Monday, June 4, 2012

Church: Sermon Recap

The series is called Heroes Wanted, led by our senior pastor, Pastor M. Here’s the preview below…awesome right?

Anyway, here are some extracts mixed in with my thoughts:

Why the Disciples Didn’t View Themselves as Superheroes: Acts 1:1-8

1.       It’s someone else’s job. Acts1:6, they ask Jesus, “Is this the time youhave come to restore the Kingdom of Israel” and Jesus in effect replies in verse 8, “No, I’ll send you the Holy Spirit because YOU will be the ones sent out to the furthest corners of the world.”
2.       I’m not qualified. Peter tried walking on water and almost drowned, they had tried casting out demons and failed, they had run away at the crucifixion. I mean, how could they- simple fishermen, suddenly be entrusted with the world.
3.       It’s too costly. After Jesus died, they went back to their normal lives, back to fishing – that was their job, they needed a livelihood. The probably thought to themselves, the Jesus phase is over, back to normal programming.

The Defining Encounter: Acts 2:1-5, 38, Acts 5:40

Jesus had told them to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem, one day, they were praying, and it happened. Suddenly, the people who had been locking themselves in a room for weeks, afraid to go public with the fact that they were with Jesus, were out on the streets, preaching on tongues as the Spirit enabled. (Hence the first revival crusade was born:-)

On one single day, that roomful of scared people baptized 3000 people THREE THOUSAND! The Holy Spirit not only gave them the ability to speak, but it became their nature, their DNA to share the good news. In Acts 5, we read the disciples were arrested and flogged and commanded, “Stop speaking about Jesus once and for all” and we read after they were beaten up like that, they left the Sanhedrin, giving each other high fives and rejoicing thanking God that they were counted as worthy to be punished for His sake. Lol, that's what I call Crazy Stupid Faith...I want THAT!

I’m sure Jesus was in heaven like, “THAT’S MY BOY YA’LL!”

We’ve got that same power in us. The sermon led to my question of the week I guess, “Will you feed your faith, or will you feed your fear.”

Can I share something with you? Ok, last night, I’m at the shops, and I’m walking home, then I passed this woman who was coughing and, (ok, this is the embarrassing confession part), anyway, I felt her pain and like I was supposed to pray for her. Obviously, if I still find it embarrassing it means I didn’t do it, but I really feel like I was meant to, and who knows what could have happened. We don’t live in a generation of randomly praying for strangers. In fact, in this country, you do that, you open your eyes and your bank account has been drained because someone drugged you or something, yet, at the same time, I want God to use me, to fill me up, so I can do great things for Him. When opportunities come, I honestly get freaked out and hide.

I believe God is gracious and just because I missed that opportunity doesn’t mean it won’t happen again, it will, but will I run and hide or step out in faith. Danny Silk writes about a similar experience in Spiritual Java, where he was passing a guy and God gave him a name, like Frank or something, and he asks the guy, “is your name Frank?” and the guy looks at him like, “no” and crosses the street probably thinking Danny was trying to pick him up. So Danny is ticked off at God and says, “Why did you make me do that?!” and God says, “I wanted to see if you would go wherever I send you”

I want God to open doors for me, build my house, but will I open doors for Him, build His church?
So, as the rest of the sermon goes on, Pastor M is talking about how we are called to do so much more than get a job, get married, have kids and die. We’ve got the power to be heroes. We keep asking God for more, but our fists are clenched in His presence. We’re holding onto our families, friends, careers, jobs, money, way of life, not realizing God wants more from us. 

That’s the equation,

More of who He made me to be - Less of building and chasing after my own stuff = More of Him

So, what has God made you to be? In your job, what impact can you make? He gave the example of a 500 staff hospital here in Nairobi, where 120 employees have done/are doing Mizizi (beginners/ foundational class) and it’s changing the level of healthcare in that facility.

Are there some things in your life that you need to let go of if you’re seeking more power, more impact, more of Him in your life?

My issue was fear, and this is where he got me crying; giving the specific reference to people whose career paths are going to change this year, people who are thinking that if the follow Christ, they’ll end up like that stereotypical poor pastor-you know the kind, brown trousers that barely touch his ankles, Bible in hand, knocking on your door asking for handouts. (That was so what I saw, so God was basically saying to me, “Hello Jo” so “Hello to you God, yes, I indeed got your message”)

So, will you take this challenge with me, to walk in faith, not in fear; to walk boldly, knowing that we truly do have the power?

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