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THAT'S MY CROWD
Intro: Imagine being part of a church that is growing by leaps
and bounds. A church where 3,000 are saved at one service
and another 5,000 are saved at another service. Imagine
being part of a church where the extraordinary is normal and
miracles are a part of everyday life. Imagine being part of a
church that is witnessing God answer prayers immediately,
where all the members love one another, where the power of
God is in evidence and where Jesus Christ is truly the
centerpiece of everything that happens. Imagine a church
where everyone is in love with the Lord. If I could find a church
like that, I would have to say, "That's My Crowd!"
Well, the early church in Jerusalem was just like that. They
enjoyed the miraculous display of the presence and power of
God on a daily basis. They saw souls saved in abundance.
They were living in a day when the extraordinary was the order
of the day. But, all wasn't sunshine and roses! When you go
all out for Jesus, the lost and the religious aren't going to like
it very much. So it was for these people.
After the lame man was healed at the Beautiful Gate of the
Temple, the people in Jerusalem really began to listen to the
message of the Apostles. When this happened, the religious
elite arrested John and Peter, threw them in prison and then
brought them before the Sanhedrin for trial. At this trial, John
and Peter preached the Gospel. The Sanhedrin then issued
an order forbidding them from preaching the Name of Jesus
any longer and let them leave. When that meeting was over,
the two disciples returned to the place where the church was
gathered, no doubt praying, for their leaders. When John and
Peter told these folks what had transpired, instead of being
upset and fearful, a worship service broke out. I would like for
us to look in on the events of that day and see how these
people conducted themselves in the midst of persecution. As
we see them respond to this situation, we are given a glimpse
into their heart and we can see why the hand of the Lord was
so active in their midst.
I would also like for us to understand that what the Lord did
then, He can still do today! He has not changed! If anything
has changed it is His people. Let's notice some facts about
the people that made them special and that can make us
special as well, if the same things are true concerning this
church. Let me share with you why I say, "That's My Crowd!"
I. V. 24-31 THEY ARE A WORSHIPING CROWD
(Ill. When these early Christians hear the report from the
Apostles, they do not react with fear and trembling. They
do not seek a place to hide in fear. Instead, they turn their
hearts to the Lord is worship. Notice how this crowd
worshiped the Lord.)
A. V. 24a, 31 They Worshiped With Their Presence -
Whin it came time for the church to meet, these folks
did not have to be rounded up and hunted down. They
were in their place when it came time for worship! This
is God's desire for all His children. Heb. 10:25. We all
realize that there are times when it is necessary to miss
church. However, some folks have gotten good at
making any excuse good enough to miss the services
at the House of God. In fact, around here, it is
becoming an epidemic, especially on Wednesday
evening! If the problem is the preacher, then I would
suggest you tell someone and maybe God will send you
someone you will come to hear. However, I suspect the
problem is a little closer home, most likely within your
own heart! Just let me say that a faith that won't
take you to church will not likely take you to Heaven
either! Of course, if it is true that absence makes the
heart grow fonder, then some folks must really love this
(Ill. The following statistics reveal church is the safest
place of all. Automobiles account for 20 percent of all
fatal accidents, while 17 percent of fatalities occur at
home. Fourteen percent happen to pedestrians on
streets and sidewalks. Travel by air, rail, or water
causes 16 percent of the deaths. Yet, of all reported
deaths, only .001 percent occur in worship services.)
(Ill. Don't wait until the hearse hauls you to church. If
you do, you will go, regardless of the weather. There
will be beautiful flowers there, but you won't enjoy them.
The priest may say some good things about you, but
you won't be able to hear them. There will be beautiful
music, but you won't be enjoying it. There will be
heartfelt prayers, but they will not touch your heart.
There will be friends and relatives there, but you will not
worship with them. You will go, no matter how many
hypocrites are there. You will go, no matter how much
you are needed at home. You won't be concerned
about whether you're dressed right. After that final trip
you will never have to decide whether to attend church
or not. You'll never get another chance. Why not go to
church while there is time to enjoy it and to receive a
blessing from it?)
That present crowd is my crowd!
B. V. 24-28 They Worshiped With Their Praise - When
their worship began, it included the element of praise.
They began their prayer by calling on the Lord and
blessing His Name! Notice what they praised God for.
By the way, these very same reasons that lead them to
praise the Lord are still just as true this morning.
1. V. 24 Praise For God's Person - They began by
praising God for Who He is! That is a reason for
praise that will never cease to be! Every saint of
God should take the time to praise God for Who He
is and for the attributes that make Him God! (Ill.
