Summary: faith connects us with the limitless storehouses of God's divine power

Nothing is too Hard for God

Matthew 17:20

July 31, 2011

Morning Service

Things to Celebrate

God has amazingly blessed the church over the last year. District Conference showed us a number of special recognitions for what has been accomplished.

USF Excellence Award

We paid 100% of United Stewardship Fund last year.

United Stewardship Fund is our responsibility to the denomination. We have met our denominational obligations 100%. These USF funds are divided among general headquarters, the district and the Wesleyan colleges and universities. We are part of a denomination and this is part of obligations. How can we expect God to bless the church, if we do not uphold our obligations?

Project 3.1 Award

Project 3.1 is a District initiative to promote church growth and evangelism. Each church is to set a growth goal of 3% (AM Worship) or more and pursue gaining at least one convert over the course of the year. Over the past year we have experienced a 22% percent growth and 11 conversions or rededications. We had the third highest percentage growth rate in the district.

Excellence in Ministry Award

The office of General Superintendent s recognize churches that are proclaiming the gospel and fostering growth. There are four criteria that must be met to get this award.

100% USF participation

5% growth in morning or evening worship

An overall increase in membership

5% baptism rate – We celebrated 16 baptisms last year

Less than 5% of Wesleyan Church in North America receive this award. Only two churches won the award in the Greater Ohio District.

Iceberg thinking

What if what we are seeing from God is only the tip of the iceberg? What if what we have expereinced from God is only a small fraction of what He desires to do in the life of the church?

Icebergs are massive but are only partially visible. The smallest part of the iceberg is what can be seen above the surface of the water. God’s power works in the same way, we see only a small fraction of what God can do.

Jesus is telling exactly this to the disciples, If you have your Bibles with you, please open them to Matthew 17:20. Jesus describes both the kind and the amount of faith we need to see God accomplish the impossible.

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. " Matthew 17:20

Let me ask you an important question: Is anything too difficult for God? Is there anything that God cannot do?

Basic Background

The verse read above needs to be placed in proper context. The statement that Jesus makes is part of much larger scene. The disciples had been trying to drive a demon out of a boy. The disciples were unsuccessful and then Jesus drives out the demon with little effort. The disciples are confused and frustrated. They ask why they were unable to drive out the demon. Jesus gives the above reply.

The issue of faith is not reserved for driving out demons. There are some scholars that claim this verse does not apply to other aspects of life but was a one time application of Jesus. Let’s take a closer look at what Jesus is saying.

The power of God is exponential

Notice what Jesus says: if you have faith as small as a mustard seed. The last time that I saw mustard seeds they are extremely small. Jesus says that even that amount of faith can move mountains in our lives.

Jesus is telling the disciples and us that the power of God is not relative to the amount of our faith but rather is exponential in nature. The power of God is not dependent on our level or amount of faith but rather on God’s goodness and grace.

Example: In relative terms, it only takes a small amount of faith for a person to come to Christ. The result is not small but massive in the scope of eternity.

There is a concept in mathematics that fits our understanding of the power and ability of God: The rule of exponents. An exponent is a representation of power. It is the number of times a figure is multiplies by itself.

103 is often considered to be 30 but it is not 10 multiplies by 3 but instead is 10 times 10 times 10. The answer is 1,000. The same is true with the outpouring of God’s power, what may seem small on our part becomes gigantic with the power of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Continually pray

Big prayers get big answers. The reality is that often we fail to ask for big things from God. One of the biggest reasons that we do not see God pour a greater provision of power and grace is because we simply fail to ask for it. God is waiting for us to ask for the big things. We often settle for asking God for small things when He wants to deliver big.

Big Prayer List

Exponential Outpouring of the Spirit – 1,000 time greater than we have ever experienced

More conversions than ever before – More than all of the conversions of the church combined

Payment of the new debt

Believe God to do more

God has the ability to do more than we can imagine.

Nothing will be impossible

With God all things are possible – Motto of the State of Ohio

Jesus is approaching the disciples beliefs. The problem is that many people claim to be Christian but fail to really trust God. The word believe means to live by. When we place faith in God, it impacts the way we live our lives on a daily basis. The fact is that faith should change us from the inside out. The old saying is true, If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.

What mountains are you facing in your life?

Remember that God has the power to overcome any situation and conquer any problem. There is nothing too hard for Him to do.

God can break the bondage of addiction

God can remove the power of fear

God can redeem the person that seems hopeless

God can restore broken lives and mend broken relationships

What impossible thing does God want to do in your life? What impossible things does God want to do in the life of the church?

4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6

What God starts, He finishes.

How many times have you stared something and not been able to finish? Time may have gotten away from you. Resources may have been limited. Energy may have been exhausted.

Where do we need to begin?

You are important to God

Paul said that we are the workmanship of God. The Greek word for workmanship is poiema, which is where we get our word poetry. You are a masterpiece of the master craftsman. You matter so much to God that He sent Jesus for your redemption. You have been given infinite value by an immeasurable God.

Living in the middle of a movement of God

We are not meant to settle for the mundane or the mediocre. God wants to move in our lives and in the life of His church. There is nothing greater than living life in the middle of a movement of God.