Summary: Power, Provision, A Godly Life, Promises and Participation
WORDS FOR LIFE - Participating with God
July 15, 2018
2 Peter 1:3-4 (p. 853)
Clara Fields introduced this sermon for me with a video…I’ve known Clara and her husband Tom my whole life…She taught me God’s Word when I was in elementary school.
Even now I look back at Tom and Clara Fields and I’m so so grateful to have had heroes like them in my life…participating with God to teach me His Word…by word and by example.
I love that scripture in Proverbs which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Someone wise once said, “You can’t return to where you’ve never been.”
I’m eternally grateful for those who lovingly taught me about God while I was growing up…People like Clara who participated with God to build a foundation of truth I could return to upon my salvation.
I understand completely why this is one of the scriptures that are Words for her life.
Clara told me “One reason I love this scripture is because verse 4 reads “participate” (not imitate).” I am a true believer in the exchanged life…“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” This truth has changed my life and my relationship with God.
Mine too Clara!
Let me ask you a question this morning…Do you believe in the divine power of God, and that it gives you everything you need to live a godly life?
I. DO WE BELIEVE GOD WORKS IN POWERFUL WAYS TODAY?
In a small Texas town, Drummond’s Bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in it's reply to the court.
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”
I get the legal difficulty here… “Man, we don’t want to have to pay for this man’s bar because we believe prayer worked!”
Irony huh? We pray for God’s power to work…but we don’t want to be linked as participants when He does.
Here’s the biggest problem I see in the Church today. We have many believers who tip their hat at God in belief, but live their lives just like everyone else in the world…I’ll pray at the dinner table, but not in a powerful daily interceding way…I’ll live getting things done in my own power…because I really don’t believe in God’s supernatural intervention…now they won’t say this out loud, but deep down it’s what they feel…“God doesn’t act upon what I pray…so why waste the time.”
Asking humans to participate in the divine is like asking a dog to be a cat or a woman to be a man, or peanut butter to be jelly…It’s impossible for us to be something we are not.
God is holy…God is perfect…God is all knowing…I am the complete opposite…so are you…in fact, so is everyone…We are the peanut butter…He is the jelly.
It would take a supernatural intervention by God Himself for us to get a glimpse of His divine power…and tap into it…So that’s exactly what God did.
He calls us by His own glory and goodness.
In order for us to participate in the divine, God had to come down to our level. So that’s what He did, “Jesus Christ became one of us.” Immanuel…God with us…born of a virgin…through the Holy Spirit of God…God’s Word became flesh and dwelt among us…He lived in our world…He faced every worldly temptation and overcame it perfectly…He took our sins on His shoulders and literally carried them on His scourged back to a cross…where He died as a payment for them. He then conquered death by rising from the dead…God became an active participant in saving us…“He demonstrated His own love for us in this…while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
I love this precious promise…I love that God’s glory and goodness calls me…His participation gives us hope…listen to this promise in the book of Romans: