Today’s message is to Encourage to use Bible.
Power of God is manifest in the local church
2 Timothy 3:1 it says “But know this that in the last days perilous days will come for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power: from such people turn away.”
We need to come back to some fundamentals in our Christian walk
- We serve a risen Saviour.
- The Power of God is manifest through the local church
- Need hope in Power of God when we have an issue in our life eg medical, emotional, marriage
- Because if we don’t believe that God can move in our lives, then what benefit is Christianity to you?
- Otherwise we are just a social club
Only the Power of God Can Change the Human Heart
We are a church that believes very much in the power of God to change the human heart and to change the human condition
Law makers and legislators can try all they want to try to legislate
Lawmakers will never ever change the human condition or the human heart.
The only thing that can change a life is the Power of God
Need to stir ourselves up in what we believe about the Power of God.
THE POWER OF GOD AT WORK IN US
A great scripture and one of my favourites:
Ephesians 1:19 –– Paul is praying for the church at Ephesus
Verse 17 “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him…….“what I pray for, I’m praying that the eyes of your understanding will be opened, that you will know what is the hope of the calling that you have in Christ, what are the riches of His glory that is on you as an inherited saint…” and then He says in verse 19 “…and that you would know what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe.
We walk through life with this incredible amount of great and exceeding power pointed at us.
That’s what we have at our disposal
so many people/Christians walk in a level of powerlessness because I believe that they don’t fully utilise the things that God has given
- Like the power of prayer,
- The power of the Word of God,
- The power of the local church,
- The power of the Holy Ghost,
- The power of fasting….
Phillipians 3:10 Paul is talking “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings , being conformed to His death, that I may know Christ and that I may know the power of His resurrection.”
- What a great aim.
- good to set goals
- principle goal – to know Christ and the Power of His Resurrection. ….
- know the true power of what was behind the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 4:20 “…for the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”
1 Corinthians 2:4 “…. My speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of human wisdom but in demonstration of spirit and of power that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the Power of God.”
Must have faith in the Power of God, we have got to believe in the Power of God and we have got to say ‘Yes, it is exceedingly great towards us who believe.”
“Now to Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or even think, according to the power that works in us.”
- Where is the power? ‘In us.’
- What is it able to do? ‘Exceedingly abundantly……….
- When limits of the human brain and psyche, — God is able
- Power of God that is towards you,
- Able to do exceedingly, abundantly above that.
- Where your brain finishes, that’s where the Power of God starts.
I Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God our Father of the Lord Jesus Christ who according to His abundant mercy ……. and who are kept by thePower of God.”
The Power of God has power to keep us in the Kingdom of God.
Acts 1:8 “Wait in Jerusalem until you receive power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
- Greek – ‘dunamis’ power means ‘dynamite’ –
- dynamite Holy Ghost power within us as Christians and believers
- ‘dunamous’ – ability to work miracles
- ability comes on your life walk in the realm of the miraculous enabling empowerment of the Holy Ghost.
8 Characteristics of the Power of the Word of God
Incredible power in the Bible, but so many people refuse to open it.
Matthew 7:24“Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock….
- Wise man reads and practices sayings of Jesus – firm foundation in life.
- Many Christians crumble in hard times
- No spiritual guts in their life
- any time pressure around no kind of inner spiritual fortitude to rise up and fight
- How much time do they spend in the Word?
2Timothy3:16-17 says “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for correcting, for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction and for training in all righteousness.”
Acronym of BIBLE – B – BASIC
I – INSTRUCTION
B – BEFORE
L – LEAVING
E – EARTH.
Proverbs just a great book of wisdom for all areas of life
Bible contains great principles for life, finances, marriage, relationships, parenting, relationship with God, …..
Bible has an incredible wealth of information in it.
Mathew 4:4 says “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
- Feed on words that came out of mouth of Jesus
- Feed on Spirit as natural realm
- Nourished in the words of faith
Timothy 4:6 “If you explain this to the brothers and sisters you will be doing your duty as a worthy servant of Jesus Christ, one who is fed by the message of faith and the true teaching you have followed.”
- Nourished in the words of faith
- Feed our spirit by Word of God
- Carnal Christian – flesh dominates spirit
- Spritual Christian when spirit dominates flesh
- What you feed will be stronger of two
- Bible says we have to be people of the spirit
Word of God gives us foundation for our life -also gives us food for life.
Ephesians 6:16 “Above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, and take the helmet of salvation and sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.”
- Armour is defensive – we stand and we defend –
- God has given victory
- Occasionally need to take it to the devil.
- Occasionally need to stand up and fight wih sword of the spirit
- Devil brings fear and condemnation- fight with the Word of God
- Need to understand power in the Word of God to rise up and to take on the devil.
- Bible is not just words – 787,137 words in King James Version.
- It’s the Power of God.
John 6:63 “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing” Jesus says “The words that I speak to you are words of spirit and words of life.”
Not just typed on a page but words of life
Words of Jesus – power and authority of God
Hebrews 4”12 says that “The Word of God is living and powerful.”
- actually a living organism. It is not just a text book.
- has incredible power pulsating through its pages
- we’ve got to get the Power of God into us and activated because there is an exceeding great amount of power towards us who believe.
Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God”.
- if we want to stir our faith up – get into the Word of God.
- Want great faith? Want incredible walk with God?