Holiness, grace, mercy, goodness, love, presence,
peace, power, glory, hope, all that God is gives us
ample reason to praise His lovely Name! Note: The
reaction of the bride in the Song of Solomon. In
Song 5:10-15, she tried to describe the love of her
life. She finally concluded by saying that "He is
altogether lovely." Everything about him caused
her to praise him. So it is with God! Everything
about Him should drive the saints to praise Him,
2. V. 25-27 Praise For God's Provision - These
verses recount the hatred of the world toward Jesus
and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sins
of the world. They praise God for His gift.
If there was ever a valid reason to praise the
Lord, it is the death of Christ on the cross for our
sins! The fact that he took our place, paid our debt
and set us free is a reason to praise that will never
dim! When I think that my sins are gone! When I
think that I have been forgiven! When I think that I
have a home in Heaven! When I think that God is
my Father, Jesus is my elder Brother and the Holy
Spirit is my indwelling Comforter. When I think of
the price He paid, of the love He showed, of the gift
He gave, I cannot but praise His lovely Name!
(Note: There is still a valid place for praise on the
house of God! Many do not like it, but our God is
still worthy of all the praise, honor and glory we can
offer to Him. In fact, praise is not an option, but a
command, Heb. 13:15; Psa. 47:1; Psa. 5:11; Isa.
12:6. God save us from a dead spirit in the house
God, when we have such a glorious God in the
midst of His church!)
3. V. 28a Praise For God's Power - They mention
God's "hand". This is a reference to His great
power. To His ability to exert supernatural power to
accomplish His will. May I say that God has not
changed! He is still the same today as He has ever
been! He still has "all power in Heaven and in
earth", Matt. 28:18. He is still the great "I AM", Ex.
3:14. He is still a God Who is "able to do
exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can
ask or think.", Eph. 3:20. He is still God!
(Note: How many mountains has He moved for
you? Shouldn't you praise Him? How many times
have you seen God do the impossible? Isn't He
worthy of your praise? How many times has He
moved to answer your prayers? Don't you think that
He should be praised for that? I do! That praising
crowd is my crowd!)
(Note: By the way, if you don't praise Him, be
careful about criticizing those who do! After all, they
have more Bible for their actions than you do for
4. V. 28b Praise For God's Providence - They took
the time to praise God for His providence. That is,
they praised Him that in the death of Jesus, things
worked out just as He had planned them to. They
thanked God that He is in control of all of life! What
a lesson for you and me! If we really believe that
God is in control, then why not praise Him for all of
life, even the parts that we do not like and that are
hard to understand? If we really believe that He is
Who He says He is, then we can thank Him that,
even in the middle of difficulty, things are going
according to the plan of God. Just let me remind
you that regardless of what comes your way in life,
if you are saved, God is behind all of it, Rom. 8:28!
He is planning your path, Psa. 37:23. And He is
going before you to make your victory possible,
John 10:6; 1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 2:14.
Don't you think He deserves praise for His great
control of all of life?
That praising crowd is my crowd!
C. V. 29-30 They Worshiped With Their Prayers - After
they praise Him, they begin to ask Him for some very
specific things related to their situation.
1. V. 29a Prayed For God's Investigation - Notice
that they did not condemn, they merely asked God
to take notice. Of course, they knew that God
already knew the situation, Heb. 4:13, Pro. 15:3,
but they reminded Him nonetheless.
This is what the Lord wants us to do with the
perplexing situations of life. He does not want us to
worry, but He wants us to bring our matters to Him
in prayer, Phil. 4:6-7. He already knows, our
prayers merely demonstrated the fact that we know
He knows and the we believe He will take care of
the matter for His people!
2. V. 29b Prayed For God's Infilling - They prayed for
the filling of the Spirit so that they might boldly
proclaim His message! They wanted the power of
God on their lives. Notice that they took the place of
"servants", literally, "slaves", before God. They
bowed humbly and asked God to take them and use
them for His glory.
This is the kind of praying we need in the church
today. We need to be actively asking God visit upon
His church His supernatural power. We need His
power to witness, to worship, to preach, to carry the
Gospel to the ends of the earth. We need Him to
get he job done, because we cannot do it by
ourselves, John 15:5; Phil. 4:13. We need to pray
for God's power to be on His church and on His
3. V. 30 Prayed For God's Intervention - They ended
their prayer by asking God to get personally
involved in the situation. They wanted him to
demonstrate His approval of the church by
manifesting His power through the church. They
merely prayed that God would show up and show
out in the midst of His people.
Again, this is a valid object of prayer in our times
as well. We need to pray that God will do the
miraculous in the midst of His church once again.
