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Nine Evidences – Part 2

nine2OK, I think I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m getting blog posts faster than I can write them… Not so good. So let’s go then. Continuing with three more “evidences”, I’ll get the ball rolling. The three are:

Power: How much power is in your life and ministry? I love the fruits of the Spirit as much as the next Christian, but why do pastors avoid the topic of power so much? Even in the most loving, polite, “help-old-ladies-cross-the-road” churches, they’ll preach on kindness and humility and general niceness week after week. No matter how many blind, deaf or diseased ones sit in the pews suffering week in and week out. Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 2:4:

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,

The world cries out for a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, we respond with niceness. That’ll get you run out of town in Islamic or animist parts of Africa. Go there with power or stay home. Even in developed countries where so many have chronic diseases, there is a great hunger for power. I call this issue the elephant in our living room.

I recall the story of a young man in my old high school. After preaching the gospel to a skeptical friend for a while, becoming frustrated, he says to his friend, “see that streetlight in the distance?” The friend answers “yes, I do”. “OK”, he says, “In Jesus’ Name, I command that streetlight to go out” and it flickers and dies. The friend’s jaw drops. Emboldened, he goes on “In Jesus Name, I command the streetlights to come back on!” and they dutifully comply. The friend kneels and promptly gets saved. Come with power or go home. We must move in power.

Money: Is God reflected in your checkbook? Would I know you were a Christian if I went through your checkbook? The way we handle money determines our priorities in life. And no, I’m not talking about the concept of tithing, which has no relation to the church age. Why folks are still teaching tithing, which a very cursory read of the Bible by a one-eyed boy with half sense would reveal is not a New Covenant doctrine, is beyond me (sorry for the long run-on sentence…) Then again, in the modern non-denominational church, probably a third of what we preach and teach is myth. So the Mosaic law of tithing being taught does not surprise me. I only wish they would obey the other 600 ordinances while they’re at it… Why pick just one? For us under the NT, here’s the rule – give generously and cheerfully, for God loves a cheerful giver. I would also add (my suggestions): give thoughtfully, systematically, and consistently.

Prayer: The last evidence I’ll discuss today is prayer. I’m preaching to myself here as my prayer life has suffered in the last few months as I’ve gotten very busy. As an unnamed pastor once said: “if you are too busy for God, you are busier than He intended you to be!” We’ve got to get away from the “Good morning”, “Good night” prayer life. For the Christian who read the words “be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18), the way we pray today is dangerous and leaves too many believers “exposed.” Think on the meaning of that for it is true. May you have deep and productive Spirit-filled times of prayer with our great God who has called you to His service. Amen.

(To Be Concluded…)

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