Imagine you were a basketball player and someone came to you and said that they could put the fullness of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant into you. Would you take it? If you did, you would go on to be one of the greatest players in the game. If you’re a business leader and someone came to you said they could give you the fullness of legendary businessman Bill Gates. Wouldn’t you take it? If you did, then you would be able to make business decisions unlike you’ve ever made before and move into great success.
You’ll never receive the special fullness of a business or sports superstar, but you can receive the fullness of the foremost superstar of universe, Jesus Christ. When you receive the grace of God, not only do you receive forgiveness and salvation from sin but you also receive the full power of Jesus Christ inside of you. Grace is more than receiving a free pass from punishment, it is the receiving of a power unlike anything you’ve ever received so that you can live like Jesus and love others like Jesus did. When you become a Christian, a mighty power starts to work in you and through you. This power can enable you to be the best at what God has put you on the earth to do. The grace of God intends to distinguish you so that you can heal the world through the power of Jesus for the sake and honor of God.
The Christian life is supernatural. The Spirit of God lives inside every believer and yet elements of the supernatural makes us nervous. It’s easier to shy away from God’s power in everyday life than to embrace the possibility of it. The Spirit of God is orderly, but he pushes the us to the boundaries of our comfort.
Elijah was a great prophet of God but that doesn’t mean his access to God is different from yours. Elijah encountered the supernatural Spirit of God because he regularly invited the Spirit to move is noticeable and powerful ways. When Elijah was challenged by the false prophets and the Spirit of God fell on the altar, notice that the fire of God fell on a sacrifice that was prepared. It didn’t randomly fall in the middle of no where. The fire of God fell because of preparation and a prayer.
Listen as Cortney shares lessons we can learn from Elijah. Expect God to show up in powerful ways. Don’t fake the Spirit of God. Don’t hide from the Spirit of God. Expect the Spirit of God and let him show up when and how he wants.
Rod continues the series in the book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas, being chosen and sent by the Holy Spirit, sailed to the island of Cyprus. After traveling from town to town, teaching about Jesus as they went, they encountered a sorcerer who had influence with the governor of the area. The sorcerer tried to stop the governor from hearing and believing about Jesus. Paul, being filled with the Holy Spirit, turned to the sorcerer and showed him the true power of God.
Persecution is real, scary and causes problems for the persecuted. Yet, God uses persecution to grow and strengthen his people. If persecution leads to scattering, then the gospel has an opportunity to scatter too. Like a farmer planting a crop, seeds are scattered across the field so that a new crop will grow.
Not only does the good knowledge of Jesus go with the scattered people, but so does his power. Christians are not only equipped with knowledge about Jesus but are also equipped with the very power of Jesus. Living by faith includes the use of spiritual power; the power of God provided to you by the Holy Spirit of God. The same power (the whole package) that was available for Jesus to use is the same power every single Christian has. We just have to believe that and learn to use it.
The power of Jesus was spread into the whole world because the original Church was persecuted in Jerusalem and the Christians were forced to scatter. Their joy of Jesus, their belief that he forgives and saves us from our sins and their trust in his healing power never disappeared. They took it all with them and continued to tell their story.
If persecution causes you to run and hide, then you’re thinking of it in the wrong way. Persecution may cause you to run and get out of town, but as you go look for ways to take the gospel with you. Persecution does not create happy times, but it creates circumstances for the power of Jesus to change people’s lives.