Summary: This sermon is about making a difference by being infilled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Theme: Making a Difference
Title: Let God Breathe Through You
Grace and peace from God our Father, Jesus Our Messiah and Savior and The Infilling Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit!
I want to talk to you today about making a difference. Making a difference in your world; in your workplace, in your school, in your office or wherever you find yourself.
To begin with I need to give a disclaimer this morning - it is not as difficult as it seems. The ability to make a difference this morning is not an impossible task. It is not something that is designed only for Rocket Scientist, Nobel Peace Prize Winners or the Rich and Famous. It's not even something that is designed only for the super saints of holiness either.
The Bible reveals this in our reading in the book of Daniel. As a young teenager Daniel is able to make a difference in the lives of those around him. Later on the same will be said of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They all made a positive difference in their lives and in their world.
As you read Daniel's story it really wasn't a difficult task for him. He was not trying to be anyone than the person that the LORD had created him to become. And that is the key. When we are the people that God created us to be, we find that we have the power to make a huge difference in our world and in the lives of those around us.
Daniel only wants to live and breathe as God's person - as a follower of YHWH - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In this story, Daniel doesn't want to be anyone or anything else than who he is - a follower of God. He doesn't want to be like the Babylonians nor does he want to be like any of the other young men who are in training to become one of the king's wise counselors. He doesn't want to conform to their image.
David knew that for him to make a difference in his world all he has to do is be the Daniel that God has called him to be. In this particular case it was to be a person of integrity in both his personal life, his dietary life and in his social life.
The diet plan that Daniel seeks to follow in chapter one is more than just eating veggies. Bible scholars tell us that the Daniel plan is one that touched Daniel's heart, his body and his mind. Daniel's diet plan is his holiness plan. Even though he had to live as an exile, Daniel wanted to be the best person he could be for the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.
In our second passage of scripture, the one we find in the Gospel of Luke we see Jesus being the perfect example of how to be a person that Our Heavenly Father wants us to be in this life. One of the wonderful things about God coming to earth was that He was able to flesh out exactly what it means to be the best human being that we can possible be in this life.
If you want to understand how to be the best you that you can be then all you need to do is to look and learn from Jesus. If you want to make a difference in your life, in your world and in the lives of all those around you all you have to do is to do the same things that Jesus did here in Luke 4:14-21.
Let's look at a few of them this morning.
I. Jesus allowed the Holy Spirit to Empower Him - verse 14
When St. Luke wrote his Gospel about Jesus, the Holy Spirit keep impressing on Luke to emphasize this thought - the importance of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our world and in our own individual lives. We cannot read the Gospel of Luke (or Acts) without seeing the importance of the Holy Spirit.
+It is the Power of the Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary and enabled her to carry the Christ Child
+It is the Power of the Holy Spirit that fills Zachariah and he is able to speak again and give God praise and glory
+It is the Power of the Holy Spirit that leads Simeon to the Temple to see and give praise for Jesus being born as Israel's Messiah
+It is the Holy Spirit that leads John the Baptist to preach and it is the Holy Spirit that reveals to John that Jesus is the Messiah
+It is the Holy Spirit that descends on Jesus during His baptism
+It is the Holy Spirit that leads Jesus to the wilderness