Summary: Learning how to unleash God’s power in our lives.

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Series: Taking the First Steps


<>Intro> (Showing a 5-iron and a golf club)...I just purchased this new golf glove, and it’s really wonderful. The grip is just right (slowly be putting on glove while continuing to talk), the fit is perfect, and it really makes the club come right where it needs to in order to make solid contact with a golf ball. (Take the glove off, lean the 5-iron up against a chair, then place the glove on the 5-iron while continuing to talk.) Watch how it works! Okay, go ahead, glove! Do your thing! (Wait and watch, but as nothing happens, look puzzled). Go ahead, glove! The people are waiting to see how well you perform! (Again, look puzzled as nothing happens.) I just don’t understand it. The glove is so wonderful, I just don’t get why it won’t perform! (Looking again at the glove and 5-iron, then begin explaining...) Obviously, the glove is lacking one other ingredient. (Put your hand in the glove, and begin to pick up the 5-iron, and begin to swing it as you talk.) You see, the glove can accomplish nothing by itself. It needs your hand inside in order for anything to happen.

<>It’s the same with our spiritual lives. You and I as believers are merely the gloves God works through in accomplishing His mission (swing the bud as you talk). He provides the power, but chooses to work through us in order to do His work.

>I invite you to open a Bible and turn again to John, chapter 15.

-->Last week we looked at how God’s mission changed in its methodology when Jesus ascended into heaven, as He entrusted the responsibility of carrying it out to His followers, the church, ushering in "the last days," the Church Age.

-->However, before those followers could (and before we can today) accomplish the Lord’s work, He provided His power within them (and us) in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

<>Today, I want us to look at...



--John 15:4-5 -- “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

<>Notice: The power comes first, then we’re able to accomplish His mission on earth.

<>And, the power comes first, then the command.

--Matthew 28:18-19 -- “All authority (power) has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore...”

--Acts 1:8 -- “but you shall receive power from the Holy Spirit, and (then) you shall be My witnesses...”

<>APP> We’re never given a command by God that we are incapable of accomplishing.

-->In fact, God never even wants us to try to accomplish God’s work through our own power.

---ILL> It’s not true that “God helps those who help themselves.” Actually, God helps those who DIE to themselves, and allow God’s power to work through them to achieve God’s purposes.

---ILL> One New Year’s day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. As a result, the whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.

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