Romans 1:16
Power for You Today

Let me begin by asking a series of questions.
"Does God have power?"
     1. God did create this world out of nothing, did He not?
     2. And after He created the world, He created man and put into
         him the breathe of life, did He not?
     3. And after that, God selected a people to Himself, Israel
         first and then the church, a people whom He nurtured and
         cared for, did He not?
     4. Even to the place that He gave us His Son, Jesus, who did
         rise from the dead, did He not?
     5. All of these are displays of God having not just power but
         INFINITE power.

So letís refine our question.  "Does God have power - TODAY?"
     1. I know we are a smaller, country church, but still we see the
          hand of God, do we not?
     2. God has shown us how He can provide for the Green Pond
         Christian Church?  (a new building, I was impressed this
         morning walking down the Sunday school hallway to see so
         many people)
     3. Have we not heard testimonies about Godís saving and changing
         power, how that God saves from the gutter most to the
         uttermost!
     4. Through missionaries and others have we not seen that God
         still wins the hundreds, if not the thousands, to Himself?
     5. Have we ourselves not be permanently and powerfully saved?

Lastly, we ask, "Does God have power TODAY for MY life?"
     1. Now, we get down to the nitty-gritty.
     2. Does God answer our prayers?
     3. Does God seem concerned about our needs?
     4. If you needed God to show up in your life today before the
         stroke of midnight, do you have confidence that He would?
     5. Is the power of God available for OUR life TODAY?

Tonightís message is POWER FOR YOU TODAY. I would like to share
three simple truths with you this morning:

I. Godís power is available for OUR lives TODAY.
    A. I know that first because the Bible says so.

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them,
saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and
in earth. ÖAnd lo, I am with you always.

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, even
to them that believe on his name:

1Thessalonians 1:5  For our gospel came not unto
you in word only, but also in power, and in the
Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know
what manner of men we were among you for your
sake.

    B. However, just because the power is available, that does not
        mean there are not some problems.
        1. Power can be available but we might not know how to get to
            it.
            a. If we brought a person from the 18th century into this
                world and told him that there was a power called
                electricity flowing through the walls of this church,
                he might believe us, but still not know how to get to
                it.
                (1) So it is with the Child of God.
                (2) God has given us ample power, yet we must learn
                     how to get it.
            b. Godís power is not like electricity that flows through
                2 conductor wires, but it does have two conductors.
                (1) It flows through holiness.
                (2) It flows through prayer.

Matthew 17:21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out
but by prayer and fasting.

            c. So getting to Godís power isÖ
                (1) First being the right person.
                (2) Doing the right thing.
        2. The church today does not know what the power of God is
            given for.
            a. I do not mean to cut God short but God does not give
                His power to just anyone for just any reason.
            b. You will not find people in the Bible who received
                Godís power for:
                (1) Öfor personal advancement.
                     (a) God does want us to pray for our needs, but
                          that should not be all we are praying
                          about.
                     (b) There is no record of God giving His power
                          to anyone for means of getting rich,
                          enhancing his crops, or otherwise advance
                          himself.
                (2) Öfor personal well-being.
                     (a) It is not for us to free ourselves of every
                          sickness, trouble, or hardship.
                     (b) How easy it would have been for Jesus to
                          have turned the stones into bread!
                (3) Öfor personal re-imaging. It is amazing how many
                     supposedly spiritual people want to use spirit
                     blessings to enhance their image.
            c. The Bible gives us an illustration of what Godís power
                is given for.

1Kings 18:30  And Elijah said unto all the
people, Come near unto me. And all the people
came near unto him. And he repaired the altar
of the LORD that was broken down.
31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to
the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob,
unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying,
Israel shall be thy name:
32 And with the stones he built an altar in the
name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the
altar, as great as would contain two measures
of seed.
33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the
bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and
said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it
on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they
did it the second time. And he said, Do it the
third time. And they did it the third time.
35 And the water ran round about the altar; and
he filled the trench also with water.
36 And it came to pass at the time of the
offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah
the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of
Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known
this day that thou art God in Israel, and that
I am thy servant, and that I have done all these
things at thy word.
37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may
know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou
hast turned their heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed
the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the
stones, and the dust, and licked up the water
that was in the trench.
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on
their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the
God; the LORD, he is the God.

