of The Message
want to share with you a scripture from Paul,
"God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of
power and a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline."
(2 Timothy 1:7)
are tremendous words for us to hear today. God has not given
us a spirit of fear. I did something this morning, just
as I do every Sunday morning. I listened to the headline
news just to find out and make sure that some tremendously
tragic thing didn't take place overnight. This morning when
I listened to the news it was full of fear. Almost every
time I turn on the news I hear messages of fear. How many
of you hear messages of fear when you listen to the news?
It is everywhere. You would assume that the world is completely
falling apart, and if you don't go out and get your flu
shot immediately you will die of the flu tomorrow. I can't
believe every time I've listened to the news recently they
talk about all the shortages of the flu vaccine. Never do
I hear anyone remind us of the fact that it is possible
to go throughout the year without a flu vaccine and not
get the flu. So one of the things I am going to do this
morning is to help eliminate some of your fear about getting
the flu. Here are some real basic things you can do every
day to avoid getting the flu.
Wash your hands frequently. Keep your hands out of your
mouth and away from your eyes.
Use your left hand to cover your mouth when you cough. This
way when you use your right hand to greet someone and shake
their hand, you will be less likely to transmit germs.
Take your nutrients. If you take vitamins it will make a
Avoid stress as best as possible. PRAY! There is nothing
that will help reduce your stress level more than prayer!
Do some moderate exercise. Walk 20 minutes a day.
Eat whole foods ¡V make your diet primarily vegetables and fruit. Cut down on processed
& junk foods.
are all basic nutrition and health ideas. I believe if you
do these things, you could possibly go through the season
without getting the flu. So when you hear the negative news
in the media, don't be fearful!
need to support our troops in Iraq today. When we listen
to the news it doesn't sound like they are doing a whole
lot out there except trying to keep from getting shot or
injured. The news today doesn't tell us about all the wonderful
things our troops are doing and all the accomplishments
they are making. They recently reached a milestone. They
produced enough electrical energy in the month of October
to go beyond the amount of energy of the pre-war days. Today,
Iraq has more electrical energy than it did prior to the
war. The media doesn't share with us the progress that has
Spirit of God is not a spirit of fear but it is a Spirit
of power and love and self discipline.
I entered seminary I had a tremendous fear. The fear was
one that completely disabled my ability to teach, to preach,
and have any vital role as a minister. I was so deathly
afraid of people that if I was in a small group of say 6
to 8 people and I had to actually share my name a tremendous
fear would overcome me. Not until after I entered seminary
did I actually overcome this tremendous fear and it was
a gift from God. I remember speaking to a group of ladies
here in this congregation. I did the same thing I had always
done when I tried to prepare a message. As I started to
speak, that day was different. That day I felt this incredible
wave of peace just come over me. I cannot explain it. All
I can tell you is that it was a gift from God and the fear
went away. Gone! God's spirit is not a spirit of fear but
it's a spirit of power and a spirit of love and a spirit
of self discipline.
Spirit of power, what do you think of when you think of
power? There are all types of power and the Spirit of God
gives each and every one of us power and the power that
he gives us is for a purpose and for a reason.
has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power
and a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline."
(2 Timothy 1:7)
verse immediately preceding this says:
into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying
on of my hands." (2 Timothy 1:6)
the flame which is in you, says Paul. For God did not give
us the spirit of fear but the Spirit of power, of love,
and self discipline. He has given us, every single one of
us, the power we need to fulfill and flame the spark and
the gift, so that it will grow, it will become alive and
scary thing about power is that if it is not connected with
love it has the power to do tremendous evil. Money is referred
to as a tremendously powerful thing. In fact the bible refers
to money. Some people misquote the bible and say that the
root of all evil is money. That is not what the bible says.
The bible says that the love of money is the root of all
evil. There is a big difference because we have been called
to love people and use money. We are never to use people
and love money. We are called and given the spirit of love
to be able to use money, to use the power that God has given
to us, to use our influence, to use our connections, to
use our relationships with our family to produce something
that is tremendous and beautiful and glorious.
into flame the gift of God which is in you," says Paul.
