Monday, October 6, 2008
This week's sermon:The Power of Faith
At the end of the book of Acts, you’ll see that Paul finally made it to Rome. He stayed there for two years awaiting his trial before Caesar, living in his own rented house under house arrest. He welcomed all who came to see him, preaching boldly about the kingdom of God and teaching about Christ.
And that’s where the book of Acts ends.
In some ways, it seems like the book ends in mid sentence--like there’s a page or two still missing. What happened to Paul? Did he ever make it to his trial? Was he ever able to testify before Caesar?
Even though the Bible doesn’t record what happened next, I believe that Paul did make it to his trial and that he did get to testify before Caesar. Why? Because the same God who brought Paul this far had also told Paul that he would one day testify in Rome. Back in Acts 23, when Paul was first arrested in Jerusalem and when many were plotting to kill him, God said to Paul:
“Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11).
Then again in Acts 27, when Paul’s shipmates were about to give up hope that they would ever be saved from the storm, an angel of God spoke to Paul again, as Paul told the men:
“Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me” (Acts 27:23-25).
That’s the kind of faith I’ve been praying for myself--and for you as well--all throughout this study, the kind of faith that says, “I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me.” Because I know, like Paul knew, and like Christ knew, that when you have faith in Christ, nothing will be impossible for you.
In the mid-1900’s, there was a woman who did all kinds of miracles in the name of Christ, seeing people saved, healed and delivered from various addictions. When asked what kind of gift God had given to her to be able to do so many things, she said she didn’t have the gift of evangelism, or healing or prayer. She said she had the gift of faith. And with faith, all kinds of things are possible.
We’ve seen through the book of Acts how faith helped these earliest of believers to do all kinds of things. We’ve seen that faith waits, acts, heals, saves, obeys, fills, speaks, explains, surrenders, gives, includes, prays, fasts, persists, purifies, sings, examines, works, baptizes, resurrects, dies, testifies, keeps a clear conscience, appeals, models, warns and supplies. And I have a feeling that’s just the beginning.
The truth is the book of Acts really is unfinished. Jesus is still alive. He’s still working through people today. And He still wants to work through you. You may be surprised at what you can do when you put your faith in Him. For all the incredible things that Jesus did, here’s what He said you could do if you had faith in Him:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:11-12).
As we finish this study together, my prayer is that the following words of Christ would echo in your ears in the days ahead, words that will give you the faith to do all that Christ still wants you to do:
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
Father, give me the faith to move mountains and more, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
God bless you all, please remember to invite your friends to Sayuni.