What a POWERLESS night!
By Joe Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church, Celebrate Recovery, The Landing Encourager Coach 1/31/18
What a POWERLESS night! Weird to say, right? This past night's lesson was on POWERLESS. In The Landing, we spent the night talking about how we are powerless, and how it's good to admit that we are powerless.
Principle 1: Realize I'm not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
"Happy are those who know they are spritually poor." Matthew 5:3a
Until we admit we are powerless and need help, it is difficult to accept the help. If I'm uncomfortable having the subject line of this devotional or email being "What a POWERLESS night" for fear someone might think I was critiquing the Landing teachers for being powerless, then maybe I still have a little hang-up with admitting my own lack of power.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I have been reading a book, Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, and in the introduction, Matt talks about a baptism that he went to. The first couple were really great stories that he loved hearing. Then he heard a few that made the author uncomfortable because these were people who were raised in the church and had somehow, as students, missed the message of the gospel. The author begins wondering how could students who regularly attended church miss the good news that Jesus died for all our sins and while we have done nothing to deserve it there is nothing we can do that can negate that fact. These people, though raised in the church, had somehow come to the belief that they needed to work and earn God's love and they had fallen away from the church in the process. For a short time, he comforted himself with the thought that maybe they just didn't have ears to hear the message, and for some that might be true, but he came to the realization that was not always the case.
The church in general and student ministry specifically (in my opinion) often, unintentionally I'm sure, fall into a pattern of teaching that Jesus died for my sins, I'm a new creation, and now I need to act like it. As if Jesus's sacrifice covered my past but I have to take it from here. I got to wondering if I have ever gotten up and taught this false gospel from the front. I can certainly understand how I might, it sounds like a good message until you look at it. Telling students that Jesus died for them, so they should stop smoking, drinking, cussing, hurting themselves, hurting others, etc. seems like a good thing. Well, it is a good thing, stopping doing the bad things and starting to do the good would be a good thing. However, if we don't hang it all on the message given at the POWERLESS Lesson, then we have misled our students. If the message they hear is that they have the power to do good, they just have to try harder, then they have not heard the gospel. We are all powerless and need to admit it, ask God for help, walk with God every minute of every day. By doing that, God will give us everything we need to help us to change. That's the key that unlocks the life change.
Jesus died for your sins, all of them.... yes even that one... Yep, even that little "oops" you are going to make in January of 2019.
O nly ifs
Click HERE to listen to "Lord I'm Ready Now" By Plumb