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Summary: 50 DAYS TO PENTECOST - part 6

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✎ Thomas Edison and the lightbulb¨CEdison¡¯s invention continues to brighten our world. However, the lightbulb is useless unless it is connected to a power or energy source.

The lightbulb is designed for a specific purpose, but it does not have the capacity to light up by itself. The bulb must be plugged in with the switch turned on to let the electricity flow through the filament creating light. Whenever the power is blocked or disconnected a perfectly good lightbulb will leave you in the dark.

1. LIGHT ILLUMINATES THE DARKNESS!

+ Matthew 5:14-16 14You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (NIV)

A. Jesus said that we are ¡°the light of the world.¡±

Our purpose is to let our light shine! The light is not to be hidden; our lives are to illuminate a dark world. The way we live our lives should help the people around us see more clearly; we bring light into their lives.

The darker the night, the brighter the smallest light will shine. Sin darkens our world, but you and I can push back the darkness. We are the light of the world.

B. The Holy Spirit is the power source.

A lightbulb has to be plugged in. Just like Edison¡¯s bulb, we will leave the world ¡°in the dark¡± unless we remain connected to the power source¨Cthe Holy Spirit.

+ Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the [flesh ¡°sarx¡±] but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (NIV)

We are not empowered or energized by the flesh; we have plugged into God! The Holy Spirit directs how we live our lives reproducing Christ in us. On our own we are powerless to light up our world. In order for our lights to shine, we have to stay connected to the Holy Spirit.

2. HOW IS SPIRITUAL POWER LOST?

How do we get to be unplugged from the Holy Spirit? What makes our light seem to burn out; the switch is turned on but the light is off? To help us discover how spiritual power is lost, we are going to look at the life of Sampson (his story is found in Judges13-16).

Sampson the original ¡°Superman.¡± God gave him superhuman strength to lead the nation of Israel and defeat their enemies the Philistines. Sampson seemed to be unstoppable; he was invincible and indestructible. Once Sampson killed a lion that attacked him with his bare hands. However, Sampson¡¯s strength was not superhuman; it was supernatural. Sampson was empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately Sampson¡¯s story does not have a happy ending. Delilah found out the secret of his strength and cut Sampson¡¯s hair as he napped in her lap. When the Philistines came upon Sampson the fourth time he rose up to defeat them as he had before, but the Bible says, ¡°he did not know that the Spirit of the Lord had left him¡± (Judges 16:20 NIV).

Sampson didn¡¯t know the Holy Spirit left him. Sampson would have to fight this battle on his own. In Sampson¡¯s previous exploits the Spirit of the Lord was there to help him. Now Sampson would have to try to overcome his enemies in his own strength.

Without God¡¯s help he lost. How was Sampson ¡°unplugged¡± from the power source? As we discover how spiritual power was lost in Sampson¡¯s life, we will likewise learn how we could find ourselves disconnected from the Holy Spirit.

A. SPIRITUAL POWER IS LOST WHEN WE FORGET THE SOURCE.

Sampson forgot that God was the source of his strength; it¡¯s easy for any of us to forget that the Holy Spirit is the source. Delilah had pestered Sampson to tell her the secret of his great strength, and she finally wore him down. Sampson told her everything.

+ Judges 16:17 . . . "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man." (NIV)

Do you find that a little hard to believe? I had no idea that if I would just let my hair grow that my strength would increase¨Cgo figure! What¡¯s even more incredible is that Delilah and the Philistines believed Sampson! After he had lied three times about the secret of his strength and they were unable to defeat him, the Philistines were going to try again by cutting off his hair!

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