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Summary: Our communication with God will determine the outcome of our prayers.

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April 19, 2009

Morning Worship

Text: Acts 19:11-20

Subject: Communicating with God

Title: Texting God

I want to begin this morning with a confession. Though I am quite capable on the computer, I am technologically challenged when it comes to cell phones, especially with text messaging or texting. I laugh to myself on Thursday evenings when we are at youth group because a large majority of our young people have cell phones and are busy texting their friends. One of the girls told me one time that she had I don’t know how many thousands of text messages the previous week. Now, those of you who are up to date with technology may think that what I am about to say I say because I am just old fashioned, but I think that there is a vast difference between text messaging and communicating.

Let me read an article I found on the Internet the other day. This is from Bella online.

Communication is such a hot word right now. Everyone wants to be communicating with everyone all the time through cell phones, chat rooms, email, texting and conversation. We are told that good communication is important and that no communication is almost as bad as bad communication. But what does it really mean? And how do we know it is happening?

Here are three things every teen should know about communication:

1. Human beings are driven to communicate practically from birth. An infant stares at its mother’s eyes and works to learn to coo, smile, laugh, burble and eventually talk. Kids who have a difficult time talking get very frustrated. Human beings want to be heard, understood and connect. It is something that is makes us very different from animals. Our relationships with other human beings are based on this need to connect through communication.

2. Good communication requires three things. First, someone sending a clear message. When you communicate with someone, you need to clearly state your message to the other person. No matter whether you are writing or speaking. Second, someone needs to be receiving your message. The person you are communicating with needs to be willing to listen and be communicated with. If they aren’t no communication is happening no matter how clear you are being. Third, the other person needs to let you know that they received your message.

3. Most communication doesn’t even happen with words. A larger percentage of communication actually happens through tone of voice, gestures and facial expressions. Reading each other’s body communication is something that is hardwired into our DNA across all continents. This is why texting, emailing and all written communication is the most easily misunderstood unless it is very clear. It is also the reason why we love to use smiley faces in our writing.

So, be careful with your words, realize you need to make contact with the other person for a communication to happen, and that all communication is more body language and tone than anything and you will successfully connect with others.

Now, I have said all that to say this – just as communication with others is lost through superficial transmissions of words alone, true communication with God is lost without seriously approaching the throne of Grace and seeking God’s face. I believe that is the primary reason that we are not seeing the works of God, signs and wonders, the way that we would like to see them.

Let’s turn over to Acts 19, and I am going to start reading in verse 11 and go through 20.

11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

13Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

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