Forty Days of Love & Light: Share Pt 2

Pastor Terry Inman

04-13-14

 

We are all coming out of our comfort zones and learning to share. There are a lot of different ways to share. Pastor Don, thank-you for your clear presentation on how to tell our story. We get to rehearse our stories with each other in our Love and Light groups this week. 

Last week I talked about Peter. At Jesus trial He swore he didn’t know Him. However after witnessing the resurrection and experiencing the empowering of the Holy Spirit he shared Jesus, openly and compellingly. 

Peter had a brother named Andrew. Andrew’s name actually means “brave”. He is always called Simon Peter’s brother in the gospels. Andrew was a way more laid back than Peter. You don’t hear from him. He was quiet but influential. He was the first follow Jesus and immediately invited his extrovert brother Peter to join him. Here’s how it happened.  

Andrew and another unnamed disciple had been following John, “The Baptist”. One day John prophetically pointed out Jesus as God’s sacrificial Lamb. The bible says, The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. John 1:42-43 (NIV) 

Every time we hear about Andrew he is bringing people to Jesus. He is the disciple who found the small boy, with five small barley loves and two small fish that fed a large crowd. (John 6:8). He even brought some Greeks, people of a different race and religion, to see Jesus. (John 12:20)      

Sharing can be as simple as inviting someone to a worship service where they will experience the presence of Jesus. I want to encourage you to make an effort to invite someone to encounter Jesus this Easter Sunday! 

There’s an invite in your folder. Here’s how you might approach it. “I don’t know if you attend church but I would love it if you would consider being my guest at our Easter Celebration.” 

We will have a great band, creative worship, and a very positive presentation called “Everyday Resurrection” You might want to add,

“you can dress casual, we are not very churchly if you know what I mean. Maybe we could do lunch after it’s over.” (Share your story at lunch) 

By now this scripture should be imbedded in our minds. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NIV) 

There is no question that the Holy Spirit has been giving out more power.  Dunamis translated power is explosive. It is a dynamic supernatural force. This power gives our “witness” greater influence, authority and clout. 

The disciples were asking Jesus about political clout. They thought, now that he had been resurrected, he was going to topple the Romans and reinstate Jewish rule. Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Acts 1:7 (NIV) 

They were still in the fog about the nature of His kingdom. They weren’t paying attention when he said, The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, “Here it is,” or “There it is,” because the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20-21 (NIV) 

Jesus answered the disciple’s sincere inquiry with this. It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:7-8 (NIV) 

Last Sunday night among other things we had what has been labeled a “fire tunnel”. More like a Holy inferno. It was a hands-on, hand-off of spiritual power. So is it biblical, and what’s it for? That’s the question that was asked when the Holy Spirit was first poured out at Pentecost. What does this mean? Peter said, this is the Spirit, Joel predicted… 

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy... And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Acts 2:17-21 (NIV) 

Peter makes sure everyone gets the point of all the power… Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  We received a fresh outpouring for a new harvest! God want’s everyone we know to be saved! 

I was just watching what was going on with the fire tunnel. It was moving slow. People were backed up all the way to the rear of the sanctuary on both sides. It’s because sons and daughters, were prophesying, young men and were seeing visions, old men like me were dreaming. Men and women were getting drenched in the Holy Spirit. There was a traffic jam! 

Some people were getting blasted and some people like me were just enjoying the warmth. Never judge someone’s manifestation or reaction to the Holy Spirit. We are all different. We have diverse physical and emotional temperaments. There are loud people like Peter and there are quiet folks like Andrew but it’s all one Holy Spirit empowering us to share! 

What I am asking is what does it mean. It means the same thing now as it meant 2000 years ago. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NIV) 

Our school staff has been praying for a refreshing of our mission to equip and send students as “witnesses” all over the world. God has gifted us with many international students that can take the love and light back to their nations. That’s why we are asking you to host them in your homes. 

Let me share an example. Several years ago, Julie Metz Cwynar, graduated from Fremont Christian School. She went on to major in music in college then married. Her marriage unfortunately ended shortly and she was understandably devastated. One night I watched her go through a fire tunnel at least three times. She had to be carried out of the church. 

That fire tunnel carried her all the way to India where she is now training young men and women to be skilled and anointed worship leaders for the revival generation in that country. 

The fire tunnel you were in Sunday night is taking you somewhere. It will take you to people here or there and you will share love and light! 

The bible says to whom much is given much is required. God is graciously favoring us with His presence and his power--not so we can be more entertained by manifestations but so we can manifest is light! 

I’m not sure why a fire tunnel is so explosive but it must be something like a conflagration of many smaller fires. I do know that people were filled or baptized in the fire of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. 

While this was happening one of our prayer team members had a vision of a large dove delivering scrolls (assignments) to everyone. God’s “harmless as a dove” Spirit will give us the right words to share. 

In (Acts 8) Peter and John were sent to Samaria. Due to the sharing of Phillip many Samaritans were coming to Christ. The bible says when Peter arrived he laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 

Apparently it was so powerful that an entrepreneur named Simon offered money for the ability to lay hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is not for sale. This guy’s motives were all wrong. He wanted to be powerful. He was looking for some powerful manifestations to boost his ego, maybe even get a greater following. 

Peter rebuked him. May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 

Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin. Acts 8:20-23 (NIV) 

A few weeks ago an intercessor envisioned traffic jams because so many people were trying to get to Harbor Light. Wow that would be amazing but it made me cry out to God and ask him to search my heart for any wrong motivations that would abort what He might want to do. 

Why do we want more of God’s Spirit? Do we want to feel blessed, powerful or gifted or do we want to be equipped to reach the lost? 

There are basically three reasons for the laying on of hands.  One is for healing and freedom.

These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; …they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.  Mark 16:17-18 (NIV) 

Another is for spiritual empowerment. Not only Peter but several years after Pentecost Paul also laid hands on people who were still receiving the Holy Spirit When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:6 (NIV) 

Also gifts and callings were imparted by the laying on of hands. In Acts 6 servants or deacons were appointed and the Apostles laid hands on them for service. The word of God grew, and even many priests came to faith. 

In Acts 13 the apostles were sent off on a mission’s trip, with fasting, prayer and the laying on of hands.  Paul told Timothy, do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 1Tim. 4:14 (NIV) 

Paul also told Timothy, Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. (1Tim. 5:22)  In other words don’t get in a hurry to release people’s gifts and callings ahead of their maturity. You may be held responsible for their failures. 

Now where am I going with all this? I want to put the fear of God (Holy awe) in us! He is graciously pouring out his Spirit on us. But there is a reason. It is not about us it is about the unreached people in our city. 

Unless God’s Spirit moves in our hearts prayer-care-share will just be another six-week series soon to be forgotten.  He has moved now it’s our move. 

He is ready to empower our witness with signs wonders and miracles but we must have pure motivations and move in step with his Spirit wherever He takes us!  Are we ready? Are we prepared? Are we willing to make prayer-care-share our lifestyle? Yes? 

This week we will meet together to pray and to prepare. We will share our own story with each other. Let the Lord lead you to invite someone to join you next Sunday for a great Easter Celebration!