"For God did not give you a spirit of fear but a spirit
of power, a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline."
The words "self discipline" are used in the New
International translation. In the King James translation
the words used are "sound mind." I think the words
of self discipline work much better because it takes us
beyond philosophical thought to a real action, where we
self discipline ourselves to use the power in a loving way
to fulfill the gift that God has given to us. So we have
the spark, we have the Spirit of God, which comes and enflames
this spark with its power and its love and then it gives
us the ability to do something about it, to take action,
and not to be gripped with fear but to live with faith knowing
that we can succeed.
4:17 says, "Anyone who knows the good he ought to do
and doesn't do it sins." That is pretty strong, isn't
it? You know what you are supposed to be doing, you have
the spark within you of the gift that God has given to you,
you're flaming the flames and then if you don't go and use
the power and use the love that God has given to you, James
says it is a sin. In theology we call it the sin of omission.
There is always more we can do but we never do it all and
so we sin. The good news is the grace of Jesus Christ comes
in and He forgives our sins and He washes us clean and He
gives us the ability to recognize His grace and to live
in His faith. The key is we have to do something. Don't
worry whether or not you have all the skills, have all the
talents and all the means, sometimes you just have to get
out there and do it.
went to college in Holland, Michigan. You might not believe
this but it gets cold in Holland, Michigan! In fact the
families of my friends would flood their backyards in the
wintertime. Do you know what happens when you flood your
backyard in the wintertime in Michigan? You get a few inches
of ice and then you put a little net around that and you
have yourself a hockey rink in your backyard! One day I
went to the home of some friends and they said let's play
hockey. I told them "I've never ice skated before,
at least I haven't ice skated since I was 5 years old and
the last time I ice skated it was terrible. I really am
not an ice skater." He said, "just put these skates
on and let's see." The next thing I knew I was skating.
All of a sudden they threw the puck in front of me and they
said, "get it." I went a little faster, and then
it went by me and before I knew it within about 10 minutes
I didn't care about falling any more. Everyone was falling,
that was not the point. The point was you couldn't let the
puck get past you and you had to get the puck and get it
in the net. All of my fear was gone and my focus was on
accomplishing getting this puck in the net and within a
half an hour I was racing up and down, chasing the puck.
When you focus your mind on the goal and the spark that
God has given to you, and allow the Spirit of God's power
to enflame that spark, and fuel it with love, you discover
you can do anything with God's help. Don't wait until you
have all of the skills. If you are scared to death of people
and God has called you to go to seminary, believe that He
will give you the gifts you need to fulfill that calling.
If God has called you to play hockey and he wants you out
on the ice, get out there and play hockey. If God has called
you to start a House of Power, then do it! If you are not
familiar with our Houses of Power please go to our web site(http://www.hourofpower.org/).
We are going to have 1,000 Houses of Power across America
by the end of 2005! They will be places where you can go
and grow spiritually. You can discover what that spark is
in your life. You can discover the power of God in a new
dramatic, powerful way through a House of Power.
are people listening to my voice right now who have heard
this idea of a spark for the first time and you are ready
to build a fire. You are ready for the Holy Spirit of God's
power to come and enflame the spark and release you of your
fear and allow you to do what God has called you to do.
Today is the day when you say "yes" to Jesus and
pick up the phone and you call someone you should have called
a long time ago. Today is the day you make the decision
that you are going to start right now. Today is the day
you are going to say "yes" to Jesus. Jesus has
come that we might have hope and love that we might be able
to do what God has called us to do. I want you to say a
prayer with me and begin today.
Jesus, ignite the spark within my soul and create a flame
within my heart to release within me peace that overflows
when I put my trust in You. Give me the confidence, the
power, the love and the self discipline that You have promised
so that I might be the person you have called me to be.
And so I thank You for this time, for this Spirit, for this
reality, for Your goodness. I cast my cares upon You because
I know You care for me. I love You, Lord and I thank You
for everything. Amen.