Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus

3.29.2005

My sunrise service message

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

My pastor called me Saturday in the middle of my cold and my trying to figure out why we suddenly didn't have enough electricity in our house to run our major appliances or at least we could run one at a time but nothing else. I had almost expected an invitation Wednesday night from my pastor to speak at the Sunrise service, but he didn't ask, so I didn't think twice about it..until he called me Saturday and asked me to speak at the 7:00 meeting the next day.

Because of a deal I have with God that I will basically speak whenever someone asks me, I told him I would. Then I continued my coughing, running nose fit, while trying to flip enough breakers in my house to get some type of power.

After the excitement of the day settle down that evening, after the power company came (very promptly I might add) to look at our problem, after my cold was beginning to die down, after my son was fast asleep, I decided to think (and pray) about what I was going to say the next day.

I guess God's part of our deal, is that if I agree to speak, He will give me something to speak on, usually without much effort. This was the case again. Of course the subject would have to be the resurrection, but being a slightly odd person, I usually come at things from an odd way. I usually go through the theological and scriptural back door.

The last time I spoke on the resurrection, I spoke from 1 Cor. 15, where Paul says that without the resurrection our faith would be in vain. I thought about returning there, but God kept bringing my electricity situation back to my mind. So I asked Him, as I usually have to do, "Okay, what are you trying to teach me in this circumstance?" He began to lay out in my mind, what I thought was such a great illustration and a message that it could have been done as a series of messages to thousands instead of a short mini-message to a dozen or so people.

Here is the basic idea of what God gave me. (I take no credit for anything good from it and all the blame for the bad.):

Philippians 3:7-10a - "But whatever things were gain to me, I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in the view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not have a righteousness of my own derived from the Law but that which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."

This weekend, I had a power problem at my house, so I called my electrician uncle to come over and take a look. He went through all of his electrical tools, none of which I know anything about, and checking my breaker box and giving his hypothesis that "I lost a leg." I had no idea what he was talking about since I looked down and still appeared to have both of them under me. We went outside and checked through the meter box and all that, which proved him to be correct. I had in fact, lost a leg, meaning that somewhere between the transformer and my house I was losing electricity.

I no longer had enough power to do many of the things that my home had been built to do. I could not run the heater/air conditioner. We could not use any of the appliances. Regardless of what my uncle did inside the house, the situation would not change. Something had to be done to fix the flow of power or I would never be able to accomplish many of the things that I need to in my home.

Too often, we as Christians and we as the Church are like my house. We become disconnected from the power, the resurrection power that comes from a relationship with Christ. When we begin to count those things in our life that should be loss or "rubbish" as being more important, the connection to our power supply begins to fade. When the power supply fades, we can no longer do the things that we have been called to do, the things that we were created to do.

Scripture is full of illustrations and verses letting us about this. John 15:5 tells us that in Jesus we can "bear much fruit," but apart from Him we can do nothing. 2 Timothy 3:5 talks about when people have a form of godliness but deny its power. 1 Cor. 15:14 lets us know that with the resurrection power Paul's preaching would have been in vain and our faith would be in vain. The resurrection and staying connected to that source changes everything. As my pastor often says, "Without Easter, Christmas does not mean much."

Galatians 2:20 and 5:24-25 lets us know that as Christians we have been crucified with Christ. Our old self, all our old sin was crucified. As one of my favorite hymns (It Is Well With My Soul) says, "my sin, not in part, but the whole, was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more." But not only has our old self been crucified with Christ, our new life has the same resurrection power of Christ. We now have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us and enabling us to accomplish the things that God has set for us, but only if we allow the old self to stay dead and the new life to live in that resurrection power.

I present the same challenge to you that I presented to those dozen or so people at the sunrise service, stay connected to the power source of the resurrected Christ and be amazed at seeing what He will accomplish in and through your life - all that your were created to do (even wash clothes, cook lunch and watch tv all at the same time, maybe more).

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