sunday recap

18 03 2007

had the awesome, and i mean awesome!, opportunity to preach this morning – it’s always a humbling thing when you realize that eternity is perhaps hanging in the balance for people! however, i had sought God early on and knew the direction…let me take you through what happened in prep for this sermon…

1.) pastor mel had asked me to preach this coming today a few weeks back – i was glad because he had preached basically 9 straight weeks (1 week where we had a guest but he was still involved in it) and i knew it would be good for him to have some down time – as well, i was really feeling like God was putting a word in me to bring to cotn

2.) initially, i thought i’d be preaching on “dreams” – in fact, i was going to title the message, ‘dream again’ – i felt it was going to be a challenge for people to rekindle the dreams God had given to them – keep in mind, this was my first, ‘gut-reaction’ to the invitation to preach.

3.) i began to really seek God – on my trip to the soccer coach’s clinic i really had a powerful prayer time in which God simply said to be – ‘the baptism in the holy spirit’ – so that was it – i knew the word to give, i just had to discern the mind of Christ for the delivery.

4.) my first goal was to really lighten the mood and remove any barriers – really glad God gave me that strategy because we had a ton of guests and i’m pretty sure some may have never been in a pentecostal church – so i spent several minutes doing a little comic relief (i.e. making a fool of myself) in talking about the crazy things that have happened in spirit-filled services – my goal in this was to bring the crowd into my own personal experience and share some of the frustrating things that happened when i wa baptized in the holy spirit

5.) my second goal was to establish a foundation based on the old testament and new testament that pointed to the spirit-filled life – that was easy – actually, that was really hard because i had a ton of notes and research that i had done and narrowing it down to just a little was tough – it had to be precise, unambiguous and faith building – faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God.

6.) i had to deal with the obstacles that people have to receiving the holy spirit baptism – that was also a critical time because it would set the tone for the closing prayer time.

7.) in hindsight,someone suggested that i should have perhaps had people come forward to have hands laid on them like it happened in Acts 19 and like so many others have experienced – however, after thinking and really pondering it this afternoon, i’m glad i didn’t – see, i felt God wanted me to preach a message that was in some sense exclusive of personal experience (which leads to formulaic processes which leads to religion) – in other words, just because you had hands laid on you doesn’t mean everyone else should – see acts 10 where Peter’s preaching and the Holy Spirit falls while he’s preaching – no hands laid on them! so, i’m glad i left it where it was – simply, i believed i closed the service exactly as God wanted.

the other side note is that perhaps i preached too long – however, after talking with a few people, i think no one realized it till it was over – that’s cool – not that i want to always preach that length of time!

in closing tonight, let me say how humbled i am to be where God has placed me – i love our church, i love our people, i love the hunger that’s stirring here. i’m also totally aware that apart from God, i can do nothing…including preaching – sometimes its a really humbling thing to try to preach both a timely (in season) word and a timeless word (stands the test of time) – i never want to loose that awareness that it’s got to be God!

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18 03 2007
A look back at the weekend... « Hope, Households and Hockey Pucks

[…] this Sunday morning’s service at COTN but, boy, was it awesome!  Instead, hop on over to the Value the Process blog to hear about the service from the preacher himself regarding the baptism of the Holy […]

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