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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Peter Tan-Chi » Peter Tan Chi - Practice the Habits of a Spirit-Filled Church

Peter Tan Chi - Practice the Habits of a Spirit-Filled Church

Peter Tan Chi - Practice the Habits of a Spirit-Filled Church
TOPICS: Truth Matters, Habits, Holy Spirit

Praise God! We have been discussing the importance of truth. Last Sunday we discussed the first sermon in history. What was that sermon in history about? Chapter 2 of Acts is spoken by the apostle Peter. Why is this information so important? So you will know what is the most important thing that people need to hear in order to be saved and to go to heaven. What do they have to hear? Let's read this together, Peter said, everyone, look at: Acts 2:32,36 "This Jesus God raised up, of which we all testify". In other words, the resurrection of Christ is the foundation, the foundation of why you believe what you believe. If you don't believe in the resurrection, forget about Christianity. The rise and fall of Christianity depends on the authenticity of Jesus' resurrection from the dead.

Is what the Bible says true? The resurrection proves its authenticity. Therefore, all the Israelites should know for certain that God has made him Lord and Christ. "So Jesus is not just a man, He is the Lord, He is the Christ, the Messiah, the same Jesus you crucified". In other words, God didn't want people to think they had no part in crucifixing Jesus. In a sense, you and I crucified Jesus, too. Why? Because Jesus died on the cross for your sins and for my sins, once you understand the love of Jesus, the love of God, what does it do to you, it asks you a simple question: If God loved you so much that He died for you, then you What are you going to do with your life? So the Bible tells us, those people, Acts 2:37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled, and they said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do"?

Last Sunday, I praised God. There were hundreds of you, indeed hundreds of people. In the first meeting and in the second meeting, hundreds of people came to the front to pray. In fact, I heard that this prayer meeting was not It didn't end, even until three o'clock, you know? They started singing, because a lot of you were touched by the Lord, you see, when God did something, He spoke to you, you know what you guys did? Here's what you do: Read, everyone, How do you become a Christian? Get ready, read, How do you become a Christian? Acts 2:38 "Repent, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Be baptized for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit".

We talked about this, you need to repent. Without repentance you cannot have salvation. How can you come to Jesus without repenting? Repentance means a change of heart. You were your own boss, you realize now that I'm not the boss anymore, Jesus is my boss and I'm going to follow Him now, that's why the Bible says, you're going to repent. Many of you repented, you know, the stories I heard made me cry, I heard couples confessing their adultery, single people, premarital sex, all kinds of things that grieved God, but you people repented. The question is: What do you do after you repent? How do you maintain your life as a Christian? That's the message of today's sermon. What did the early church do to keep people on the right path? Guess what happened, please look at Acts 2:41.

So those who accepted his words were baptized. Baptism is evidence that you have believed in Jesus. Baptism is evidence of repentance, proving that you have turned to your old friends. After you die, you become a new person. So being baptized does not save you, but it is evidence. This is why in the New Testament, faith is always followed by baptism. It's never about being baptized first, and then one day you grow up and then you believe. You never see that in the Bible. Baptism happens after repentance, after you come to know Jesus, and then the Bible tells us: On that day, about three thousand people were added to the disciples; notice, how many people were added? Three thousand people.

I want you to imagine, I think there were maybe three or four thousand people sitting on the bottom floor, and I want you to imagine, in one day, in that first sermon, all these people, all different backgrounds, mostly You have a Jewish background and have your own religion. Now you believe in Jesus. Now you repent. Now what are we going to do? How do you follow up with them? Have you ever thought about this? So have you ever wondered what the early church did? Because on that day, the Church was born. It is important for you to understand this so that you will know how to choose a good church. How do you choose a church filled with the Holy Spirit? Why is the church important?

Now, praise God, many of you have chosen CCF, but if someone asked you, why did you choose CCF? You better know the answer. Do you want to know why? It is best to identify the characteristics of a Spirit-filled church. What do they do? What should we do? To understand the importance of following up with people, you need to understand Jesus' command to the early apostles. His command was this: Everyone, if you don't mind, read this together, get ready, get up! Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. and I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Okay, what's the main verb?