Now, I am not referring to some people are doing
and blaming on God. I am referring to an old
fashioned moving of God among His people in
which their hearts are stirred to love Him, their lives
are changed and made holy and the strings of their
tongues are loosed to praise Him, pray to Him and
tell the lost about Him. We need His intervention in
our day! Let is not be afraid to ask Him for it. He
will answer, Matt. 7:7-8; Jer. 33:3; Isa. 65:24.
(Note: Nothing honors God as much as does the
prayer of faith!)
That praying crowd is my crowd!
D. V. 31 They Worshiped With Power - This was no
ordinary church service! As soon as they finished
praying to the Lord, they experienced an immediate
answer to their prayers.
1. The Place Was Shaken - When the Lord shows up
it cannot be hidden! He turned their prayer meeting
upside down! In other words, things got different
By the way, you know when God is in a service
and when He is not! When He is, things cannot
remain calm and collected. When God shows up,
and His Spirit begins to move through a place, that
place will be shaken for the glory of God. We need
God to shake us in these days! We need Him to
move in these services so that things are not run of
the mill. Our world needs to know that God is alive
and that He is in the midst of His people!
(Note: Many would not like a real move of God.
That is evident by the number of dead churches all
around. However, I say, "God, pour on us all you
have! Give us your power, your presence and
your glory. Move in such a way as to shake this
place, that you people might worship you once
2. The People Were Saturated - When the Lord
moved in, those who were looking for something got
it! This verse says that they were "all" filled with the
Holy Ghost. Could you imagine what would happen
in our homes and our communitites if every member
of the church was filled with the Holy Ghost? Not
only would we be shaken, but the world around us
would be too! There would be revival in the
churches and the communities again. We would
see whole families come to faith in Christ. We
would see a difference in everything we do in life.
Some would counter that this was an
extraordinary event. I would beg to differ! Eph.
5:18 is a clear command for EVERY Christian to be
filled with the Spirit of God.
3. The Proclamation Was Sounded - When the Lord
began to move in their hearts, they could not remain
silent, but they began to proclaim His Word. It is
worthy of noting that they were not proclaiming the
word to the lost at this point, they were still in the
church meeting! They were praising the Lord in the
church house, of all places!
In other words, there was spontaneous praise
and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord. May God
help His church to return to those glorious days
when His people were not ashamed of Him and
were willing to worship and praise Him openly and
boldly! He is worthy!
That crowd that worship with power is my crowd!
II. V. 32, 34-35 THEY ARE A WORKING CROWD
(Ill. These verses make it clear that the early church was
a busy bunch. They were active in the Lord's work and
they were active in the lives of the Lord's people. In doing
what they did, they set a good example for the church in
A. V. 32 The Reason For Their Work - This verse gives
us two reasons for their doing what they did.
1. They Shared A Common Love - The Bible says
that they were "of one heart." That is they had a
love one for another that could not be explained in
human terms. As a result, they worked on behalf of
their brothers in Christ.
This love, when it is present, and when it is real,
is a supernatural work of God in our hearts. When
He saves us, He gives us the ability to allow Him to
love through us. The love the saints have one for
the other is impossible to understand or to explain.
However, Jesus said that its presence was a
powerful witness to the world, John 13:15. It is also
said to be a proof of our salvation, 1 John 3:14.
And, that it's absence indicates a serious problem in
our lives, 1 John 4:20-21. If this kind of love is
really present in our hearts, it will be demonstrated
in our care of one another, 1 John 3:16-18; James
2. They Shared A Common Life - What made this
possible is that within each of their breasts beat the
same heart! That is, the Bible says they were "of
one soul". This means that one life filled each if
them. They were not in this thing alone and they
knew it. They needed others and were needed by
others! So it is in the church! When we are saved,
the life of Christ comes into us. The same life that
lives in me lives in you and we are one in the Lord.
That is why when you have a need, I should have a
need. When you hurt, I should hurt. When you are
happy I should be happy. When you are blessed I
am blessed. This is what the Bible teaches and
where this is true, the saints can rejoice in the work
of God in their midst, Rom. 12:15; Phil. 2:4; Gal.
6:2; 1 Cor 13:5!
B. V. 34-35 The Results Of Their Work - Because they
were so unselfish in their expressions of love one for
another, they demonstrated the proof of God's work in
their midst. Notice what they demonstrated when they
served the Lord like they did.
1. They Demonstrated Servanthood - Each willingly
placed himself at the service of others. They
realized that the church was about more than them
getting their way. That's still true today! No person
in this room has a right to have their way! We ought
to want the Lord's will to be done in the house of
God. By the way, that's where churches begin to
get into trouble. When you get a few people who
think they run the whole show and have the
authority to call the shots, they will begin to try to tell
the preachers how to preach. They will try to run the
business and the affairs of the church. They will try
to exert their will over everyone else. That is not
God's will for any church! He never intended for any
family or group to hold supreme power in His
church! His desire is for the people of God to serve
one another, as Christ served man when He came
to die, Mark 10:45. Ill. John 13:1-17. Would you
be willing to do that? Remember the greatest in the
eyes of God are those who take the lowest
positions, Matt. 23:12; James 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:6.
