"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio


Summary: Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, intended as the first of three on the Trinity, all based on John 14. The Holy Spirit does not abandon His church, but if we are not obedient before claiming His support, we may forfeit His power. And if we do not acknowledge

If you believe you’ve been abandoned, you have two

choices: either you can indulge in something that may soothe

you temporarily, or you can watch for the power that will lead

you out to success. If someone that matters to you has

walked off and abandoned you, you can either pretend it

hasn’t happened and just play games, or you can wait for the

power to move on.

It must be horrible to be abandoned. Several years ago a

prominent educator, a college president in southern

Maryland, left his office one day and never came back. He

completely disappeared for a long, long while, turning up

eventually, as a garbage collector thousands of miles away.

That college went through a nightmare. There were

decisions to be made that nobody understood. There were

agreements, but no one was clear about what they were.

There were papers and contracts that no one could find.

And most of all, the empowering vision was gone. The man

who had inspired others, who had encouraged faculty and

challenged students, had abandoned them. It would have

been bad enough if he had been in a fight with the trustees

and had given up in disgust. It would have hurt if he had

been in a dispute with the deans and had quit in a fury. But it

hurt much more that he had just walked off and abandoned

them without a word.

If you believe you have been abandoned, you go into a

panic. But remember, when it happens, you have two

choices: either you can indulge in some distraction that will

soothe you for a little while; or you can watch for and receive

the power that will give you success.

Our recent trip to England brought out a lot of stories from

Margaret’s childhood. On one occasion, Margaret’s mother

was sick, and her parents decided she should go to stay with

the grandparents for a while. Margaret’s father was to take

her on the train to the distant town where the grandparents

lived. It was wartime, and the rail station was crowded with

soldiers, and there wasn’t much time between trains. So

Margaret says her dad told her to hold on to his coattails

while he steered her through the crowds to the proper train.

Well, a four-year-old’s grip is not that strong, and soon she

let go and fell behind. Her dad, probably pondering some

deep theological issue, kept right on going and she fell

hopelessly behind. It felt like being abandoned. Margaret

says she was very frightened for a while – but when her

father found her, she was at ease, because four burly

soldiers had taken her over and hd joined her in cutting out

paper dolls!

When you think you’ve been abandoned, you can indulge in

something that will soothe you for a while. But it is only a

distraction, and does not get you on to your goal. You have

to watch for and receive the power that will lead you to where

you need to go.

The single most critical issue in contemporary Christianity is

that we act as though we have been abandoned. We seem

to believe that we have been abandoned, so we sit around,

distracting ourselves, cutting out spiritual paper dolls, instead

of watching for and receiving the power that would transform

us and lead us forward.

Why do I say that we act as though we have been

abandoned? Because for all of our pretty language about

being led of the Lord, most of us operate as if everything

depended on us. We settle for distractions and easy

entertainments instead of for serious mission. We do not

deeply believe that it is God who empowers the church. We

think that if something goes well, it’s us. Our energy, our

resourcefulness, and our smarts got it done. We believe that

God has abandoned us, and that if we are going to do

church, well, we’ll have to do it ourselves. And that means

we will end up doing little things, trivial things, self-serving

things, paper doll things, instead of God-sized things.

I am here today, first, to affirm that we are not abandoned.

We are in the presence of the Spirit of the Living God. And

second, to argue that therefore it is time for us to turn from

petty distractions and to turn to serious mission, empowered

by that Spirit. God has not abandoned His church. God has

not abandoned this church. In fact, He has promised that we

will never be abandoned. We are in the presence of the

Spirit. That’s a given.

But when that Holy Spirit comes, He comes not so much to

give us comfort as He comes to empower us for mission. He

comes to make us uncomfortable, not comfortable, and to

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