God. Let us lay down everything except our love for you and give ourselves over to the joy of worshiping our God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.