Sermon Illustrations

-[Illustration] Some of you are aware that Robin and I are in the middle of a house hunt. We would like to buy a house, and live there for quite awhile, if the Lord is willing. We have wanted to buy a home all along, but I just always assumed that we did not really have the buying power to purchase anything more than a shack. However, last Sunday (our 1 yr. anniversary here), something prompted me to step out and inquire about how our purchase power lined up with the houses that were on the market. Something had to happen to make me uncomfortable enough with my present situation to seek something different. Some of you know what that was: it was a For Sale sign in front of our house. It wasn’t there before church, but it was there, as big as life after church.

-After meeting with a realtor and a mortgage provider, we discovered something. We do have buying power. Not a lot, mind you, but enough. So, we are now looking for the right situation in which to use that buying power. Why am I telling you all this?

-Well, I think it might parallel the way some of us think about spiritual power. We think we have just enough to keep on living. Maybe we would like to do more for God, being used in the miraculous and sharing our faith with others. However, we don’t think we have the necessary power. Why is that? Mark 16:17-18 tells us what kind of power Christians have: 17”And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 if they pick up snakes with their hands; or drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." That sounds like more power than we are seeing in the lives of Christians today! Why? Has God’s power decreased? No! Have we run out of people who need healing or deliverance? No! Then what is the problem? If we are praying as we ought, and being fed by God’s word, then why are we not seeing God’s power at work among us, more than we are? I don’t have all the answers to this, but here is one thought from the book of Acts.

-Jesus told the disciples that they would receive power to be His witnesses after the Holy Spirit came upon them. Apparently, they believed Him, because after the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost, Peter and the others demonstrated a bold confidence that miracles would happen and that people would be saved when they shared the gospel. We must come to one of two conclusions. Either we do not have the power Jesus spoke about, or we do not think we have it, and therefore we do little or nothing with it. Kind of like our house situation. I was not aware that we had enough buying power to get out of the renting game and buy a house. Therefore, I did not pursue it any further.

-Maybe God sends things into our lives sometimes to help us recognize the power and authority we have in His name. Those things may make us uncomfortable and shake us to the very core, but if they accomplish His purposes then we should welcome them. Maybe some of our sicknesses come so that we will call on God and see His power at work in our lives. If we are living according to the principles in God’s word, and are in right relationship with Him, then we do have authority as sons & daughters of God to speak truth and life into the most difficult circumstance or obstacle. If we are not in line with God’s word or if we are out of relationship with Him, the best thing for us to do today is come to Him and make things right. It is only as we keep things right with God that we will have the right stuff to give those who are in need.