Summary: Inspiration for those who want a life changing encounter/experience with the Almighty.
ILLUSTRATION: My grandfather Ken is sitting with us in the church today. For years, he’s been involved in one form of ministry or another at several churches. One day, he waited at the altar in a church to pray with anyone who needed prayer when a little boy came forward. The young man asked for prayer, and after they were finished, the boy had another question.
He looked up at my grandfather and asked, “Isn’t there something more?”
Isn’t there something more than this? Isn’t there something more than just status-quos religion?
DOES IT GET ANY MORE EXCITING THAN THIS?
? Why are you in church today?
When you ask people, “Why do you come to church,” you get some interesting answers…
Some people say, “I was raised in church. I’ve gone to church since I was a little kid…”
But their faith is a stale as a loaf of dry bread… Why do they go to church if religion is so boring?
Some people go because their parents make them go. Some because they think it’s the right thing to do… They feel guilty for not coming, or their spouse insists that they come, so they suffer through to keep the peace in their family…
But, if the church is really a place where people can meet God and discover new things, and experience Him in new and exciting ways, shouldn’t we be coming to church for better reasons than those?
This morning, I want you to know, the primary reason we meet here at Valley Community church is because we’ve encountered God in a unique and powerful way here. We know when people come together to worship God wholeheartedly, that He reveals Himself in powerful ways.
His presence manifests itself here in a special way when we gather together, so we come to meet Him, to spend time with Him, and to experience Him in ways like we have before…
Most of all, we’re here because we want more of the power of God, more of the grace of Jesus Christ at work in our lives. We want a life changing experience with the Almighty.
People come to church for a lot of reasons today, but I’ll bet if people came to church for a life changing encounter with God, to seek Him wholeheartedly, then we would see Him move among us in ways unlike we’ve ever seen before.
Are you tired of the status-quos religious life?
Are you thirsty for a real experience with God?
If so, then today is your day… Today is all about experiencing the rest of what God has for your life.
GOD HAS MORE FOR YOUR LIFE. THE KEY TO EXPERIENCING THE REST IS FOUND IN PENTECOST.
It’s Pentecost Sunday: a day of new revelations of God, a day when ordinary believers became extraordinary history makers for the Kingdom of Heaven… A day when people came together to experience the rest of what God had for their life, and the result was a life-changing encounter with God that literally transformed their way of living from that day forward.
At least 120 of believers in Jesus Christ gathered together to wait for the fulfillment of a promise: the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;” Acts 1:8
120 of them were there in this room, waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit. They were gathered there for one reason: to experience the rest of what God had for them. To encounter God in a whole new, exciting way… They didn’t know what to expect. All they knew was that this gift was important to Jesus. He said, "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 1:4-5
Don’t leave Jerusalem till you’ve received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Don’t continue to carry out the ministry I’ve laid out for you until you’ve received this important gift. He’s going to equip you with the tools: tools to become my apostles, to work for me in the highways and the byways and the places I’m going to send you.
Where you’re going, you’re going to need special tools: boldness to proclaim the Gospel, authority to speak God’s word, empowerment for signs and miracles, and the Holy Spirit is going to equip you with those things… Don’t leave home without Him.
Jesus insisted on more than one occasion that this new baptism was important to every believer, that it should be sought after, that we should wait for it and prayed about. So there they were, gathered together in a room, praying and worshipping, much like we’ve done today, when they begin to feel the presence of the Spirit of God in their midst.