                (1) Godís power is given to withstand evil.
                     (a) Ahab and Jezebel, along with the prophets of
                          Baal, were corrupting the entire nation!
                            i. They had instituted false worship,
                           ii. child sacrifice,
                          iii. and violence and greed were rampant.
                     (b) We could do with some of that kind of power
                          today.
                (2) Godís power is given to witness to the lost!
                     (a) Notice the challenge issued to the people by
                          Elijah that day.

1Kings 18:21  ÖHow long halt ye between two
opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if
Baal, then follow himÖ.

                            i. This was not a display to promote
                                Elijah.
                           ii. It was a demonstration to promote God
                                to the unregenerate.
                (3) Godís power is given to give God glory!

1Kings 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they
fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he
is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

                     (a) In the end, the reason God does all that He
                          does is that He might be glorified.
                     (b) God has stacked the deck.  No matter what
                          you do, He will be glorified.
                            i. He will be glorified by your
                                repentance and salvation.
                           ii. Or He will be glorified when your
                                defiance and rebellion are punished.

II. The means of getting that power has never changed.
    A. It is still holiness and prayer..
    B. A lot of people ask the question, "Why doesnít God do today
        what He did in the past?"
        1. It is a good question.  I have asked it a lot myself.
        2. The specific answer is not given in the Bible.
        3. However, I think there are several answers.
            a. We are not the kind of Christian God had in the past.
                (1) That may sting a good bit, but I believe it is
                     true.
                (2) We are a very "carnal" generation of Christians
                    (and I include myself in that number).
                     (a) We are pleasure oriented.
                     (b) We are self-absorbed.
                     (c) We are self-righteous.
                     (d) We know very little of praying, sacrificial
                          giving, and self-denying.
                (3) Most Christians are like the politician I saw on
                     the news some years ago.
                     (a) He had a preacher or two at his side, was
                          described as being a 30-year Sunday School
                          teacher, announced that the two week ordeal
                          he has been through had "interfered with
                          his Bible study."
                     (b) Yet, there he stood, convicted on 60 counts
                          of malfeasance with a variety of vulgar and
                          profane words coming out of his mouth.
                     (c) Somehow, most of us have lost the connection
                          between our religion and our life!
                     (d) Larry Langford
            b. We are not doing what God commanded for this kind of
                power to come.

Matthew 17:21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out
but by prayer and fasting.

                (1) It might do us good to remember that these words
                     were spoken to those who would be called apostles.
                (2) Yet, even they were powerless without prayer and
                     fasting.
                (3) God only gives this kind of power to His closest
                     friends.
                (4) By-the-way, I am not certain you could ever pray
                     and fast enough to get this kind of power.
                     (a) I am not certain anyone can approach God for
                          anything with a "work-ethic" attitude.
                     (b) I rather expect that you will have to pray
                          and fast for the desire of being WITH Him
                          not, for what you can RECEIVE FROM Him.
    C. A question must be raised at this point.
        1. Is it possible that in the last of the last days, God has
            withheld His power to allow Satan to rise?
            a. We understand from the Scripture that there will come
                a day when evil will rise, and God will let it.
            b. These may be those days.
        2. The answer is possibly yes.
        3. However, while it is a possibility, I believe that the
            evil last days will come because Godís people quit
            seeking Him, not in spite of it.
            a. In other words, I believe that as long as the people
                of God keep doing what they are supposed to do, those
                evil days will not come.
            b. That would mean that the promise of 2Chronicles 7:14,
                is a very literal promise.

2Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called
by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked
ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will
forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 III. God is always looking for a vessel through which He may display
       His power.

2Chronicles 16:9  For the eyes of the LORD run to
and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew
himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart
is perfect toward him.

    A. This verse makes it clear that God is looking for a person
        through whom He may show Himself to be a powerful God.
    B. Let me point out:
        1. That verse was spoken during an evil day.
            a. In fact, the prophet who spoke it was immediately
                placed in prison for speaking it.
            b. Yet in that day, God was looking for someone through
                whom He could demonstrate His power through.
        2. And God is looking for someone to show His power to today.
    C. What kind of person is God looking for?
        1. God is looking for a lost person that wants to be saved.
        2. God is looking for a broken person who wants to be
            comforted.
        3. God is looking for a confused person who wants to
            understand.
        4. God is looking for a concerned person who wants to help.
        5. God is looking for a dedicated person who wants to make a
            difference.
        6. God is looking for a saved person who wants to be used.

The question today should not be, "Is there power from God for my
life today?" It should be, "Am I willing to be the kind of person God
will give His power to?" and "Am I willing to do the things required
for God to give me His power?"

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