Matthew 28, the main command: Make disciples of all nations. How to make disciples from all nations? Baptize them. How to make disciples? Teach them, teach them what? Teach them to obey, to obey what? All that I command you. Then He gives you a promise: I will be with you always. The hardest part, if you ask me, the hardest challenge in making disciples is teaching them, read, observe all. Everyone read: observe all. You see, many Christians consider themselves Christians. Why should I add a question mark? Because a true follower of Jesus is going to want to obey everything, and if you don't want to obey everything and you just pick and choose what you're going to obey, then you are the Lord of your life, and that's called religion.

Religion is the art of manipulating your god to do things for you. Whatever your god is, you manipulate your god to do what you want him to do for you. That's religion. Christianity is different. You will not manipulate God, you cannot manipulate Him. You surrender to Him. You obey all His commands. My friends, this is where I struggle. But one day I made a decision that Jesus was going to be my Master, my Lord. Have you made Jesus your Lord? If you came to do my job, to teach you, to disciple you, how about... Guys, do it again, how do you do it? Matthew 28:20 Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. So what did Jesus teach us? First, after you come to Him, He wants you to do certain things. The first thing is to be baptized. If you have not been baptized yet, you need to sign up. Pay attention to the announcement and we will notify you.

Next, you need to grow spiritually, and I want to share with you what they did. At the same time, what is the mission of CCF? Our mission. Why do we get together? Do you know the purpose of CCF's existence? We exist for one main reason, everyone reads. Glorify God and develop committed followers of Christ who will in turn develop committed followers of Christ. That's it. We want to glorify God in your business, that's it. We want to glorify God in your business, in your home, in your school, wherever you are, glorify God with your life, with your decisions. Every time I have to make a decision, I ask myself, will my actions glorify God or dishonor Him? I am not perfect, but that is the direction of my life and I honor Him.

How do I honor God? To develop committed followers of Christ, that's what we do here, all the pastors, all the leaders, we use our time to help a few people become strong followers of Jesus, do you understand? Cultivate disciples. Who are disciples? A committed (firm) follower. All you have to learn, all you have to understand is this. When I say everything, I don't mean that the rest can be ignored, but that is the main purpose. So let me ask you a question, who are you discipling this year? Who is discipling you? You need both. I belong to a group and I have to answer to a group. There are people below me who have to answer to me. That is a system. So what did they do? Do you want to know how they discipled three thousand people? Do you want to?

You know there are many people who complain. They complain that I don't like big churches, they are too impersonal, and I don't want to belong to a small church. Please forgive me for saying, Peter's first sermon, how many people believed in Jesus? Three thousand people! That is a big church! So what did they do? That's what they did, my friend, Acts 2:42 and they all, number one, persevered in obedience... In other words, look at me now, you need to train people to shift their focus and attention now, all before. It's money. I used to seek fame and fortune, and it used to be all for myself. Once I came to Jesus, something happened. The Holy Spirit now changes my will and my priorities.

So for these young people and young believers, they need to do the following things. First, persevere in abiding by the apostles' teachings. This is called studying the Bible and communicating with each other. This is called small groups, breaking bread, worshiping, and praying. These are specific spiritual disciplines. In Acts Chapter 2, from verse 42 onwards, I will tell you about 7 kinds of exercises. What are the 7 kinds of exercises? As you read other scriptures, these are seven habits you must learn and practice. First, search the Bible. Second, participate in group fellowship. Third, worship. Fourth, pray. Fifth, be generous. Sixth, joy. Finally, bear witness.

You'll find that the early church, the good church, a Spirit-filled church was made up of Spirit-filled people. What do they do? This is what they do. In my case, I read the Bible diligently every day, I attend small group meetings, I worship God privately at home, I worship with others, and I pray every day. Generous, I am not generous, I am still learning to be generous. Rejoice, can you turn to the person next to you and smile, please rejoice. This is what you need to learn. And to bear witness. Why do we have such a title, Habits of the Holy Spirit-Filled Church. Actually my question is: practice these habits. Let me tell you why. How many of you have made New Year's resolutions? Please raise your hand. Most of your plans are probably about losing weight, am I right? It's health-related, right?

