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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Experiencing the Power"

Date published: 03/12/2018

1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (NIV) 

   Christianity is going through an identity crisis today. Youth are overwhelmingly leaving the church after high school. A majority of millennials do not believe in God or are not seeking a relationship with Christ. Large numbers of adults are abandoning the organized church. Disparate beliefs that indicate radical division deeply divide the church. One of the more disturbing statistics is how Christians relate their satisfaction in the faith. Satisfaction in the faith is now being evaluated more by the quality of preaching they receive in the church, the friendships they can find at church or in small groups, and the quality of the worship experience.  Long gone are the days of purposeful evangelism, discipling believers to be fully devoted followers of Christ, and ministering to others out of God’s presence and work in their lives.  

   This transition from the Christianity Jesus preaches in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (NIV) to the “Christianity” of being served, entertained, and nourished in the faith occurs by taking our eyes off God’s purpose in 2 Peter 3:9b: “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (NIV) If you seek God’s kingdom first, then the way you live your life will further the kingdom of God. When you get disengaged from the heart of your purpose on earth, the kingdom of God becomes a matter of talk and not power. Once your faith becomes talk and not power, it is easy to become disconnected from God. God wants you to break out of self-serving and self-interest to releasing His power in 2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV) God’s power in you will never fully be seen or experienced by merely talking about Christianity, but by the actualization of His power in you in reaching the lost, hurting, and those desiring more of God.  

   Where is God wanting to exercise His power in your life? 1 Corinthians 3:6 demonstrates the importance of stepping out in faith and trusting God to act: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (NIV) Determine now to seek God’s kingdom first by planting and watering what God has put in your life to share. Let your faith move beyond talk to experiencing God’s power. All eleven of the apostles deserted Jesus after His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, but the same eleven remained faithful after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Their faith remained solid because their walks with Christ consistently experienced God through His power and not their talk. Exercise your faith and see the power of God at work!

1 Thessalonians 1:5 “Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” (NIV) 

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.” 

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