Summary: Paul explains the power of prayer and his hopeful deliverance. Understanding what can happen if the church gets back to the power of what prayer can do.
Christ Can Be Exalted In You and His Church!
Herbert Jackson, A new missionary was assigned a car that would not start without a push or what we would call a jump-start. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to use some students to push his car. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years. This missionary developed some health issues and was forced to leave that mission field and a new missionary came to the station he was assigned to.
When the missionary explained his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted and called him by name, “Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble here is the loose battery cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, turned the key, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept the missionary by the name of Jackson from putting that power to work.
Think about that – Bless God – The power was there all the time - He just wasn’t connected to the power.
Paul said to the Ephesians 3:20-21, “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.”
Again in Ephesians 1:19-20 it reads these wonderful and powerful words, “How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God.” Paul says, “How tremendous is the power avail-able to us.” When we make firm our connection with God, His life and His power flows through us.
In our last three sermons we’ve been talking about JOY – PEACE in every part of our lives throughout every circumstance – every situation in life. Every one of us without exception want a sense of fulfillment in our life. Would you agree with me?
The older we get the more we want to know a sense of accomplishment and meaning. I’ve realized the older I get the more I think about the shortness of time I have left to do what I desire to do. When we are young, we just assume that our lives will accomplish great things. We don’t give much thought to time.
We dream great dreams and fully expect that some day we will reach them, any way that is our desire. One of the problems that we all face in our search for meaning is the problem of just how routine life can become. Now – bringing this down to the Church - Church can become just routine!
Our spiritual lives can become just routine!
Our relationship with God can become routine!
This week I had a gentleman who stopped by the church to visit me. He attended a local church in Johnstown. I won’t mention the name of the church or the name of the man. He was in his 80’s and he was so concerned about his church. In short – he told a story that all too familiar. The church he attends spasmodically still has the old basement with the jack poles holding up the building. He wondered how this church has accomplished what we have done. And so I shared with him the story of a group of people who had prayed and had a vision to purchase close to 40 acres and move from Vine Street out here. He has grandchildren who play soccer and basketball here and he comes to watch them. He’s really concerned that these grandchildren don’t go to church. He is impressed with our property and buildings. And when I told him we wanted to build another building, you could tell he was taken back by what I said. And He said, “How do you get the people to see the need?”
And I shared with him the Scripture that says, “Where there is no Vision, the people perish.”
I found this man to be a very influential and wealthy man and he has given monetary gifts and pledges to a number of worthy places. The problem he expressed to me with his church he attends is people settled into a routine of holding on to tradition and just being satisfied and comfortable.
He described his church as a social club. And he asked me – how do you get religion to the kids when they come to play ball? And I explained to him that coaches, volunteers, and those who give testimonies and devotions all strive to do one thing and that is to get the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children, parents and grandparents. At 80 plus years old – his eyes lit up and then he said, “Okay, now I’m understanding ‘VISION’ – that’s it!”