Listen to me, just because you set a goal, it doesn't mean you will succeed, because most people have goals, but they don't know how to achieve them. So if you want to lose weight, there are some habits you need to develop. No sugar, no soft drinks, no cake, ha! Exercise and sleep are the keys to staying healthy. The problem is, you often make excuses for yourself because you get discouraged. Some of you do these things for two weeks, and you step on the scale and wonder, why have I only lost two pounds? oops! I quit! Forgive me, but you gain weight gradually over a period of 10 years, and then all of a sudden you want to lose it all in two weeks? That 's not how it happened. You need to understand that you should never underestimate the power of doing something consistently. I call it a habit.

You have to develop good habits. Because by practicing good habits consistently, you will see wonderful results over time. Instead, if you start compromising, you feel like it's OK, nothing happens, you know, if I stop reading the Bible, oh, it's okay, if I stop attending worship services, it doesn't seem like it, but After a while, all these compromises are going to be disastrous, but if you start practicing prayer, reading the Bible, and being consistent, ten years from now you look back on your life and go, wow! I'm never the same again! But are you practicing good habits? I want to emphasize the importance of perseverance, and let's start with the first item. What is the first item? Practicing the habits of a Holy Spirit-filled church, OK, what are the habits of a Holy Spirit-filled church?

Okay, first let me explain to you what church is. Εκκλησία The word church comes from the Greek word Εκκλησία, please repeat, Ekklisía, so when you see the word Exit, it comes from the word Ekklisía, Exit, to be called out, so I want to give you an example, I want to ask all those born after 1980, all Millennials, please stand up! As long as you were born after 1980, everyone, please look around you. Are we a young church? Yes or no? Young Church, Hallelujah! Praise God, now listen to me, young people in the congregation, I'm calling you now, people born after 1980, you have to get out, just to give you an example, don't get out now, I want you to get out there and join the military, because now is the outbreak. To fight the war, you need to join the army.

That's what I just did, when I asked you to stand up, and you stood up and you responded to the call, so you are now called Ekklisía. You are a specially called people. The Bible tells us that one day you heard about Jesus and you repented. When you repented of your sins and you believed in Jesus, the Bible says that from that day on you became part of the Ekklisía. You belonged to a called-out people. So the church is not about a building. The church is about people, the people who are called out. So on Sunday, the congregation gathered at the CCF Center. Understand? On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, the congregation meets in homes, but on Sunday, most of us gather in specific CCF centers, because the church is about people, people who are called out, so can I encourage you, you That's the church. Tell the person next to you that you are the church. Sorry, please sit down.

Now tell the people next to you, even if they are old people, you are part of the church, okay? You are the church. Why is this important? A Spirit-filled church is made up of Spirit-filled believers. I say it again, if you want the church to be healthy, if you want the CCF to be healthy, then the CCF must be made up of healthy believers, healthy disciples. So who is What about healthy disciples? You must practice at least the following: first, study the Bible, and second, join a small group in Koinonia. Third, you must worship. What comes after worship? prayer. What about after prayer? generous. What happens after generosity? Rejoice and bear witness. So we start with the first exercise.

Acts 2:42 And they were persevering in it... They were practicing certain Spirit-filled habits. Listen to me, repentance is one thing, but how do you maintain your spiritual life? I want to teach you that there are no secrets, no shortcuts. If you want to stay spiritually healthy, if you want to grow, you have to follow these guiding principles. Number one, what do they do? They all followed it with steadfastness... What is the teaching of the apostles? The teachings of the apostles are the teachings of the Old Testament of the Bible, coupled with the teachings of Jesus, how we should conduct ourselves. That's called the teachings of the apostles. They used the Old Testament, and they wrote down the teachings of Jesus. That's why you have the New Testament.

If you want to grow, there are no excuses, there are no shortcuts, you have to understand the Bible, and now listen to me, young people today are willing to make decisions for themselves, what is right? What is wrong? For many young people today, including adults, it's like this: If it makes me feel good, I'm going to do it. My friend, this is not how it should be. You have to study the Bible, and the Bible will determine for us what is right and what is wrong. This is why you need to study the Bible to be healthy. Many of you know this man, do you know his name? Manny Pacquiao, a few days ago on National Bible Day, he invited me to preach, and he gave his testimony, and his testimony was this: He said, I was a playboy, a gambler, and his wife Right next to us. He said that one day the Lord touched my life. When the Lord touched my life, I began to have this intention.

