150426 Acts 4:32-33

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Acts 4:32 – 33

Sermon Theme: Our Easter Celebration Continues as Members of the Good Shepherd's Flock

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

For our sermon series during this Easter Season, we continue to focus on the book of Acts and the account of the early Christian Church. The members of the early Church are continuing to celebrate Easter long after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel message is spreading. Despite all the efforts to silence the followers of Jesus, more and more people are hearing the Good News that Jesus Christ lives and that through the risen Savior there is forgiveness of all sins. Today, on this Fourth Sunday in the Easter Season, on this Sunday known as "Good Shepherd Sunday", based on the two verses from Acts chapter 4 that I just read, you and I give thanks that as our Easter celebration continues we gather together as members of the Good Shepherd's flock.

How did the members of the early Christian Church show others that they were members of the Good Shepherd's flock; that they "were one in heart and mind"? First, they used their material blessings to help those in need. We are told, "No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had." As the Lord blessed them, they remembered the words of Psalm 24, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Moved by the unselfish love of their Savior-God who sent Jesus as their Savior, they showed Christ-like love to those in need.

How do you feel about your fellow believers here at St. Matthew's? How often do you think about or pray for your fellow believers in our congregation? Have you taken the time to introduce yourself to some of the newer families of our congregation, or do you simply walk by, not even greeting them with "Hello!"; or, "Good Morning!" One way that we are united as members of the Good Shepherd's flock is by loving and supporting one another. We show our unity as we pray for one another, by lending a helping hand when needed, and by talking and listening to each other. But, you and I will confess that there are times when we have failed to do this. It is far too easy for us to gossip about one another. With a selfish heart, we ignore the needs of others. So today, you and I ask the Lord to forgive us for the times we have failed to show Christ-like love to our fellow believers here at St. Matthew's.

Taking that sin to the cross of Jesus, know that he lived, suffered and died for that sin as well as for all your sins. Then, rejoicing in the complete forgiveness of all of your sins through your Savior Jesus, celebrate that you are a member of the Good Shepherd's flock together with your fellow believers here at St. Matthew's. Pray that the Lord who has united us, will lead you to do what we read about in Romans chapter 12, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."

The second way the members of the early Church showed that they were members of the Good Shepherd's flock was that they went out and shared the Good News about Jesus with others. "With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all." By his grace, by his great undeserved love, the Lord of the Church blessed the efforts of the early believers as they shared the Good News of the Gospel. On the morning of Pentecost, the Bible tells us that the Christian Church number about 120. By the end of that one day, their number grew by about 3,000. And by Acts chapter 4 those who were members of the Good Shepherd's flock numbered over 5,000!

Today, as our Easter celebration continues, we celebrate the fact that we are members of the Good Shepherd's flock here at St. Matthew's. We work together to share the Good News about Jesus with others. This takes time. This takes talents. This also takes money. As a congregation, right now we spend over $1 million in carrying our congregation's Gospel ministry. With our gifts we support Christian Education from the preschool and elementary level, to high school, to those studying for the full-time Gospel ministry at Martin Luther College and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. We support the mission work of our own congregation and our Wisconsin Synod so that many more people here in the Oconomowoc area and around the world can hear the Good News of Jesus. Later today we will meet together. We will share food and enjoy fellowship with one another. Then we will spend some time discussing the future efforts of our congregation to "testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus". And certainly it is my prayer that it will continue to be said of our congregation that "much grace was upon them all."

"Good Shepherd Sunday" is an opportunity for you and me to continue our Easter celebration. We give thanks that through our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we enjoy the forgiveness of all of our sins. Because Jesus lives, we have the promise of a life that will never end in the green pastures of heaven. Until that day, our Good Shepherd promises to be with us each and every day, blessing you and me personally and as a congregation. Today, offering all praise and thanks to the Lord of the Church, our Easter celebration continues as members of the Good Shepherd's flock. Amen.

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

Worship Schedule

Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985

 

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

Map

 

 

 
© 2012. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church • Privacy Notice
Powered by Joomla 1.7 Templates