Prayer: “Our Father in heaven, help me and those whom I lead to be true disciples of our beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Help us to obey Him and to make disciples who love Him enough to obey His commands above and before all man-made rules. In His Name, Amen.”
· Jews from all over the Roman Empire heard Peter in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Many were hostile, but Peter told them: “Men of Israel… Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles… and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross… But God raised him from the dead… God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” Acts 2:22-36.
· 3,000 Jews repented that day, were baptized and were added to the first Christian church, Acts 2:38–41.
· Amazingly, before Acts chapter 2 ends, those thousands of new believers began obeying all of Jesus’ commands! How did that happen so quickly? Let us explore what Peter and his companions did, so that we can do the same.
· Seven weeks before Pentecost, Jesus rose from the dead, appeared many times to His Apostles for forty days, and gave to them His final instructions. Ten days before Pentecost, Jesus’ Apostles saw him ascend into the sky.
· Jesus commanded many things. We can group his commands under the seven “basic” commands that the first 3,000 new believers began doing at once in their basic form, in Acts chapter 2. The only command not mentioned by name is love, which they showed by their fellowship and sharing.
· Like Peter, good disciple-makers teach obedience to all Jesus commands. Complete obedience makes a flock strong, like an unbroken chain.
· Look at the seven commands below and tic any that your flock needs to obey better:
Memorize Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Also, find there:
· With what authority did Jesus command His followers to make disciples? [The risen, victorious Christ commanded us with all authority in heaven and earth, with greater authority than any king, president or army officer.]
· To whom did He command us to go, to make disciples?
· How did He say to make disciples of all peoples, besides baptizing?
· What comforting promise does Jesus make, that eases the huge task of instructing disciples to obey all of His commands?
· Find in Acts 1:14 what Jesus’ followers were doing when God began His powerful work on the day of Pentecost.
· Find in Acts 2:1-24 what the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to do, that convinced the Jews who heard Peter’s speech.
Jesus’ Seven “basic” commandments
Repent, believe, and receive the Holy Spirit.
2. Be baptized. Let baptism initiate the new, transformed life, Acts 2:38; Matthew 28:18-20
3. Love. Love God, neighbours, believers, the needy and enemies (forgive them), Matt. 22:36-40; John 13 :34-35, Luke 10:25-37; Matt. 5:43-48
4. Break bread. Communion (Lord’s Table), related to all that we do to worship, Matthew 26:26-28; John 4: 24
Pray. Pray using Jesus’ name, privately and as
family devotions, do intercession and spiritual warfare,
6. Give. Stewardship of our treasure, time and talents, Luke 6:38; Matt. 6:1-4
7. Make disciples. (witness for Christ, shepherd his flock, apply the Word, train leaders, send missionaries), Matthew 28:18-20
· Ask a creative person to write a song about Jesus’ basic commands, to help folks remember them.
· Visit and instruct any believers who are not yet obeying all of Jesus’ basic commands.
· Explain to them that these commands are the foundation upon which we build all ministries.
· Explain that even though believers can praise God with their lips night and day, if they do not obey Jesus’ commands in love, then God does not accept their praise, Matthew 14:1-8.
Choose activities that fit the occasion and local customs, and present them in any order.
Tell the story of the first church, and of how Peter and other disciple-makers taught the many new believers from the beginning to obey the commands of Jesus.
· Explain the importance of Jesus’ final instructions in Matthew 28:18-20.
· Help the believers to memorize the seven basic commands of Jesus (above).
· Explain that these commands are the foundation for all our teaching and ministry.
· Ask the children to dramatize the parable of the wise man who built his house on the rock Jesus.
· Explain that the wise man both heard and obeyed Jesus’ commands.
· Let the children ask the adults questions that they have prepared.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you make disciples the way Jesus said.
To introduce the Lord’s Supper, read Acts 2:46. Explain that it is a basic command of Christ. The first believers obeyed Jesus as they broke bread in their homes.
Ask for reports from workers who have recently taught believers to obey Jesus’ commands.
Announce and arrange the activities that you planned to do during the week.
Form groups of two or three to pray, confirm the plans and encourage one another.
Memorize John 14:15, “If you love me, obey my commands.”