Manny Pacquiao read the Bible. He memorized the scriptures. He said that God's words will change our lives. I confirmed it. And that's the truth, because it's through the Bible that he learned about Jesus, he learned how to be an honest politician, how to be an honest boxer, and praise God for people like him, amen? But what makes him grow? Scripture. So the Bible tells us that you must develop a desire to study the Bible, 1 Peter 2:2, so that like newborn babies, you will desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it to salvation. Please note, if some of you have no will, you are not hungry for the word of God, is it possible, listen to me now, is it possible, a newborn baby, not to be hungry for milk, is it possible? There are only two possibilities. 1. This child is dead and has no life. Some of you have no will, no hunger for the word of God. You have no appetite for God. Why? You don't have the Holy Spirit.

You see, Christianity is God coming into your heart and into your life, Jesus, and He's going to give you a hunger. Manny Pacquiao laughed at that time, because before, when my friends invited him to Bible studies, he joked with them, he made fun of them, and when he came to Jesus, he asked, who can teach me the Bible? Then my friend told him that I knew someone. I want to read it every day! Oh my God! This guy wants to read the Bible every day. Why? Something happened, an appetite developed. Another possible reason if a baby isn't hungry or thirsty is because the baby is sick. If babies have a fever, they usually don't have an appetite. Now I don't know about you. I don't know whether you have the life of Christ within you or whether you are already spiritually sick. I don't know, I don't judge you. The first habit, what is the first habit? Search the Bible.

Say it to me, search the Bible. Look at the early church, Paul told his disciples, 1 Timothy 4:13. Make it your intention to read, exhort, and teach the Scriptures until I come. People gathered together to study the Bible, exhort and teach. The next habit is Acts 2:42. They all steadfastly abide by the apostles' teachings and have fellowship (fellowship) with each other. What is fellowship (fellowship)? Fellowship is a wonderful word, Koinonia, and the word κοινωνία has this meaning: the ideal relationship is giving, helping each other, like a picture of heaven, Koinonia, fellowship doesn't happen unless you're in a small group Inside, what do I mean? Look what the Bible says, in Acts 2, what did they do? These three thousand people, guess what they did? They were in the temple with one accord and perseverance every day, and a large crowd gathered together.

I can imagine Peter and John preaching and teaching to a large group of people, breaking bread at home and eating with joy and honesty in small groups. CCF does not have an invention group. We just copy the Bible. Years ago, when we started CCF, we prayed, and I prayed, Lord, we want a New Testament church, a very biblical church. I don't want to copy other church models. The Lord left a mark on my heart: You need to have small groups in order to care for each other. This comes from the Bible. We didn't just have an idea. We learned it from the Bible. They met in the temple, the congregation gathered together, but on weekdays, at other times, what did they do? The early church met every day, in the temple, in homes, and in small groups. There are some commands in the Bible that you can never obey—unless you belong to a certain group. That's why for me small groups are essential.

Let me give you an example. We have at least 47 commandments to "do this to one another", for example, encourage one another (encourage one another), for example, love one another, for example, serve one another, for example, love one another; (Romans 12:10) For example Speak, teach and admonish one another. For example, brothers, if someone happens to be overcome by a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him with gentleness. Let me ask you, how can you do this alone? Tell me, how can you do this alone? Encourage each other, oh, I encourage myself, me, me, myself, no, no, unless you're part of a small group, there are a lot of commandments that you can't keep because you're not keeping the commandments of God in your life. You are not in harmony with God's plan. You are no longer filled with the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the Holy Spirit, it is a gift from God. He comes to fill you. But the moment you stop obeying Him, you are no longer filled with the Holy Spirit. That's why you lose your joy, you lose your power.

