Let’s talk about power, tremendous power, power we can relate to – and get a hold on. Imagine with me 625 square miles of Rhode Island, roughly alive from the TF green alp west to Vernon (Mooseup Valley/Green R.I. on the Ct. border south… to Ashaway on west à Pt. Judith on the east – bottom half of Rhode Island. Now 10 feet deep pick all the dirt, trees, rocks and water and put it in a cube. Now in one instant a few years ago that cubic mile was vaporized and blown five miles up into the air – St. Helens.
Back up a couple of years to 9/19/85.
In his third-floor office downtown Mexico City, pathologist Jose Hernandez Cabanas bent over his morning work last September 19. At 7:18 he felt the eight-story building begin to shudder beneath him.
Then the structure began to rock slowly back and forth in widening swings. Cabanas gripped a window frame. Looking out, he saw trees sway almost to the ground and thought, “This building can’t hold up.”
He lurched to a stairwell door but found it jammed shut. He smashed it open with his shoulder. On the quaking steps he slipped, fell, and tumbled downward, pitching helplessly from landing to landing. Passing the second floor, he heard people screaming to God for mercy.
Some 350 kilometers (220 miles) westward along Mexico’s southwest Pacific, a giant slab of oceanic crust known as the Cocos plate had ruptured as it thrust beneath the continent’s geologic foundation. Seismic waves a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima fanned out toward Mexico City, in pulses traveling 25,000 kilometers an hour (15,500 mph) and registering 8.1 on the Richter scale. So violent was the earthquake that tall buildings trembled in Texas, water sloshed in Colorado pools, and the entire Earth vibrated like a struck bell.
Cabanas landed hard near a ground level exit door. A tremor shook it open and he started through, only to fall again as flying debris gashed his head. Covered with blood, dust and broken glass he watched, collapsing floor by floor, the 12 story Benito Judrez Hospital became a tomb for patients and medical staff alike on September 19, 1985, when Mexico City’s most devastating quake killed more than 9,000 people.
Two months later and 3,200 kilometers south, a minor eruption of a lofty Colombian volcano melted part of its cap of ice. Torrents of mud swept down the slopes and buried Armero and devastated other low-lying towns, graves for 23,000.
The events share a common origin. Mexico and Colombia lie along the Ring of Fire, a belt of intensive earthquake and volcanic activity that rims the Pacific Basin. Few segments of the ring suffer greater tectonic disturbances. In the area of last autumn’s disasters, four crustal plates uneasily interact. Their movements caused the 1976 quake that killed 23,000 Guatemalans; they stoked the 1982 eruption of Mexico’s El Chichon; they repeatedly trigger massive temblors along the Andes.
Dreadful yet powerful very much power we can feel and relate to! Let me now show you an even greater power:
Destructive power pales next to creative power, transforming power in people just like you and me.
Jepthah: Dealing with Inherited Problems
Open to Judges 11.
Jephthah a man marked by his parents. A man with no control over his start: he was illegitimate. He was the man who stands for those:
-HIV positive babies
-other illegitimate kids
-children of broken homes
-children of criminal parents
Have you found yourself in a social, financial or physical condition you have no control over? Then listen to Jephthah.
Read v. 1-2 illegitimate
- 6-7 open
- 9 humble
- 11 accountable
- 12 brave
- 29 Holy Spirit empowered
What’s the answer to your inherited problem? The Holy Spirit.
Timothy: Being Strong in Public Situations
Turn to 2 Timothy 1: Let’s meet Timothy. He is not the ideal by any means. Here’s a personal disciple of the Apostle, yet he wasn’t superman! He’s the father of all those who:
- freeze when called on
- sweat when testimonies asked
- nausea at teaching and leading
- hide when volunteers are called for
Got the picture? Let’s see Him:
- 4 called
- 6 gift dying like fire
- 7 scared
- 8 ashamed
- 13 slacked off
- 14 dropped guard
Now, 2 Timothy 2:1. Be strong. How?
- 7 spirit of power, love, discipline
- 14 through the Holy Spirit!
Let’s go down some familiar trails, like your favorite walk, and let’s refresh, rekindle and strengthen our grip on the ministry God’s spirit wants to have in your life, starting tonight.
Eph. 1:18-19 records an outline of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the Book of Ephesians.
The Holy Spirit wants you to strengthen your grip on:
- His calling
- His inheritance
- His power
First, the Holy Spirit wants us to know what we’ve got.
Ephesians 1:23-24 – we are sealed and signed. Remember from 2 Corinthians? Signed, sealed and delivered!
- Reality of contents
- Certainty of authenticity
- Resemblance to Master
We have received the mark of the Master and the pledge of more to come. This is just the start of God’s eternal work in us.
4:30 – so don’t grieve Him! Obey, listen, follow, seek, trust. Don’t disobey, ignore, veer, forget, doubt. “Hope of His calling”.
Second, the Holy Spirit in Ephesians wants to reveal to us our inheritance.
I had a friend in college who each year got deed to an oil well on his birthday. Each year they let Him in on more.
How does the Holy Spirit do it for us?
GOD WANTS US TO BE SEEING HIM: 1:17 Spirit of wisdom: make God glow better than the world: “Turn Your Eyes…”
GOD WANTS US TO BE KNOWING HIM: 2:18 Spirit of access: password, code, direct line, inside connection. The Holy Spirit lets us get intimate with God as much as we really want. This is the “Riches of Glory of His Inheritance” 1:18
GOD WANTS US TO BE USING HIM: Finally, the Holy Spirit in Ephesians is the Holy Spirit that taps us into the power!
- GET SETTLED IN: 3:16-17 The first aspect of that power is making Christ at home… After the move we must unpack, fix, hook up, get to know then at last… You feel at home!
- GET TUNED IN FILLED UP: 5:18 Get full is second. What’s that? Fully controlled by the Holy Spirit, listening and responding. Model A/P, cars out of range don’t respond. Radio static if out of range. Zero in on listening and responding to the Holy Spirit in this book. How much do we listen/talk to God this week versus the radio, music, TV, hobbies, etc.?
GET SATURATED: 6:17-18 Last aspect of knowing the greatness of His power is to saturate yourself with the Word as your only weapon of power.
- Read it daily
- Memorize regularly
- Meditate any time
So, starting tonight, let God take your fears and weaknesses and transform them by His Spirit: let Him show you.
The hope of His calling:
“Riches of the Glory of His Inheritance”
“Greatness of His Power”