Sermons

Summary: Don’t seek miracles. Seek God and miracles will happen.

A Course in Miracles: Seeking 101

05.05.05

Pastor Mark Batterson

This evotional begins a new series of evotionals titled A Course in Miracles. To check out old evotionals, visit the evotional archive @ www.evotional.com. During this series, Pastor Mark will be blogging his way through the book of Acts. You can read the blogs @ www.markbatterson.com.

On March 5, 2005, our staff had what I call a “spontaneous combustion” prayer meeting. We started praying and it was tough to stop. That prayer meeting was symbolic of the groundswell of spiritual momentum we’re experiencing at NCC. I’ve always wanted God to do something unexplainable and uncontrollable and uncontainable in me and in NCC. I think we’re on the verse of that.

Luke 5 gives us a picture of what God wants to do in all of our lives. The disciples had been fishing all night and hadn’t caught a thing. Jesus told them to move the boats and try again. I’m sure the professional fisherman really love Jesus give them fishing tips! But Peter was obedient. He said, “Because you say so.” They let down their nets and “caught such a large number of fish that the nets began to break.” They actually had to signal another boat to help them haul in the fish. And both boats were so full they began to sink.

Here is my take on that passage: Jesus did something uncontainable. They hadn’t caught a single fish all night. And then they caught more fish than boats could contain! That is a picture and that is a promise of what I believe the Lord wants to do in our lives! He wants to bless us beyond our ability to contain it.

The Day of Pentecost

Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into the heaven. Before he left, he gave the disciples pretty simple instructions. Acts 1:8 says, “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.”

So the disciples spent the next ten days seeking God. Acts 1:14 says, “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Acts 2 is actually Day 10 of the prayer meeting.

We pick up the story in Acts 2 on Day 10 of their prayer meeting.

Acts 2:1 says, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit enabled.”

Let me make an observation: the Day of Pentecost was totally unplanned. It’s not like the disciples woke up on the Day of Pentecost and said, “I feel like speaking in tongues today.” They had no category for what was about to happen. It’s not like they made an appointment to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter didn’t prepare a sermon. And they certainly didn’t plan a baptism service.

I’m not sure how the day started, but I’m pretty sure the disciples got up and took a shower and brushed their teeth like they did everyday. I’m pretty sure they put their pants on one leg at a time. They got a bowl of cereal. They read the morning paper. And then they met for prayer. But this day started out like any other day. I don’t think they had any idea that the Holy Spirit would literally rock the house that day. There is no way they could have manufactured what happened. Here is the bottom line: you can’t plan Pentecost. But if you pray for ten days some miraculous are bound to happen!

Here’s a novel thought: what if we actually did what they did in the Bible? What if we fasted and prayed for ten days? What if we sought God with the same kind of intensity and tenacity? That’s what this series of evotionals is all about. Don’t just read these evotionals. Put them into practice!

Honking Horns

There is part of us that craves predictability, but if everything in life was predictable it would be monotonous and mundane. Predictability = boredom. Some of the best things in life are unplanned.

A couple months ago we were on vacation in Orlando, Florida. One morning we were sitting at a stoplight in our rental van. The light turned green and the car in front of us didn’t go so I decided to give him a little “love tap” on the horn. When I hit the horn it got jammed and I couldn’t turn it off. The poor people in front of us! They must have thought we were raging lunatics!

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