- Be student of the Word of God – Read and study it again, and again…
2Timothy 3:15 says “From childhood you have known the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ.”
- Faith for salvation comes by the Word of God
- Da Vinci Code book attacks authority and legitimacy of the Word of God.
- Dan Brown says that the Bible put together by men with political agenda
- Need to have faith in authority of the Word of God.
- That there is credibility in the Word.
- NEED incredible confidence that if you read a mainstream translation that the Power of God is at work through that. .
Psalm 119:105 – what does it say? “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path…..”
Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,,,”
Very often I pray and receive direction out of His Word
Word of God as fluorescence, as a light to our pathway for guidance.
James 1:22 ”But be doers of the Word and not hearers on, deceiving your own selves for if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”
Need to be doers of the Word
Direction for our life
Psalm 119 – ….”Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.”
6. FELICITY – means the source of happiness.
Psalm 1 talks about the Word of God, how happiness and contentment comes through the Word of God.
Psalm 1: 1 – 3 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the paths of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law and his Word he meditates day and night ….”
Now get this – this is better than a sportscar, this one verse alone, this is the ‘felicity’ verse …..
…”he shall be like a tree that is planted by rivers of water…” –
- Not talking about a ‘tumbleweed’ that kind of goes all over the place
- Talking about a tree that is planted by rivers of water.
- Being planted somewhere is a specific act in a specific location by a specific person, namely the gardener .
- Person that meditates on the Word will be like a tree that God plants firmly and clearly into their destiny
- “by rivers of water…” means there is a life source to their destiny
“that brings forth its fruit in its season.”
- God is like an orchardist – very interested in fruit of our lives
- Like a tree – roots down, t
- Planted in their destiny,
- Word of God is a life source to the destiny, brings forth fruit
“…whose leaf also shall not wither …”
- not going on 100 yards sprint then of wither and die,
- but there for the long haul
and finally – here’s the felicity –
“…whatever that person does shall prosper.”
- source of happiness –
- end of your life and fulfilled destiny and call on your life.
- Your life is not full of regrets
- Look back and say “God has been good…”
- Can say “Hey, I have fulfilled the call and the direction that God had for my life, I was influential in the way that God wanted me to and I have done what has been required and now I am looking forward to going on to glory.
- That is a source of happiness.
Psalm 119:9 says “How can a young man keep his way pure, by living according to Your Word.”
- God forewarns us,
- God forewarns young men and young women on dangers and traps of sexual temptation and other issues that young people face,
- Forewarned is forearmed – we know that there is going to be temptation
- “…flee youthful lusts…” In other words, don’t even go there.
- Proverbs talks a lot about adulterous woman, don’t even go near her door, don’t even flirt with the idea
- Forewarned is forearmed because God wants us to live pure lives.
Matthew 13:3 says “And he spoke many things to them in parables saying behold a sower went out to sow and as he sowed some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds came and devoured them…”
Seed here is the Word of God.
“…. And some seed fell on stony places where they did not have much earth and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. And when the sun was up they were scorched because they had no root and they withered away. And some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up and choked them, but others fell on good ground and yielded a crop, some 100 fold, some 60 and some 30.”
Jesus explains parable in verse 18.
Verse 19 says “When anyone hears the Word of God and does not understand it then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. He he who receives the word on stony places, this is he that hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy yet he has no root in himself but endures only for a while. When the tribulation and the persecution of the world arises immediately he stumbles. Now he who received the seed among thorns is he who hears the word of the cares of this world and the deceitful of riches choked the Word and he becomes unfruitful.” Now listen to this, verse 23 “but who received the Word on good ground is he who hears the Word, understands it and indeed bears fruit, some 100 fold, some 60 and some 30.”
Preaching is like throwing seed out – Every Sunday I scatter seed,
The condition of the soil that the seed lands in is up to you.
The kind of seed that becomes fruitful.
Stirred up and go home and look it up and meditate on it
Might go on to “….his leaf shall not wither ….. and ‘the long haul’ …..
God might begin to speak and get a whole new revelation out of it.
Seed that falls on barren ground
Someone who has spent the whole sermon thinking about something else
I’m throwing the seed out but his soil is barren because his brain’s not even there.
When sermon finished the matter is closed
Might have good intentions but life happens and don’t follow up,
Seed has been thrown out and it was joyfully received but then devil snatched it.
Word of God should produce fruitfulness in our life. That’s what God wants.
I encourage people to bring Bibles and take notes to jog memory later. Psychologists etc who have studied human memory say that 20 minutes after I have finished preaching you guys will retain about 7%.
That’s a lot of preaching if you are only going to retain 7%.
Taking notes, writing down….jogs memory
Need to be writers of the Word – way you are going to get the most out of the Word of God.
In closing – This is the 7% you have got to retain – READ THE BIBLE.
- Summarises whole message because the Bible is incredibly powerful.
- Don’t go Sunday to Sunday never opening your Bible
- Because that’s a person with powerlessness written all over their Christian life.
- That’s not the design of life.
- God wants you to be powerful.
- God wants you to start making demands on that exceedingly great power that He has given towards you,
- God wants you to start believing in this power.
- Whatever you are facing in life the answer is the Power of God, whatever it is.
Part of that withdrawal process comes from the Word of God.
This is your ATM card for the power.
There is great power in the Bible
So read the it
Read 10 books over the next 7 months