So this is God's provision, let's say, here's the full text, folks, I want to show you an example of a passage, a complete passage, Preparation, Heb. 10:24-25 Let's consider, you need Think, let's think, let's consider, look out for each other, inspire love, what's the meaning of the word inspire? How do you inspire, how do you gain strength, how do you work together to do certain things, to do two things, first, to inspire love and encourage good deeds. So my job, if I'm in a group, listen to me, the antidote to selfishness, when I'm in a group, I think about, how do I bless these people, how do I encourage them, how do I inspire them love and encourage them to do good deeds. The antidote to selfishness is God's invention, Ekklesia, which is church, large gatherings, and small groups. If you are not part of a group, how can you do the following?

Read on: Hebrews 10:25 Do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another. How do you encourage one another? Please tell me how you encourage one another if you are not part of a group. Let me repeat, don't underestimate the power of consistency. You do something right every day and it will transform you. If you don't do the right thing every day, it will affect you too. For example, for most Christians, they neglect to study the Bible, and one day, oh, it's fine, no impact, they stop the group meeting, oh, it seems fine, ah, soon, you will be surprised, your belongings What condition has arisen in spiritual life?

When I see someone, I say: What happened to you? You used to attend Bible studies, one small compromise, and then the next, I remember a friend of mine, stopped attending our weekly meetings, and slowly but surely, please remember this quote about sin. Say, compromise on sin, sin will take you further than you want, sin will keep you longer than you want, sin will cost you more than you think. This is the problem of sin. A small compromise here, stop attending small groups, stop attending worship services, can quickly have an impact in your life that is so huge that you don't even know what's going to happen. So gentlemen, I don't know about you, but God gave us His people and we need each other and you need to be part of a group. Can I ask all of you team leaders and team members, please stand up now. You are in a group, or you are the leader of a group. If you belong to a group, please stand up.

Now, what is your task? Those of you who stand up, you belong to a group, praise God! But look around you. Look at some people. They are still sitting. What must you do with these people who are still sitting? I will tell you what you must do. You have to smile and say: How are you? Each week, please listen to me, and next, you say: May I know your name? And then you tell them, your name, and then you ask them, would you like to join a group? Now if you feel that they are not suitable for your group, because of your age, for whatever reason, you feel that they are not suitable, you say: Can I help you join a group that is suitable for you? do you understand? Now this is your task.

Now let me tell you, this task is so important. Because every Sunday, I know where you are sitting, OK, I almost know, just like my friend, sitting in a corner, you are sitting there, what do you need to do now? From now on, when you look around, every time you see a new face, what is your mission? You welcome them. So I've given you permission, you take that position, OK, that's already your position, but, but, there's a lot of people around you, let's say, look at this line, there's a lot of people over there, and they're sitting There, then what you have to do now is this, please listen to me, your task is that every time you see a new face, if it is a new face, as for the old faces that are already with you, don't Don't bother them again, okay? Anyway, you have been together for a long time. But what do you say to newcomers? Hello! My name is so-and-so, what is your name? Smile, smile.

What else can you do? How can I pray for you? It's amazing, at the end of the service, if you're in a prayer meeting, wherever you are, how can I pray for you? And then you ask them the next question, do you belong to a certain group? Would you like to join a group? What do you say if they say, no, I don't want to be in the group? Hahaha, no problem, but I hope you can think about it. Do you understand? You can't force people to come and say: There's something wrong with you, right? Don't say this, OK, everyone, sit down, sit down. So what is your mission? For those of you who are not in the group, can I humbly ask you to consider this? God's design was never for you to be a ranger for a long time. God's design was never for you to be a loner. You need family. I want to show you a video about a girl who was in a small group and see how her life turned out. A dramatic change has occurred. She is blind. How can a blind girl become part of a certain group in CCF? How can this be? Do you want to see her video? Let's take a look at her video.

Praise God! I heard her testimony last night, right here, at Saturday night service, and I was thinking, here is this blind girl who would never have met the Lord without a spiritual family, and look at her now. She is memorizing the Bible. She has no eyes (sight), but she can read the Bible. Something happened. What about you? Do you have a master? That's why if you don't have the Holy Spirit, you don't have a hunger for the things of God. We all have a passion, you get passionate about something, and some of you get into your own business, and there's nothing wrong with that. You are invested in your family, but are you truly invested in the Lord? If you have not met the Lord, you will not devote yourself to the Lord. Look at the early believers, there were three thousand of them. One day they met the Lord, were baptized, and began to study the Bible. They began to meet every day, going from house to house, participating in small group meetings.

