Summary: How The Lord Wants Us to Be Empowered by The Spirit (I Cor. 4:19,20)Are you operating under your own power or the power of the Holy Spirit?
How The Lord Wants Us to Be Empowered by The Spirit - I Cor. 4:19,20
Illustration:One New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.
Often, Christians neglect their spiritual maintenance, and though they are "clothed with power" (Luke 24:49) find themselves out of gas.
Steve Blankenship in God Came Near by Max Lucado, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 95.
Illustration:WWII was a terrible event that obviously cost thousands of Americas’ young men their lives. Then he said, and even though they knew the risks
they still enlisted voluntarily by the millions because they saw it as a cause worth dying for. Most of those in his generation, he said, can’t imagine anything worth dying for and they’re committing suicide in record numbers because many can’t imagine anything worth living for.
He said, “Mr. Limbaugh, The Great Depression and WWII created terrible hardships. But I submit to you that the greatest hardship of all is living without hope.”
Tom Marcum, Sermon:
1. The Lord wants us to claim 100% of His promises for power and admit we are weak in ourselves. One day Pilate asked Jesus, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." (John 19:10,11) Thank the Lord for all the power you possess in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord for help in making the most of His power for His purposes and glory.
2. The Lord does not want to see us hindered by our fears. Paul wrote, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and discipline." (2 Tim. 1:7) So many people give in to their fears because they think more subjectively than objectively. Ask the Lord to help you think objectively about the power found in the promises of God’s word enabling you to maximize your contributions to the qualitative and quantitative growth of the church.
3. The Lord wants us to be involved with evangelism, outreach and
witnessing. Jesus said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Ask the Lord to help you to increase in your boldness through His power to enable you to be more effective witnesses for Him.
4. The Lord wants us to grow in our appreciation of His mighty power. Paul wrote, "I pray that you would be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the obtaining of all steadfastness and patience with joy." (Col. 1:11) Ask the Lord to help you gain a greater appreciation for His power through a more consistent prayer life.
5. The Lord wants us to gain a greater understanding of the power of His love. Paul wrote, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nore the future, nor ANY powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38,39) Ask the Lord to give you an increased understanding of the overwhelming power in the love of God.
6. The Lord wants us to gain in greater experience of the power of His gospel. Paul wrote, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." (Rom. 1:16) Ask the Lord to help you share the gospel of Christ’s free offer for salvation through the forgiveness of sins to as many people as possible. The greater your experiences with sharing the gospel the more you will appreciate the dynamite power that is present in Christ’s message of salvation.
7. The Lord wants us help non-Christians to know and experience the power of God through our lifestyles. Paul wrote, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." (I Cor. 1:18,19) God’s power is greater than any individual, organization or nation. Ask the Lord to help you communicate how a reliance on His power elevates people to higher heights than human minds or strength can conceive.