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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