Friday, May 18, 2018

Pentecost Weekend 2018 | Why We Need Jesus' Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline

We gather for Jesus with others, scatter with Jesus for others, and enjoy life with Jesus in the city by the power of the Holy Spirit

Each of the three post links above help describe how Jesus shapes our lives with each other in Worcester. But we cannot do any of the above without His strength infused in us by His life-giving Spirit.

Below are notes and quotes focused on why need Jesus' Spirit of power, love, and self discipline, along with songs and lyrics that cry out to God these truths. 

My prayer and hope is to grow in humility and hope that Jesus will finish what He started in me to make me more like Him for the glory of God and for the life of the world.

Preface: Dunamis is the Greek word for power. It is power through God’s supernatural ability. It’s also where we get our word, “dynamite.” This is what the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom was, is, and always will be. How dynamite or dynamic is this power? Paul and Timothy are about to help us. But first a story.

The Next Evangelicalism by Dr. Soong Chan Rah pgs. 46-47:
Dr. Rah tells the story of how he met a Native American Christian who was sexually abused by the missionary cleric who served on the reservation for years. This man of one of the most oppressed people groups of the past 500+ years, often by those bearing the name of Christ, shared through tears and agony the grief he has endured. Finally, the cleric was found out and was forced to leave. Dr. Rah shares how he feels he would never return to the church in light of such abuse. But the man had a different response. When Dr. Rah asked, “How could you return to the people and place that has caused you such pain and suffering?” The man replied: “Because I love Jesus and I love His Church. It was the only church in the region … where else would I go?”

(1) Receive the Power of the God – the Gospel  to Live Fully 

Paul and Timothy haven’t quite been abused like this, but they have experienced suffering, past and present.

Paul is in prison in Rome about to die. He’s cold. He’s alone. And many have deserted and harmed him. Hymenaeus and Alexander have shipwrecked their faith and begun to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:19-20). Phygelus and Hermogenes have also turned away from Paul in Asia (11 Timothy 1:15).

Timothy has remained in Ephesus, a crucial port city in Asia and a key early church, as Paul told him. He is fighting the good fight of the faith and guarding the good deposit of the Gospel Paul has entrusted him with (1 Timothy 6:12, 20-21). But he is also facing opposition in Hymenaeus and Philetus who have swerved from the truth (11 Timothy 2:17-18). He knows help is coming in the form of Tychicus because Paul as sent him (11 Timothy 4:12). But he is having to deal with those who are older than him looking down on him (I Timothy 4:12). He wants more elders and deacons to help him but Paul has told him not to be hasty in laying on hands and ordaining people too fast (I Timothy 5:22) after he gave him the qualifications for elders and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13). Meanwhile, Timothy is dealing with his timidity, anxiety, and physical ailments (1 Timothy 5:23) as false doctrines and stubborn people continue to attack the church.

And this is all going on while Nero is emperor of Rome. And yet, Paul has these words to deliver to his son in the faith.

II Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me His prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

MAIN THEME | This Dunamis – Dynamic Power of God – is the Gospel which the Spirit of God plunges us into with others through love and self-discipline. Our God and His Good News of coming Kingdom on the move shakes up our ideas of what godliness looks like in flesh and blood with others.

Pastor Rick Grant, Rescued Church, Dorchester, MA: Jesus conquered evil through his vulnerability. In the Kingdom, vulnerability and humility equals power.

(2) Love Boldly in Community with Others and for Others

Jasmine Marino, Survivor and Advocate in Anti-Trafficking Movement and founder of Bags of Hope:
I give them (other girls) hope because I have a living hope, and I have made it off the streets. I believe they can, too.

Jasmine puts a real face on the issue of sex trafficking in America. She tells her story to educate others about the complex trauma trafficking victims experience and the difficult, often messy work of recovery. While she wasn’t physically handcuffed, she was held captive mentally and emotionally for eight years. She found hope and support through her local church and discovered what she was always searching for: the unconditional love of Christ.

Dr. Cherith Fee Nordling: Growing up into Christ is a roots down, walls down endeavor. We vulnerably step in with each other as we hold more dearly to the One who saves us and brings us together for His mission to restore all things.

(3) Practice Freeing Self-Discipline on the Mission and Fear Nothing

The Answer to our Cry by Rick McKinley, pastor of Imago Dei Community, Portland, OR: My vision of freedom looks more like perfection. I wouldn’t need God or anyone else if I were truly free. I wouldn’t sin or fail or hurt. I would be free. So freedom gets twisted into the idea that I should get what I want. But that’s not freedom.

Three Theories of Everything by Ellis Potter: Freedom and form is another pair of opposites that we see in the world. A good illustration is gravity. Gravity is one of the basic forms or structures of reality but it gives us certain freedom. If gravity was not here and I began to walk, I would float and spin and soon I would be dead. Form, or structure, is necessary. Let me give you an equation to express this idea. Total freedom = Death.

Eugene Cho, Quest Church, Seattle, WA: Are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus – including to and through some difficult areas? One of my favorite stories from the Scriptures comes from John 4. (But) one can talk about Samaria, theologize about Samaria, preach about Samaria, liturgize about Samaria, sing about Samaria … but one can still do all those things and still not walk through Samaria.           

Spirit of Christ gives us Power + Love + Self-Discipline.
Christ with His Church gives us Gospel + Community + Mission.
God frees us to Live Fully + Love Boldly + Fear Nothing.

