Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 4:1-12 “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 4:1-12 “By what power or what name did you do this?”
We are doing so many wonderful things as a church. We feed the hungry, we give clothes and blankets to the naked, we provide shelter for the homeless, and we give medicine to the sick. When we do those things people say, “Thank you!” They do not ask questions like, “By what power or what name did you do this?” They assume that it is “we” who are doing these wonderful things. That is why they say, “Thank YOU!” not “Thank God!” So, we need to be more explicit that God is the source of all good things.
In the Bible, however, people did not come to Peter and John, saying, “Thank YOU!” Even the one who was healed did not say thanks to them. He went to the temple and praised God! “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. ..all the people saw him walking and praising God…”(Acts 3:8-9) Peter and John also explicitly said to people, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” (Acts 3:16) In other words, they said to people, “Do not thank us but thank God!”
This is the difference between Social Services and Mission. When we do the social services, people give thanks to the non-profit organizations or to individuals who do the services. When we do mission, people praise God. Or they get angry if they do not want to praise God. For example, when we send humanitarian aids to the North Korea, we marked on the food bags Cross to show that they were from Christians. The North Korean government was mad at the mark and demanded us to erase it. We wanted to help our brothers and sisters in the North Korea, so we erased the mark. The ones who received the food bags now do not know where they came from. They would just thank to the North Korean government who delivered the food bags. They did not want to give credit to God!
In the Bible, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees were not mad at Peter and John because they cured the crippled man. They were angry because Peter and John gave credit to Jesus. The Bible says, “They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 4:2) They even seized Peter and John and they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of people who believed grew to about five thousand. Peter and John, when they cured the crippled man, their goal was to praise God and glorify the name of Jesus. Whenever we do mission, that is our goal. We help people not to get us all the praise but to give God the glory! And the end result should be the salvation through Jesus! The Bible says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to humankind by which we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12).
So, we go out to do mission works. We have many local and global mission works. If you stopped by at our mission fair, you would have recognized more than 30 mission projects that our church was involved. People will ask us why we are doing this. Here is our answer: We want to share God’s love (that we experience first) in practical ways! We hope that you can also taste the joy of salvation through Jesus Christ and join to this great movement!
• When you give money or work for others in Jesus’ name, what do they say?

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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