The following are notes from my sermon last week titled "A Day In the Life". You can listen to it here.
A Day in the Life- from our series of Beatle’s tunes called “Get Back”. I used the song as a springboard for discussion and as the outline for my lesson using Acts 3 as my narrative.
From the song, “Got up, got out of bed, ran a comb across my head…” Are our lives really that different? We all have the same routine: get up, get ready, do what we have to do, come back, go to bed, start over. Our lives fundamentally all look the same. So how do we live a life that stands out, that makes a difference? What does a day in the life of a disciple of Jesus look like?
The song begins with the verse, “I read the news today, oh boy…” The first point is “I read the news today… oh, boy”
-what is our reaction to the news today? Do we get depressed, angry, stressed out?
-Francis Chan “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s ok to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.”
-Just a couple months before what we read in Acts 3, the disciples witnessed Jesus arrested, beaten, and killed. In fear they locked themselves away, unsure of what was going to happen next. But Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them, giving them confidence to face the world.
--Where do we get our confidence from?
-Our response to the news in the world needs to be prayer
--Acts 3 begins with Peter and John going to the temple to pray
--I’m not a prayer warrior. I’m challenged by this quote from Martin Luther, “I have so much to do that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer.”
---The “epic quiet time” is an intimidating thought. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to pray. So here’s a tip- pray three times a day for 10 minutes each:
1) In the morning, praying for the day ahead
2) At midday, praying for the here and now
3) At the end of the day, giving thanks for the day that was
-Which is exactly what Peter and John were doing in Acts 3:1. Jews in Jerusalem would go to the temple three times a day to pray: 9 in the morning (see Acts 2), midday, and 3 in the afternoon (or evening in other examples)
-Psalm 55:17 “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.”
-If we can get in that habit, it’s not too much of a leap to “pray continually” as in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
--rejoice, pray, give thanks / morning, noon, night / three prayers
The middle section of the song begins, “got up, got out of bed…”. The second point is Got Up and Got Out
-we are not called to live a monastic, cloistered life isolated from the rest of the world. The disciples didn’t- they went out. The end of Acts 2 mentions that they spent every day in the Temple courts.
--this was their regular routine. We know they went three times a day. We know from chapter 2 that they went every day. We also know from chapter 1 that they lived together. So you have to figure they went the same way, the same time, seeing the same people. The man they met was also there every day and we read later that everyone recognized him. So you have to wonder, how many times did Peter and John pass him by?
-We pass by needs every day. It is hard to break out of our routines to take notice the people we see every day. What a difference it would make to take the time to get to know the cashier that always serves you at the bank, the checker you always see at the grocery store, the beggar you see every day at the same intersection.
--“silver and gold I do not have…” It is easier to throw money at someone’s problem than it is to take the time to get to know them and their need. To quote Gustavo Gutierrez “So you say you love the poor? Name them”
-Peter and John knew that giving this man change would not bring about change. So they offered something that would have eternal impact: “in the name of Jesus of Nazareth…”
--It is Jesus’ name, not our efforts, that has power (v 16). John Stott writes about this verse, “The power is Christ, but the hand was Peter’s.” It takes both. Jesus needs us to be his hands and feet, but we need His power to have a lasting impact (and not get stressed out by relying on our own power).
-Peter and John went about their daily routine, acting in Jesus’ name. Brennan Manning writes, “God is calling each and every Christian to personally participate in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.” And later, “Jesus said the world is going to recognize you as His by only one sign: the way you are with one another on the street every day.”
-Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that “whatever you do, do for the Glory of God.”. A.W. Tozer writes about this verse, “Paul’s exhortation to do all to the glory of God is more than pious idealism... It opens before us the possibility of making every act of our lives contribute to the glory of God.”
-every day, every act
--so as you go about your daily routine, ask yourself what you are doing in Jesus’ name for the glory of God. As you get up and get out, consider that there are no small moments, no insignificant actions, and that everything is an opportunity to make a difference in Jesus’ name.
--If you’re afraid, remember Peter who sunk while walking with Jesus on water because of a little wind. Who assured Jesus he would stick by him but gave in to peer pressure and denied him three times. But this same Peter saw the resurrected Christ and “received a spirit of boldness.” Because of this, he would draw a crowd.
The third point plays off the lyrics but mixes it up a little: I Made the News Today, Oh Boy
-When we live our lives in Jesus’ name, people will notice. What do you do then?
--1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
--if you’re living your life in Jesus’ name, you need to be prepared to explain why. Why do you make the choices you do? Why do you have the hope that you have?
--Peter used this opportunity to share his faith. He was able to share about Jesus because he knew Jesus. He was able to share about the Old Testament promises because he knew them. We cannot share what we do not know.
-how is your Bible study? Can you honestly say that you “know” Jesus? Do you spend time with him, getting to know him, sharing everything with him? Do you know the foundations of your faith so that you can “share your faith” with others?
-if we skip to Acts 4:4 we read that their number grew to 5000. So let’s talk about “sharing our faith”
-imagine Peter and John saying to this man, “silver and gold I do not have, but here’s an invitation for church” or Peter saying to the crowd that gathered, “if you think this was great, come back Sunday at 10:00 and see what we’ll do then!”
--no, Peter shared right then, right there, about Jesus. He didn’t wait- he shared what he knew. He shared about Jesus because it was in His name that this man was healed. It was in His name that Peter and John lived their lives. And it made an impact. When we share our faith, it needs to be more than just an invitation to church, we need to literally share our faith. Who is Jesus to you, what has he done in your life, what is he doing now? Be prepared to give an answer.
-one day, one act, one diversion from their regular routine changed this man’s life forever and saved the souls of 2000 men.
-A.W. Tozer: “Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act.” There is no common act when you live your life for the glory of God in the name of Jesus.
What makes A Day In The Life so recognizable is how it ends. An orchestra builds what is called a glissando, building up to a crescendo. Note after note, louder and louder, higher and higher; our lives, if we are living in Jesus’ name are building towards something great. Then unexpectedly John, Paul, George, Ringo pound on pianos in the climax of the song. That last note lasts 42 seconds. What we build will last for eternity.
If we live a day in the life a disciple, in prayer, in action, and in the word.