Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We are empowered to continue the ministry of Christ—which is our calling! And all it takes is trusting God to be God. We need not be Superman or Wonderwoman. All we need is God and one another. All we need to do is, “Just do it!”

Luke 17:5-6

Acts 2:42-47

“It only Takes a Spark”

By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN

I think, oftentimes, many of us are intimidated by our faith.

Now what in the world do I mean by that?

Well, for one thing, the mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

And we are the Church.

But, you or I might think to ourselves, “How can I possibly fulfill such a task? I am only one person. I don’t consider myself to be very talented at sharing my faith.

Perhaps I am a bit shy.

What if people reject my message?

What can I offer; I have so little.

I am not talented enough.

I am not smart enough.

People are liable to laugh at me.

Who am I?

And do I even have enough faith to engage in such an undertaking?”

Our call as Christians and the conviction we have, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can be overwhelming!

“I am just one person, what can I do?”

In our Lesson from Luke, the apostles were feeling very much the same way.

When faced with what seemed to be an insurmountable task they cried out to Jesus, “Increase our faith!”

How many of us have done the exact same thing?

I know I have.

And there is nothing wrong with this.

When faced with the call of discipleship, the apostles felt as if they just didn’t have enough faith for the task.

So Jesus replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

What in the world does Jesus mean by that?

A mustard seed is just about one of the smallest seeds in existence.

If you held it in your hand; you might not even be able to even see it.

And sometimes we have trouble seeing the faith that we do have, do we not?

When the going gets rough or we are convicted to tell someone about Jesus, we may have a hard time finding the faith to do it…

…but Jesus is telling us it is already inside of us!!!

All we have to do is tap into it!!!

Just look at what happened to the apostles after the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost!

That frightened band of followers were empowered to stand up in front of all the world and proclaim with boldness, clarity and conviction, “let all of Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

And, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said… ‘what shall we do?’”

The answer, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

We are told that “Those who accepted [this] message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

Do you think that the disciples would have ever dreamed that this was going to be possible?

Just days before they had locked themselves in behind closed doors for fear of the very people who were to become their brothers and sisters in Christ!

And yet, through their willingness to believe and trust in God, together, they were used to save multitudes!!!

And the disciples were just ordinary folk, like you and I!

But they were the Church of Jesus Christ, just like you and I, as well!!!

Immediately, “They [had] devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

As a result, “Everyone was filled with awe, and may wonders and miraculous signs were done…

…all the believers were together and had everything in common.

Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

They became a family linked by the bond of faith.

“…They broke bread together in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Who would have thunk it?

All they had was a mustard seed size faith!!!

Who would have thunk it possible?

But you know, when we as a Church, live like this, we find, perhaps to our own amazement and surprise, that we have a new spring in our step!

And there is an attractiveness to us, a new energy found as we celebrate God’s generosity by being generous ourselves.

And that attractiveness is what draws other people in.

Of course, this takes faith, and it must be done in the community of the Church.

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