Sermon by Ps. John Pocock (Snr. Pastor at Victory Church). Dated: 28 May 2006 Titled: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things For God ORDINARY PEOPLE DOING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS FOR GOD: INTRODUCTION: The Bible records in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. Jesus chose 12 common, uneducated very ordinary men who changed the spiritual landscape of the world forever. Our Father in heaven still seeks such people who are willing to pay the price as the disciples did, and serve Him with all their heart and strength. What can you achieve in your life with absolute belief and faith in a God who is almighty and limitless? I don’t want to stand before Jesus one-day and he hits the play button of what might have been my life had I more faith in the limitless power of God. Lets learn from the before and after experiences of the disciples. Let us learn from their failures and successes. We read from the text that there was a time when they were the laughing stock of the people. They were frustrated, as we are today. Yet something happened to them whilst sitting at the feet of Jesus which eventually turned the world upside down in their ministry. Where are the power gifts operating, the signs and wonders following the preaching of God’s Word. Have we become so cynical and hard hearted that we have relegated these phenomena to a bygone era, or can we begin to search God’s face and say ‘Lord teach us how!’ Do we have the boldness as a church to be different and not settle for mediocrity? What will it take? Are we prepared to pay the price? Matthew 17:14-21 (NASB) And when they came to the multitude, a man came up to Him, falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “Lord have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic, and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. “And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him.” And Jesusanswered and said, “O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus ebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Jesus began his public ministry in his hometown of Nazareth. Right from the beginning He was enormously controversial. The people from His own community literally tried to kill Him after His message. You would have thought at the beginning He would have tried to be less offensive, preach something popular to draw the crowds, but no, Jesus always preached the truth. There was a time when everyone left (John 6:66) only the 12 remained. The first lesson we learn is – there is ‘No compromise to truth’. Truth is truth, it cannot be twisted, watered down or hidden, it will always stand and last. To change from the ordinary to the extraordinary is to receive through faith that God is above all things. Jesus was the walking, talking truth. If my life is going to become extraordinary it is only the truth of God that will do it. God’s truth is His Word, which we hold, read and take into our spirits. Peter confessed to Jesus, ‘Lord I will die for you’ and Jesus said this very night you will deny me three times. Peter had only received partial truth, not complete truth of who Jesus was. Jesus is God incarnate. God in human flesh, with the power, might, authority of heaven right behind him. Total truth came at a time when Jesus confronted him at the Sea of Galilee as the resurrected ‘Son of Man’. When Peter had total faith and trust in God he moved from the ordinary (fishing) to the extraordinary (signs and wonders) . Many here at Victory have received ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues’ yet their lives are dry in regard to the extraordinary. Why? Jesus gives a key to unlock the extraordinary in the orbit of the local church. That key is Matthew 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Extraordinary power comes with a cost, that of dedicated prayer and fasting. The church is birthed and thousands are being saved in Acts after Pentecost. The disciples know that if they neglect the truth that they had learned from Jesus, their power will run dry, and empty words will turn to ritual, religion and regret. In Acts chapter 6 they grow their team, so they my remain dedicated to: Word Prayer Fasting The great tragedy of church leaders is when program becomes more important than God’s power to transform lives. Only God’s power will change a persons life, and make an ordinary church into a magnificent extraordinary one. The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. To receive God’s power in our lives, individually and corporately we need as a family to pray and fast more. It takes loads of discipline. It is not easy, ask someone who loves food. If we deny the flesh the spirit grows. Four things that grow the spirit in us: 1. Obedience 2. Prayer 3.Word 4. Fasting All these will produce great POWER in our lives - CHANGING the ORDINARY to the EXTRAORDINARY. Amen.
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