The Answer to our Cry by Rick McKinley, pastor of Imago Dei Community, Portland, OR: The form that freedom takes in the Scriptures is relationship with God and His people. It’s freedom that comes from being united to Jesus Christ the Son with others, loved by the Father in the family of God, and filled with the Spirit of power. I would define true freedom as the ability to live fully, love boldly, and fear nothing. If you want to know what that looks like in action, then you have to look at Jesus. This looks like the life of Jesus:

+ He lived fully a life that was the very essence of life, because He came from the Father, the giver of life.
+ He loved boldly a love that bled out on the cross for our freedom.
+ He feared nothing; no powers of earth could shake Him, not kings, or armies, or Roman crosses, or tombs.

Jesus was free because He always has been free. United to His Father. Filled with the Spirit. God went to extraordinary lengths so we could participate in this freedom.

Are we willing to have our hearts, minds, and strengths radically reoriented? Are we willing to be self-disciplined by the Spirit? If so, who is your Paul? Who is your Timothy? Who is your Ephesus? God will work this out in the community of the Trinity and His Church as he did with the Native American Dr. Rah met, Jasmine Moreno, Paul and Timothy, and all who are invited into His family and receive the gift of His grace.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of  throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

(Based on Apostles' Creed
390 A.D.

Our Father everlasting,
The all creating One,
God Almighty.
Through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son,
Jesus our Savior.

Chorus 1
I believe in God our Father,
I believe in Christ the Son,
I believe in the Holy Spirit,

Our God is three in one!
I believe in the resurrection,
That we will rise again,
For I believe in the name of Jesus!

Our Judge and our Defender,
Suffered and crucified,
Forgiveness is in You.
Descended into darkness,
You rose in glorious life,
Forever seated high!

Chorus 2

We believe in God our Father,
We believe in Christ the Son,
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
Our God is three in one!
We believe in the resurrection,
That we will rise again,
For we believe in the name of Jesus!

We believe in life eternal,
We believe in the virgin birth,
We believe in the saint's communion
And in Your holy Church!
We believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For we believe in the name of Jesus!

(Repeat Chorus 2)

2014 A.D.

There's nothing worth more
That could ever come close,
No thing can compare,
You're our living hope,
Your presence, Lord!

I've tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves,
When my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone,
Your presence, Lord!

Holy Spirit,
You are welcome here,
Come flood this place
And fill the atmosphere.
Your glory God is
What our hearts long for,
To be overcome by
Your presence, Lord.

Let us become
More aware of Your presence!
Let us experience
The glory of Your goodness!

I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. + Joel 2:28-29, 32

Original by Isaac Watts
Early 1700s A.D., 2008 A.D.

Let me hear my Savior say
“Your strength shall return.”
Then I’ll rejoice in my weakness
As I lean on Your grace, 
As I lean on Your grace.

May Your power rest on me.
You are strong when I am weak.
I can bear all things 
When temptation springs
For You sustain me all my days.

Let me know my Savior’s face.
Let my hope be secure.
Then I’ll rejoice in my weakness
As I lean on Your grace, 
As I lean on Your grace.
(Repeat Chorus)

Once from the Lord withdrawn
I thought that I could live my life alone.
Leaving the solid ground, 
I sank beneath His wisdom.
The harder I tried to climb, 
The closer I was to find
How great is my weakness.

(Repeat Chorus)

Though the trial still goes on, 
Your grace will be my song!
For I can bear all things 
When temptation springs
For You sustain me all my days.

(Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ mayrest upon me. + 2 Corinthians 12:9

2012 A.D.

Come, set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again.
Increase in us, we pray.
Unveil why we’re made.
Come set our hearts 
Ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls.
Holy Spirit, come invade us now!
We are Your Church.
We need Your power in us.

We seek Your Kingdom first.

We hunger and we thirst.

Refuse to waste our lives

For You’re our joy and prize.

To see the captive 
Hearts released,
The hurt, the sick, 
The poor at peace,
We lay down our lives for 
Heaven’s cause.
We are Your Church.
We pray, “Revive this earth!”

Build Your Kingdom here!

Let the darkness fear!
Show Your mighty hand!
Heal our streets and land!
Set Your Church on fire!
Win the nations back!
Change the atmosphere!
Build Your Kingdom here!
We pray!

Unleash Your 

Kingdom’s power

Reaching the near and far!

No force of Hell can stop

Your beauty changing hearts!
You made us for 
Much more than this!
Awake the Kingdom seed in us!
Fill us with the strength 
And love of Christ!
We are Your Church.
We are hope on earth.

(Chorus Repeat)

Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. + Matthew 6:9-10

2011 A.D.

Water You turned into wine,
Opened the eyes of the blind,
There's no one like You,
None like You!

Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise,
There's no one like You,
None like You!

Our God is greater!
Our God is stronger!
God, You are higher
Than any other!
Our God is Healer,
Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us,
Then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us,
Then what could stand against!

The Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. May all who seek You, God, rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. + Deuteronomy 7:21; Psalm 70:4, 77:13 Nehemiah 8:6


Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! 
Become mature, be encouraged, 
be of the same mind, be at peace, 
and the God of love and peace will be with you. 
Greet one another with a holy kiss. 
All the saints greet you. 
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the love of God the Father, 
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
+ 2 Corinthians 13:11-14

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

No comments:

Post a Comment