Transforming Presence 3

20 May

Living accountably 15/4/12

(I should add a bit of context before you read any further, as this was our Ascension Football Academy Sunday after our Easter soccer school)

Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

The video below was used as an intro to the talk.

Diving in football is a cheating short cut to gain an advantage in a game. It’s prety much despised by every football fan, yet footballers still do it and now we even have to make sure that we tell kids not to do it.

Footballers are held in high regard by children, both young and old. Whether they support West Ham, Arsenal, Chelsea or Man Utd, every boy and girl in our soccer school has a favourite player they look up to. And each player’s actions will influence the way their fans think about and play football. Just look at how much of an impact David Beckham has had in the last 15 years!

But it’s not just footballers who children look up to. Adults are also role models that children look up to. And sometimes adults get things wrong, right in front of people that they influence. Sometimes, if we are lucky, our mistakes go unnoticed and we are not copied. Other times we are copied and we find we have to stop children by explaining that we got it wrong. And then there are the times when children see what the adult has done, knows that it is wrong and is disappointed with the adult. They might be so disappointed that they lose faith in that adult.

In our Bible reading we saw how the first Christians in the early Church lived. They all listened to the apostles teachings about Jesus. They spent time together, getting to know one another. They ate together, sharing food. They prayed together. They would sell things to get other things that people needed. They were full of joy and were not afraid to show it. This is an amazing example of how to live. To be caring, loving and supportive to everyone in the community.

Unfortunately, even the church has made mistakes. So many times in the last 10-20 years the only time you would hear about Church in the news was when something bad happened. And you only have to see how the numbers for regular attendance have fallen to see what an impact it has had. And it’s not just doing bad things, but so often not doing the good things. The Church has to be held accountable for it’s actions, and inaction, and if you have experienced that it is the Church that has to listen when people say that they are getting it wrong and try and fix it.

That’s why I’m so happy with so much that has gone on this past week at soccer school. We aim to encourage excellence in skill, teamwork and attitude and there has been so much of that this week, it’s been really great to see.

It’s going to be great to give out awards for all the good things done by the boys and girls. But we always have to remember that the biggest influence we have is our actions, and we must be held accountable to the same high standards we expect of others.

***Additional – extra information used in follow up Bible studies***

The meaning and cost of accountability

Genesis 2 and 3

Numbers 14

2 Samuel 11

Matthew 5:33-37

Accountability in the Church

Matthew 16:21-23

Ephesians 6:10-20

Romans 14

Isaiah 53:6

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

Ephesians 5:19-21

Hebrews 13:7, 17

Accountability to the community

What does being the Church in the community mean?

Acts 2:42-47 – What does this tell us?

Luke 10:25-38 – How does this impact on how we view Acts 2:42-47?

is it all about actions?

Matthew 28:16-20 – 2 very clear instructions

The first is important because without salvation everything else is worthless

Accountability also requires an element of uniformity.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – The Bible is our standard, all else is worthless

Benny Stafford shares the impact of salvation on his life

Romans 5:11 – Why bringing Jesus into things is important

John 15:1-8 – Shows how God wants to know us all

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