Friends, you are to practice certain habits, and only the Holy Spirit can help you, Acts 2:42 And they all steadfastly observed not only the teaching of the apostles, not just the fellowship, but the breaking of bread and the prayers. Please note, this is worship, breaking bread, what is breaking bread? When you see the definite article the, breaking bread, this is not just eating, this refers specifically to the Lord's Supper. Now do you remember the Lord's Supper? When Jesus instituted this sacrament, when he broke the bread and said, This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me. This is worship, all about Jesus, and after the meal he takes the cup again and says, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. This is what you are to do in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes. You see, in CCF, we practice this sacrament once a month in large gatherings. In small groups, it is up to you. Some people practice it once a month, and in some groups they forget to practice this sacrament. If you want to do this every week, that's fine. But the Bible tells us that it was worship, so what did they do? That's what they did, mind you, they gathered, and they turned their homes into places of worship. They ate and gathered from house to house. Notice what they did from house to house. What did they do? They continued to break bread and pray.

So what I learned is that if Christ becomes the center of your life, you need to do some disciplines, first, search the Bible to know Jesus, and then you join a group to get encouragement, because you need help, you never Will be strong enough to do it alone (always). Some of you who are not in the group, you may feel that they don't need you, or you may feel that you don't need them, OK, can I tell you, you may not need others, but others need you. So sometimes if you ask me, the antidote to selfishness, the antidote to living just for yourself, is to join a group, and in a group, I get to listen to other people's problems, I get to pray for them, I get to help them, This is why in CCF we like you all to join a group, to serve, to love, to care, to contribute, and to help people in a group. Pray, if I don't know your problem, how can I pray for you? A small group will help you, that's why we have prayer meetings.

Look at what happened in the early church, Acts 12:5. When Peter was in prison, the church, Ekklesia, prayed fervently to God for him. The Church of God, Ekklesia, the congregation of the church, is all people, but they are praying fervently, and because they pray fervently, you will notice the characteristics of a Spirit-filled church, the presence of God is real, Acts 2 :43 And everyone was afraid, and the apostles performed many wonders and signs. Question: Do we still have signs and wonders today? What is the purpose of signs and wonders? To show the presence of God. For example, in the early church, 2 Corinthians 12:12 I worked among you with all longsuffering, through signs, wonders, and miracles. You must understand that the apostles in the early church needed credentials as apostles. How do we know Are you sent by God to tell us about Jesus? How do we know?

So you need signs and wonders to prove they were apostles. My question to you today is this, are there still signs and wonders today? What's your answer? louder please! Of course! But you can't command miracles to happen by your will. It depends on God. It depends on the situation. I heard a lot of things happening at CCF, for example, during our last fasting and prayer meeting. A couple came to my son and asked for prayer. My son asked: What's the problem? Our baby is in the hospital, he needs surgery, he has a perforation in his stomach, can you pray for me? So they prayed for the parents, and a few days later, they sent a text message, and my son got a text message, and the doctor couldn't believe it because the piercing was gone. They did X-rays on my child three times, and my son said, your son will die from X-ray radiation, don't... Anyway, you know? For doctors, this is impossible, but can I tell you?

It's impossible for man, but nothing is impossible for God, amen? So you need, you need to have a prayer group, people don't realize, I have a prayer group, I have prayer partners, I text them before I come here, and for members who are sick, we visit. In other words, folks, if you're not part of a group, you're missing out on God's design, and God never wanted you to be alone, and I really humbly appeal to the Millennials today, the young people of today, that we love to be independent so much, you don't want to give an account to anyone, that is not God's design, God wants you to give an account to a group of brothers and sisters, why? Because I have blind spots, there are things in my life that I cannot see, and I need your prayers, and I need your love, understand? My daughter experienced your love through a group. Would you like to hear her testimony? She gave her testimony this morning, and she asked if we could use this video because of the baby. Are you ready to hear her testimony about the small group? Let's hear her testimony.

