Explore the Bible Lesson for March 13: Empowered
February 25 2016 by Troy Rust, pastor, Florence Avenue Baptist Church, Oxford

Focal Passage: Acts 2:1-15
During my junior year of high school the German music group Snap! released its popular dance hit, “The Power.” Although we were never told the source or nature of this power, many of us bobbed our heads and sang the famous hook, “I’ve got the power!”
The Day of Pentecost fulfilled God’s promise of the Holy Spirit who would fill every true believer and give them power for Kingdom service. As people observed with faith the holy invasion of God’s Spirit, they knew He was performing a supernatural work before their eyes. After the Holy Spirit set the stage for the gospel, Peter boldly preached the message of salvation through Christ and 3,000 people were saved! All these things happened as a result of God empowering a people who were waiting on Him. As soon as He moved, they didn’t “let go and let God.” Instead, beginning with Peter at Pentecost, they began to stand in the power of the Holy Spirit and proclaim the gospel with boldness.
The song mentioned above provides a silly reminder of a much more dangerous human tendency.
If we don’t take every thought captive to Christ, we’ll be tempted to choose form over substance in areas of eternal consequence. A song with a good beat and no meaningful message doesn’t do anyone much harm. Embracing shallow substitutes for spiritual realities can leave one deceived, spiritually starved and even lost.
Too often well-intentioned Christians try to reverse the way God works in evangelism. They begin with a number in mind and then manipulate the variables to get the desired results. Spirit-empowered witnessing gets replaced by religious salesmanship, and many supposed converts “sign on the dotted line” only to slip away in a few weeks with buyer’s remorse.
Paul proved such human means ineffective, declaring, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthains 12:3b). 
Since only God can save a sinner we should share the gospel in fear and trembling, but never in defeat. God can use a burdened, gospel-centered heart over a well-polished exterior any day!

2/25/2016 11:21:55 AM by Troy Rust, pastor, Florence Avenue Baptist Church, Oxford | with 0 comments
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