LILIC (Lessons I Learned In Church – The “c” is silent, so it sounds like the lily flower.) are recaps of what I learned from church the prior Sunday.
Pastor Charles Price conducted the sermon from CCF church, Manila in The Philippines. Its central focus was the Power and Purpose Christ left to His disciples before His Ascension. He paid close attention to the reactions and actions of the disciples; also, everything is found in the Book of Acts.
First off, I must say I’m glad I came to Church on Sunday. I was tired, sleepy, not in the mood, and the Devil was tempting me with my soft bed. If I hadn’t gone I would have missed a wonderful sermon. Whenever this happens to you it’s best to make an even greater attempt (and enthusiasm) to head to Church, there will be a sermon you just have to hear! I learned a lot on Sunday, things I’ve read repeatedly on my own time but hadn’t actually noticed.
1. The word used for ‘power’ is ‘donamis’ in the Bible, meaning “Dynamite power.” It is the “action/make” part of our role as disciples. Jesus’ disciples spent more than 3 years with Him; they lived with Him, ate with Him, became a family with Him. He was their Rabbi. However, they all deserted Him. (John stayed up until the crucifixion but left Jesus’ body soon after.) I hadn’t realized how disappointing the disciples were at the time around Christ’s crucifixion.
- The disciples fought over who was the greatest disciples during the Lord’s Supper.
- Peter questions Jesus when he is told that he will deny Jesus three times. It is an implication that he believed Jesus did not know him well.
- While Christ was praying before He was captured His disciples, Peter, James, and John fell asleep when they should have been guarding their Rabbi.
- Judas’ betrayal
- The disciples quaked in fear and hid after Jesus’ crucifixion; they didn’t even visit His grave.
Sadly, all this occurred after Jesus had spent YEARS with them. They had learned and lived with God, and yet they became discouraged and small. However, before Christ’s Ascension we see a huge change. In the Book of Acts we see the disciples being brave and faithful to God as they spread the Good News. This brings us to the second kind of power the Holy Spirit gives:
2. ‘Exusia’ used in the Bible means ‘Authority,’ this, as Pastor Charles Price described, is the power to ‘tell.’ I must admit some times it’s scary to speak up and let your voice be heard, you’re target for judgment and ridicule even if you’re right. With this type of power the disciples became bold and courageous, illustrating God’s Word and commands to others. [Question: Do you choose your words carefully when you’re trying to show a fellow Christian when they’re wrong?]
With these two types of power the disciples are able to complete their purpose – spreading the Gospel and showing others that Christ is worth knowing. “Our lives tell others that Jesus Christ is worth knowing or that Jesus Christ is not worth knowing.”
An interesting fact I learned:
Compare Acts 1:8 with Acts 8:1.
Christ told His disciples to be a witness to people in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the ends of the earth. However, through chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, the disciples only witnessed in Jerusalem; because this is where they’re welcomed and known. The persecution of Stephen caused them to scatter to Judea and Smaria.
It is not that we need to ask for more of the Holy Spirit and His power; in reality we need to give more of ourselves to Him, wholeheartedly. We are all given the Holy Spirit to guide us, help us, and show us where to go and yet we keep our eyes on our own abilities. If you believe you can do all things through Christ, then you shouldn’t second guess nor look at what you have/don’t have. Just go out into the world and show everyone that Jesus is worth knowing!