2. They Demonstrated Selflessness - These people
also placed others ahead of themselves. They
placed their brother's needs of their ahead of their
own greeds! They demonstrated the spirit of Christ
in that they were totally selfless in their love one for
Did you know that this is God's plan for the church?
We must come to the place where we stop thinking
about how things affect us personally, and where we
start thinking about how things affect the church as
a whole and our brothers and sisters as individuals.
Everything in this church is not about me having my
way! There may come a day when this church will
be better off with someone else in this pulpit. When
that day comes, may I have the grace the wisdom to
step aside and let God have His way. May I think
about what is best for the family of God more than I
think about what is best for myself. That is God's
desire for you too! Whether you are a Deacon,
another position, or whether you are member of the
church without a position, this thing is not about you
having your way.
We must learn to put self to death on the altar of
sacrifice so that the Lord might have His way in the
church. Self has to go! And, it will when we love the
brethren and the Lord more than we love ourselves!
3. They Demonstrated Sacrifice - These people gave
up things that were precious and important to them,
so that they could meet the needs of their brothers
in Christ! In other words, they were not just living for
themselves, but they were living for the good of the
What a lesson for us! May we be willing to
sacrifice what we think is important for the good of
the body of Christ. Whether it be our time, our
talents, our tithes or some possession or the other,
may we be willing to lay it down to help a brother in
need. A sacrificial heart beat within the breast of
our Savior! May that same heart guide us to love
one another rightly and to show that love in a way
that honors God and lifts our brothers.
(Note: What better way to prove my love for you than to
give my all for you? Ill. That's what Jesus did at the
cross - John 15:13!)
That working crowd is my crowd!
III. V. 33 THEY ARE A WITNESSING CROWD
(Ill. This verse tells us that these people were not quiet
about their faith. They were bold in their witness and they
were not ashamed of what they had, or who they were in
the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice two quick thoughts about the
witness of these believers.)
A. They Witnessed In The Power Of God - When these
Apostles went forth bearing the message of Jesus, He
went with them bearing witness to their message! He
placed His power on them and enabled them to witness
for His glory.
When we as individuals, and the church as a whole,
is as it should be, then we will be able to count on
God's power in our witness as well. The reason
thousands were being saved wasn't the quality if their
preaching or the glory of their services. Thousands
were saved because they were operating in the power
of God. We need that power today! It is ours if we will
only claim it by faith, Acts 1:8.
May we pay the price to get the church where she
ought to be! May we pray until He fills us and pours us
out for His glory. May we get to the place as a church
and as individuals that the power of Christ may rest
upon us! We need that more than we need anything in
B. They Witnessed In The Provision Of Grace - The
Bible tells us that "great grace was upon them all."
The word grace means "favor." It may mean favor with
people, this was the case in Acts 2:47, or it may mean
that they found favor with God and He blessed them
accordingly. I am inclined to lean toward the latter
explanation for this passage. If that is true, then they
went forth under the grace of God and were aided of
Him as they witnessed of His plan of salvation. In other
words, God helped them get the job done for His own
glory. He gave the grace to preach the Gospel and to
tell a lost and dying world about a saving Lord.
May we seek Him for that same grace to go out and
tell a world about a Savior Who loves them. May we
not fear their rejection or their ridicule, but may we have
grace to tell them about the bloody cross and the empty
tomb so that we might fulfill the Great Commission of
our Lord Jesus, Matt. 28:18-20. May we have the
courage to stand up and be counted among those who
are washed in the blood and different because of the
saving grace of Almighty God! May we not be ashamed
of Him, but may we declare the true Gospel and trust
Him to save sinners for His Own Name's sake!
That witnessing crowd is my crowd!
Conc: Are you part of that crowd today? Are you saved and
part of the church of Jesus Christ? If not, you need to be, and
He will save you if you will come to Him! If you are saved this
morning, are you part of that crown that is Worshiping,
Working and Witnessing for the glory of God? If you are
saved, but are not all you should be, then this altar is a place
to find the help you need to be all you can be for the glory of
You know, I am glad that I have found my crowd! I am glad
that I am part of something bigger than me, greater than man
and of something that honors God. Will you join me in praying
for this church that we might be found pleasing in the sight of
the Lord? Will you look at your own life and see if there aren't
areas that could be improved? If there is a need, whatever it
may be, this altar is open!
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