Praise God! Have you seen the miracle of God now? How did He design the church? Large gatherings, a healthy church will grow, there is no such thing as: We don't want to grow anymore. If you're a healthy church, a Spirit-filled church, you're going to attract people, you're going to grow, but as you grow, you need to grow smaller, and that's why we have small groups, so on behalf of our family, I really want to thank you, because you came here, our whole family went abroad, and I was thinking, who will take care of my daughter? I praise God because we have you guys, teams, families, you guys relaying together, can you imagine? Christmas Eve, Christmas, how can you find breast milk in the grocery store? Oh, I want to buy milk for my child. What brand is it? Breast milk, where can you find it? Isn't it amazing that God is only in God's family?

So understand God's design, where the word generosity comes from. Because, look what the Bible tells us, Acts 2:44-45 He who believes, notice, all who believe, that is the church, Ekklesia, all who believe are in one place, they are together, they love one another, all things were shared in common, and lands and possessions were sold and distributed to each according to his need. Now you may be thinking, this is communism, no, no, no, the betrayal and the dedication here are all voluntary, never forced by force, let's say, two chapters later, Acts chapter 5, comes up Acts 5:3 Peter said to a man named Ananias, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to deceive the Holy Spirit and keep part of the price of the land to yourself"?

Look at this: In the early church, people gave voluntarily. Ananias pretended to be generous. He sold his land, but he pretended. And the Bible tells us that the sin here is not because he did not sell or anything else. The sin here is this: 5:4 If the land is not sold, is it not your own? You have to sell it, but you have to donate it. Do you understand? At CCF, look, our offering box, where we don't even pass it around, because we believe in generosity, and if God has touched your heart and you realize that everything belongs to Him, you people will volunteer Donation is never forced. The church never forces people to give. It is all done out of their free will. Then, why do you have this thought in your heart? You are not deceiving people, you are deceiving God!

Ananias heard this! He fell down and died. You see, God punished the early church for the sin of lying. I wonder what would happen if God did this in the CCF church. …Why are you laughing? Do you know why? I praise God, is He kind to us? Yes, how many of you have lied this week? You know, giving is voluntary, 2 Corinthians 8: 3 I can testify that they gave freely and willingly, according to their ability and beyond their ability. Generous giving is the work of the Holy Spirit of God. It is the grace of God. You cannot force people to be generous.

The Bible tells us, 2 Corinthians 9:7. Everyone should do what they have decided in their heart, do not be embarrassed or forced, because those who give willingly are loved by God. Therefore, one of the reasons why God blesses CCF is because many of you have practiced generosity. The Bible tells us to be balanced and not to abuse the generosity of others, which is reflected in this verse: 2 Thessalonians 3:10 We commanded you while we were with you, saying: If anyone refuses to work, he must not eat. This is God. Economics. In the group, we have to help each other, but God makes it very clear: Don't even help the lazy person, who doesn't want to work. You know why? Everyone can work, right?

Your job, if you don't have a job, get any job, any job, no matter how menial, because God doesn't want us to be lazy, and at the same time, God is telling those who have money, you are to help those who are in trouble. Man, praise God, that is the wonderful power of God. The Bible tells us, Acts 2:46 They were in the temple with one accord and breaking bread every day. What did they do? Eat with joy and truth, my friend, there is joy. CCF is famous for its dinner parties. I know all of you people and groups. You eat together. Let me tell you, we are number one in eating. What do you discuss when you eat together? I hope, it's not about shopping here, shopping there, I hope you talk about Jesus, amen? You turn your home into a place of worship, the Lord's Supper, where you pray and group members encourage one another.

My friends, have you encouraged each other today? I pray that you can encourage each other, okay? To be part of a small group, that was the wonder and joy of the early church, how can you be happy now? Everyone, please read this scripture: Acts 13:52 The disciples were filled with joy and were filled with the Holy Spirit. You see, this is a by-product, joy, the Holy Spirit. Let's read this together: Christians owe the world a share of supernatural joy. You owe it to the world, you know? You have every reason to be happy. A person is not happy because everything in his life is right and good. No, he is happy because he has the right attitude towards everything in his life. So are you happy today? You need to practice joy. Listen to me, when I go to your house, and I talk to your children, your helpers, or other people, I ask them, is this family happy? Are you happy?

