Summary: Power plants are vital to modern life. Spiritual life also requires power. We look at the Church’s problems with inconsistent power, the wonderful effect when power comes, and how to stay full of the power of the Lord.
THE POWER PLANT
1. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. Thank goodness for our brilliant scientists!
2. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300°C.
3. The Russians -- used a pencil.
1. Why is the great city of Houston all lit up with brilliant light at night? Because somewhere on the outskirts of the town is a large plant devoted to generating power. It’s called a “power plant.”
2. Similarly, the Church of Jesus is supposed to be a City set on a Hill for all to see. The Book of Revelation pictures it as a city which is glowing with light (21:23-24) and power.
3. Tonight we want to look at the Church’s problems with inconsistent power, the wonderful effect when power comes, and how to stay full of the power of the Lord.
4. The title to tonight’s message is “The Power Plant.”
I. EXAMPLES OF INCONSISTENT POWER
A. MANY COUNTRIES HAVE SPORADIC POWER
1. Many countries have irregular power provided.
Top five countries with number of days with power outage:
1 Bangladesh 248.96 days 2002
2 Albania 194.23 days 2005
3 Lebanon 188.58 days 2006
4 Democratic Rep. of Congo 184.04 days 2006
5 Burundi 135.57 days
2. One man from Africa told me one of the things he liked most about America is that the lights stay on all night. In his country they go off at night, all night. Whole cities are pitch dark, unless individuals/hotels have their own generators!
3. Any country which has inconsistent power supplies has trouble keeping its factories open. Businesses don’t even want to set up operations in countries with sporadic power.
4. Therefore the GDP of such countries is lower and the unemployment is greater. So the importance of having dependable power can’t be overestimated.
B. INCONSISTENT POWER IN THE CHURCH
1. The Church of Jesus also struggles with problems of insufficient power. Believers have always had struggles staying full of God’s Spirit.
2. Samson routinely shook himself to reestablish connection with the power of God (Judg. 16:19 KJV), Elisha had to have a minstrel play to bring himself into the presence of the Lord (2 Kgs. 3:15). Other prophets had to “wait” on the Lord – meditate, draw near, etc. before they could discern the Word of the Lord.
3. In the N.T. we have the 9 apostles who had insufficient power to cast the demons out (Matt. 17:19-21) of the boy. And the writer of Hebrews exhorts the church to go higher in God, “that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed” (12:13). Without that power, they would remain lame!
II. THE EFFECT OF POWER COMING
A. THE DIFFERENCE WHEN POWER SUPPLIED
1. Our country has had widespread electric power for 100 years, but there are some countries which only got electricity recently.
2. In those countries, the building of a power plant revolutionized that area. Suddenly they had lights, could power companies for jobs, they could have stop lights and modern communications, etc.