July 8, 2012
Anybody have a power outage this past week? How did you feel? (powerless)
You heard power would not be turned on til late Sunday. You want power and you want it NOW!
I spent 24 years in a power outage. My life was void of the power that comes from God.
Our scripture that was read earlier, Matthew 22:29 is a tough word from Jesus. If you brought a Bible from home, good, if not turn in the pew Bible to the New Testament, which is the back half of the Bible to page 23. Matthew 22:29, “But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.”
Jesus was answering a question that some religious leaders had posed. You can read it if you like but the interesting part for me is not the question they asked but the fact that they were religious leaders. They were students of God’s Word. They were teachers of God’s Word. And yet on this subject at hand, and probably others, Jesus said not only that they are wrong (a person can get over not being a Know-it-all) but he added they know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. Ouch!
Is it possible to spend years in church, attend worship and Sunday School, and still not know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? If yes, then that is a power outage of enormous magnitude.
Today’s message is on POWER. God is not short of power and God does not want His followers to suffer a power outage.
I spent 24 years in church and even though the Bible was read in worship and I went to Sunday School as a child I neither knew the scriptures nor the power. I was suffering from a power outage. First, there was no power in my life because God was not personally present in my life. Somehow I thought because I went to church I was doing it right. How is it said, “just like you can sit in the garage but that doesn’t make you a car, a person can sit in church but that doesn’t make them a Christian.”
I took care of that in 1986 by receiving Jesus as my Savior. If anybody here needs to invite Christ into their life, simply profess your need of him by confessing your sin. As you do, you will receive the Holy Spirit in your life.
Who is the Holy Spirit? What difference does the Holy Spirit make? Good questions.
We need to understand God’s Power. Power, it comes from the Greek Word dunamis, where we get our English word, “Dynamite”. Dynamite is explosive. Dynamite is powerful.
Let’s look at Luke 24:49, page 86, “And behold, I send the promis of my Father upon you (he is referring to the Holy Spirit); but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
That word power in the greek language is dunamis.
Dunamis is power. Dunamis is the ever ready bunny. Dunamis does not understand a power outage.
Dunamis is like dynamite. Dunamis is God’s power exploding IN YOU so that THROUGH YOU God may show his power.
Dunamis is your ability TO DO what you CANNOT DO on your own.
Dunamis is ACHIEVING power. It has to do with being able, being capable. When you say, “I am not able, I cannot,” this is when God says “but I can.”
Without God you can’t. What is it going on in your life right now that you say, “I can’t…” This is a power outage.
With God you can turn can’t – into can. “With God – I can…” This is dunamis.
Dunamis is God’s power that results in miracles. In the world of cause and effect, Dunamis is the cause that completes an effect in you. Dunamis strengthens you when you are weak. Dunamis gives you the ability to say – I am able.
Do you feel God is asking something of you that you can’t do? Dunamis is God’s power at work to cause you to do EVERYTHING He calls you to.
IF Power is found in God THEN when God enters into a person’s power is found in God’s people. Understandably, this notion of such power is a mystery. The apostle Paul said it this way in Philippians 3:10, page 186, “that I may know him (Christ) and the power of his resurrection…”
The resurrection of Jesus, death conquered, Easter, He lives – is the source of this mysterious power. In the early church this mysterious power changed lives as people received Jesus and proclaimed the power of the resurrection.
Hear me carefully… We don’t get power by coming to church. We don’t get power by reading the Bible. These things are all good and ultimately will contribute to what does give us power; God through his Son Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit.
It is a good day in someone’s life when God reveals that His power is found in trusting Him in EVERYTHING. We evidence our trust in Him by being obedient to Him.
John Wesley was growing weary at one point in his life. I think he felt that he was in a situation like Jesus found himself. John was surrounded by religious people who neither knew the scriptures nor the power of God.
He knew this because of the lack of power being found in the church. He knew this because of the lack of power being found in the people who went to church.
John knew the problem of his day but it isn’t so much different than the problem of our day. We go through everyday life and we say, “I can’t…I am not able…” God’s people going to church, reading God’s word… and yet saying, “can’t”. That is a power outage.
Right now it might be easy to feel uneasy, guilty, or ashamed because of a situation you are going through right now and you are experiencing a power outage. You can focus on yourself but ultimately you won’t feel better and your situation won’t change.
Instead focus on God. Search the scriptures and remind yourself of God’s power. Dunamis. Then remember – that power is in you. Let it explode in you. Take on a vocabulary change. “With God’s help, I can.”
Let me say it clearly. To say, “I can’t” or “We can’t” – is a sin.
We need to repent of that. We need to have our minds changed, understand what God’s will is for us, and move in that direction. Unless you repent you will not experience His power.
Communion was provided earlier. You might have received it. You might want to receive it again. This time with an awareness of the things in your life that you have said, “can’t” to. If anything at all, repent of it, take a part of the body of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection, and claim the power to say, Philippians 4:13, page 187, “I CAN do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me.”