1. Hello, listening friends.
2. I want to begin by talking about power.
3. Power is exciting.
4. Power is enticing.
5. Power can be intoxicating.
6. Power is what many people strive for.
7. Power is what many people want to have.
8. Power is what others claim to have.
9. Power is what still others think they have.
10. Sometimes, we think of powerful people as those who are rich.
11. Sometimes, we think of powerful people as those who drive expensive cars,
12. or those who hold a position of power;
13. but the Bible has a different definition of power.
14. Christians have power; but it is not like the world’s power.
15. In the New Testament church, people were attracted to the church of Jesus Christ by its power.
16. In the New Testament church, you would either get a riot or a revival -- sometimes, both at the same time.
17. The reason they had power is because they understood the power of praise.
18. They were praising God, even when their bodies were lit like torches and they were given to be eaten by hungry lions.
19. One thing you can say about the New Testament church is no one was bored.
20. It is the will of God for His church to have power.
21. God does not care about church programs.
22. God does not care about social actions.
23. God does not care about order and dignity.
24. God does not care about shouting and screaming.
25. God does not care about church rituals;
26. but God cares about His power in His church.
27. It is God’s will for His church to have power,
28. supernatural power,
29. healing power,
30. deliverance power,
31. power to pull down the strongholds,
32. power to break the chains of misery and habits that enslave people,
33. power to convert,
34. power to conquer,
35. power to convict of sin,
36. power to uplift people and give them a foretaste of Heaven.
37. There is an old song that goes something like this:
38. “Lord, send the old time power, the Pentecostal power, that sinners be converted and Thy name be glorified.”
39. Our Gospel is the Gospel of power.
40. That is why Paul shouts, in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
41. David said, in Psalm 62:11, "Power belongs to the Lord.”
42. Jesus said to His Disciples, in Matthew 28:18, “All power has been given to me…” therefore, I give you power over all, power over your enemy.
43. We sing, “There is power, power, wonder-working power, in the blood of the Lamb..."
44. and, yet, within 30 minutes of singing that song, we forget all about His power and try to live by our own weak powers.
45. There’s a story that reminds me of how most Christians live.
46. There was a lady who lived at the turn of the century along the Scottish coast.
47. She was very wealthy, but she was very frugal.
48. Her neighbors were very surprised when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home.
49. Several weeks after the electricity was installed, the meter reader appeared at her door.
50. He asked her if the electricity is working ok.
51. She assured him that it was working just fine;
52. then, the man said to her, “Can you explain something to me?
53. The meter shows that you have scarcely used any of your power.”
54. She said, “Oh, I can explain that!
55. Each evening, when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candle and, then, turn them off again.”
56. She is like most Christians.
57. She tapped into the power, but doesn’t use it.
58. Her house was connected, but not altered.
59. Our souls are saved, but our hearts are unchanged.
60. We are spiritually connected, but our lifestyle is not effected.
61. We trust Christ for salvation, but we resist transformation.
62. We occasionally flip the switch, but only long enough to go on our own steam; and, then, spend most of our Christian life in the shadows;
63. yet God wants us to have His power all the time.
64. God wants us to exercise His power in all occasions.
65. God wants us to live by the light of His power and out of the darkness of self;
66. and that is why the Lord’s Prayer begins with praise and ends with praise;
67. because there is power in praising the name of God.
68. The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Hallowed be Thy name,” and ends with “Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory...”
69. and Jesus right now is in the place of power;
70. and, when He comes back, He’s going to come back with power and great glory;
71. and He will reign and rule with power of a rod of iron.
72. When Jesus reigns, it will not be a democracy.
73. He is not going to ask opinions of the so-called “experts” and scholars.
74. He is not going to take a poll to see what people want and, then, give it to them.
75. He is not going to negotiate with the different pressure groups and try to make them happy.
76. He is coming back with great power and might and manifestation of His glory;
77. but here’s the problem with most of the believers in the Church of Jesus Christ:
78. God is looking for the unity of the Spirit, but each is in love with their own opinion.
79. God is looking for people who are willing to put Him first and foremost, but most Christians will put Him first when it is convenient.
80. God is looking for people who are united in bringing glory to His name, but most are fighting for their own glory;
81. and, thus, by our very life, we are obstructing and hindering God from working in the church of His Son.
82. Please listen carefully, my listening friend.
83. Those Christians who refuse to live in and by God’s power often delay the whole church.
84. Those who live for themselves hinder the church’s march to glory.
85. Those who are not delighting themselves in the Lord keep the Lord from revealing Himself in power and great glory.
86. They may be saved, but they are de-railing and delaying God’s power from working in His church.
87. My exhortation to you is this:
88. Get on with emptying yourself of yourself so that you can receive God’s power.
89. Get in on God’s program that you may receive power.
90. Get rid of your self-seeking and seek His glory so that you can receive His power.
91. Get rid of your sensitivity to yourself, and seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness so you may receive His power.
92. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and begin to feel His power working through you.
93. “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory."
94. In the Scripture, only the Pharisees had a hard time praising God.
95. When Jesus was triumphantly entering into Jerusalem, people were shouting and praising and waving palms.
96. Read all about this in Luke 19.
97. The Pharisees thought that this was most undignified;
98. but listen to what Jesus said to them:
99. “If they are silent…the very stones would shout His praises."
100. The modern-day Pharisees tell you that their religion is private.
101. The modern-day Pharisees tell you that they praise God silently.
102. After all, they are dignified, very dignified.
103. Let me tell you something of uttermost importance.
104. When I think of God’s splendor and glory,
105. when I think of God’s greatness and mercy,
106. when I think of God’s love and generosity,
107. when I think of God’s justice and patience,
108. I cannot help but praise Him and adore Him.
109. “Yours, O Lord, is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory.
110. Yours, O Lord, is the majesty, dominion and authority.
111. To You, O Lord, belongs all thrones, and all crowns, and all splendor.
112. Yours, O Lord, is the Earth and the heavens and all in between.”
113. Sometimes, I imagine the Lord Jesus looking down and seeing all of the sin and deception and the lies that goes on in this world;
114. and I think how much it grieves Him;
115. then, He looks down and He sees all of the wickedness and the dishonesty and the calling of good “evil” and evil “good” and I think of how that grieves His heart;
116. and, then, I think of how He looks down upon His bride, the church, and, then, He sees their half-hearted commitment,
117. their lack of love for Him,
118. their business with things of the Earth,
119. their stubbornness and self-serving attitude,
120. their arrogance and their pride,
121. their rationalization of their sin;
122. and I think, “Oh, how that must grieve His heart!”
123. And, then, I imagine Him looking down and seeing His faithful people,
124. praising Him with all of their hearts,
125. thanking Him with all of their life,
126. adoring Him with all of their strength,
127. honoring Him with all of their resources;
128. then, I think of how much joy that brings to the heart of God.
129. The Bible said that He rejoices over us with singing:
130. Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
131. What is he saying, here?
132. He is saying that, for me to know that the Lord is rejoicing over my obedience, gives me strength.
133. Nehemiah was saying that my power and my strength come from knowing that my life is pleasing to the Lord.
134. My spiritual energy comes from knowing that my life is bringing joy to the heart of God.
135. My motivation for life and for serving comes from knowing that I have the Lord’s favor.
136. “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever.”
137. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.