Summary: This is a Pentecost Day Sermon emphasizing the Holy Spirit is for us to do ministry and for us to be changed on the inside.
Stop Underestimating God’s Power For Your Life
Has anyone here had to make some unexpected changes in their plans without knowing how the new is going to work out or even what the new plan is going to be. The temptation is going to be to start worrying, but I want you to know that you are now in a position for God’s power to be demonstrated in your life. God is still with you.
God has a two fold purpose for your life. The first is that God has a ministry or calling on your life to impact the kingdom of God. The second is that God wants to work a change inside of you, that’s going to make you more like Jesus Christ. We cannot underestimate God’s power to work out both of these purposes in our lives.
Have you ever promised yourself you would never do something, and then you ended up doing it, in part because things just didn’t turn out like you thought they were going to turn out. You’d love to have the chance to go back and make it right but that’s not possible.
That’s kind of where the disciples were in our reading this morning. They had previously told Jesus, “Lord, we will be your side no matter what. We have your back and we are even ready to die if necessary to stand by Your side.” They truly believed they were ready to be sold out to Christ.
But then when Jesus was about to be arrested, and he would not allow them to defend themselves, they all left Jesus and ran for their lives. When Jesus was placed in a tomb, they were all huddled together behind locked closed doors. They knew they had blown it. They were all ready to turn in their papers as the disciples of Christ. They knew if Jesus could see them now, he would have been so ashamed of them. They did not seem that different from the very people Jesus had called some 3 years earlier.
But then came the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While they were in the locked room debating if anybody had actually seen Jesus alive, Jesus appeared right in the room with them. He showed them His hands, His side, and His scars. He was trying to convince them to Stop Underestimating the Power of God for their lives.
It was the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the Dead.
Jesus appeared several times for 40 days after His resurrection, teaching the disciples about the Kingdom of God. When it was time for Jesus to finally leave them once and for all, He told them, “You are to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come upon you.”
When the disciples heard that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead was going to come upon them, they thought Jesus was about to muster in an army and just take over the world. They were thinking, “yes, this means it is about time for us to be in control.” They got bold enough to ask Jesus, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom of Israel. Are you about to become the King in charge of everything?”
The disciples had no problem with underestimating the power of God at this point. With Jesus there by their side, they knew they could get the job done. But Jesus takes them in a different direction. He says, “I’m not going to tell you when I will set up my kingdom, and it is not for you to know when it will take place. However I do have an assignment you must carry out. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you receive power, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Now when you get a major assignment, the first thing you want to do is raise your hand and ask some questions. Jesus stood up from eating with them as though He might say something else. But to their surprise, he stood up and kept on going up and up and up toward the sky.
Then this cloud surrounds Jesus and He’s gone. It may have been the same cloud that descended on Mt. Sinai when God’s presence was with Moses. The disciples all jump up and look to see if he’s coming back or if he might fall down.
All of a sudden two angels tell them, “Brothers, you’re wasting time looking up there for Jesus. He has been taken from you into heaven and will come back in the same way you saw him leave.” And then the two angles were gone.