By the grace of God, you come to our home, you can ask our helpers, you ask our children, our family is very happy, why? That is the joy of the Lord. Be thankful, be praying, no matter what trouble you may be having, you give that to the Lord, sometimes the best answer to your prayers is an unanswered prayer, what do I mean? Let me tell you what I mean. The Bible tells us that they were praising God, no matter what the reason was, Acts 2:47 praising God and winning favor with all the people. Their lives are so attractive that unbelievers and seekers are so attracted to these Christians that the Lord adds to them daily those who are being saved. Take note, those who are saved. Suppose, at some point, they were not saved, they were lost, but God was adding to them, why?

Acts 2:47 Praising God and winning favor with all the people. The Lord adds to them daily those who are being saved. Let me ask you a question, you, your family, your office, the way you work, are you attracting people to Jesus? What do I mean when I say that —unanswered prayers can be the best? I'm almost done, we have a pastor, we have a pastor who is in jail, and a few weeks ago, he flew in to attend our IDC (International Discipleship Conference), but when he was at the airport, they detained him He was, in a Middle Eastern country, very scary, locked up in jail. Of course we are praying that he can come out and attend the conference in time.

But can I tell you, because he was a Spirit-filled Christian, a Spirit-filled disciple, what did he do in prison? He started a discipleship group, literally, he established a group, and then he was allowed to witness, I mean evangelize, so you know what he did? He talked to 19 people, mainly Muslims. He talked to them. How did he do it? How should I pray for you? Have you seen this approach of "praying, caring, and sharing"? How should I pray for you? You see the early church was witnessing. You can witness everywhere.

This is not the church. This is where the church congregation gathers. But the church is everywhere, offices... no matter where you are, in prison... That guy is in jail, can you imagine? He told me, Peter, when I was in prison, I read the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, so I completed my homework, and with enough time, he read the Bible, but the most amazing thing Yes, there was a Filipino who converted to Islam and told him: If you pray to Allah, your sentence will be halved. My friend said: No, no, my God, Jesus Christ is very powerful. And while he was talking, he heard someone calling his name, and he went, you know officer, what did this warden say? Your case is dismissed and you can now get out of this jail.

Wow! Oh my God! People didn't know that all of us were praying for him, and because of the power of this prayer, he went back to his friend and told him, "Look, didn't I tell you"? Jesus is more powerful, I have to go, bye! Isn't God amazing? Praise God! My friend, are you a Spirit-filled follower of Jesus? If you want CCF to be healthy, we need to practice those seven amazing habits, right? What are those habits? First, study the Word of God. Second, join a small group and worship, privately, publicly. People ask me, do I need to come to CCF? Can I use streaming media? Have you ever heard the term, streaming?

You're asking the wrong question, and I would tell people who are streaming, why not come? If you love Jesus, you will come. If you love Jesus, you will want to join this family. But I know there are a lot of us who really can't find fellowship like this, OK, maybe they're in a country that prohibits it, for whatever reason, maybe you're sick, that's OK, but my whole point is : You want to start practicing this, okay? Prayer, generosity, what else? Practice joy. Practice giving your testimony. I promise you that God will use you to be a witness to others. You want to bless others, right? Let Christ do it, but don't break away from these principles, don't compromise.

Please bow your head, we pray, if God has spoken to you and said you need to join a group when you leave this place, there is a place out there where you can sign up. Second, if you are feeling condemned in your heart today and feeling that maybe you don't know Jesus, that's why you don't desire the Word of God. You have no desire for God, you don't care about Him, He is not the core, you want to be changed, you want me to pray for you, then please raise your head, is there anyone else? Praise God! You are not hungry for God, and you want me to pray for you. Please raise your hands, raise them high! Lift it higher! You know why? I want to pray for you:

Lord Jesus, I want to pray for these men and women who have raised their hands. They are not hungry for you. Maybe they don't know you. I pray for them now. May you make yourself a part of their lives. Please allow them to repent of their selfishness, repent of their self-satisfaction, repent of their desire to be independent, and please give them a humble heart to surrender to you. (I also pray for those of you who are not yet in a small group.) Through today's words you teach us not to be selfish but to be a blessing to others. By joining a small group, not just to receive but to give. Please speak to all of us, We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen, amen.

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