Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Watch Out Below!" - a message from Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost...Christians know about the historic event but how many tap into the present reality?

Pentecost may be the fulcrum on which all of our modern ministry depends. God opened the windows of heaven and shouted, "Watch out below!" on that marvelous day of fulfilled prophecy, and he continues to empower his church, and believers in particular, today.  After all, Jesus said that his church would do "greater things" than he did once he ascended.

Of course, people often substitute the real deal of God's power lesser, false forms of pseudo-power, like intellect, physical strength, or material resources.  But God offers us power from above...power that restores and recreates the broken...power that does the miraculous.

Are you feeling the need for God's divine power? I know I am asking God daily for this kind of Kingdom experience. Will you listen to this message and respond to Holy Spirit's prompting?  May God bless you as you do.

- Kirk McCormick

“Watch Out Below”

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches…”    - Jeremiah 9:23

3 Artificial Sources of False Power:

1.  Human intelligence – partial and limited

1 Corinthians 3:18 – “Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become
a “fool” so that he may become wise.”

Romans 1:18-20 – “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Point:  Human intelligence can drain the mind of true power as it leads a person to believe in himself/herself, not God.

2.  Physical strength – eventually fades

Isaiah 31:1 – “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.”

Point:  Can try to cheat aging or rely on artificial sources of strength (horses, chariots, steroids), but only give false security.

3.  Material Resources – are vulnerable/perishable

Matthew 6:19, 20 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Point:  Material Resources are vulnerable to decay and die with you – they cannot save you. 

In contrast, the Power of Pentecost:

1. The Power of Pentecost Permanently Transforms.

Acts 2:2 – “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”

** In this one moment, Jesus fulfilled his prediction from John 14:12 –

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Point: The power of Pentecost permanently transforms the follower of Jesus.

2. The Power of Pentecost is Unmistakably Divine

Acts 2:3 – “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”

Note: Later in this chapter we see how Pentecost Power was unmistakably Divine –

Acts 2:14-17 – “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!  16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”

Peter saying – “What you have just witnessed has nothing to do with man… this is all about God!” …as He predicted.

3. The Power of Pentecost is Universally Available

Acts 2:4 – “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

** Everyone there was filled…

…not just original Apostles, but every disciple…

…not just men, but women, too…

…not just Jews, but gentiles, too.

Point: But if we were willing to put those sources of false power…

…and willing to WAIT and PRAY…

…since Pentecost Power is Universally Available…

…then why not us?

4. The Power of Pentecost Eternally Redeems

Acts 2:21 – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Recap:  The Power of Pentecost redeems people, not for the short-term…but for eternity. 

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