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The Importance of the Day of Pentecost.

Key Scripture:Acts 2:1-4 (KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

SUMMARY

The day of Pentecost and the events that followed on the glorious day are lessons to our Christian faith. The day of Pentecost marked the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that was poured out on that day is present with us this moment, if only we surrender in obedience for God to work in us.

On one hand without the power of the Holy Spirit we cannot have a victorious Christian life enjoying the beautiful relationship with God and on the other hand when we have His Spirit we have the power to expels the evil spirits and commune with God. Therefore, let us not be ignorant of what the Holy Spirit has to offer but continue to grow in our spiritual life with His Holy Spirit.

SERMON POINTS

We are a ‘Triune being.’ We have the soul that gives us an understanding of ourselves, the body that responds and has a connection with the world and the spirit that can either commune with God or evil.

The Holy Spirit connects us to the body of Christ.

The Factors that led to the Birth of the Christian Church:

1)Prayer at Pentecost:

Acts 2:1 (KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

They were all praying together in one accord when God poured out His Spirit. The presence of the Holy spirit cannot be felt without prayer. Prayer is the platform and prerequisite to experience the Holy Spirit. The question today is how is our prayer life? How many times a day do we commune with God? Are we wasting and increasing our time in gadgets or are we offering prayers and supplications to God, because the scripture says that when they were together in one accord God poured out His spirit and He will do the same when we prayer together, He will pour His Spirit to dwell in us.

Let us be purposeful in prayer and be devoted in bringing a change in the community through our prayers. The scriptures say that as they prayed all one hundred twenty men were filled by the power of the Holy Spirit and there was a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house; this is the power of prayer when men and women of prayer come together it changes the situations and the spiritual environment.

2) The Presence at Pentecost.

 Acts 2:2-4 (KJV)And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

On the day of Pentecost God was coming down to be present with man. It is relevant today that when we sit in the church meetings and gathering we feel His presence. Healings happen, strong holds are broken, miracles happen and it is all because God is present in our midst. Therefore, we should yearn and thirst for His presence. We need to seek His presence as the Psalmist says in Psalm 63: 1(KJV) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

The beauty of His presence lies in the fact that the day we taste His presence it is incomparable to the riches of the world. We should let our flesh starve and let our spiritual man arise so that we will be raised and modeled to feel the presence of God. Let us all long for His presence to determine, develop and convey the work of His Holy Spirit through our lives.

3)Preaching at Pentecost.

 Acts 2:14 (KJV) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Apostle Peter stood up lifted his voice and preached. He referred to the prophesy in the Old Testament in the book of Joel; He preached about the crucified Christ and the scripture portion being fulfilled among them. When God pours out His Holy Spirit, it will enable us with His power to teach and preach the gospel. When a believer preaches, uplifts and glorifies Jesus we know that the Holy Spirit is at work but not otherwise. Therefore, let us be vigilant to discern the power of the evil against the power of Holy Spirit. The preaching at pentecost was characterised by a good spiritual scriptural exposition by Peter referring to Psalm 16,Psalm 110 and Joel 2. A good sermon never contradicts the scriptures but enables the listener to have a deep understanding of the Lord.

4) Purpose of Pentecost.

 Acts 2:5-11 (KJV) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

We are the purpose of Pentecost. The bible tells us that the nations that were scattered by God in the tower of Babel were united on the day of Pentecost as the disciples were enabled by His Spirit to speak in different tongues. God has given us spiritual gifts so that it will helps us to evangelize and minister to the body of Christ. Let us be hungry, more willing and more open to the work of the Holy Spirit and align our desires to the things that God wants to give us in our life and surely, we will be purposeful to the work for the kingdom of God.

5) Power of Pentecost.

Acts 2:37 (KJV)  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

There was great power on the day of Pentecost and those who heard the message were pricked in their hearts, they repented and three thousand people were baptized that very day. This is the power of the Holy Spirit. When God pours out His Holy Spirit there will not only be witnesses, guidance and boldness in His power but also it will prick our heart to repentance. Therefore, as God pours out His spirit let us accept and continue in fellowship to convey the strong message of the power of the Holy Spirit to the world around!

6) Promise of Pentecost.

 Acts 2:39 (KJV)  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The promise of this divine infilling of the Holy Spirit is not just for us but also for our children and as many as the Lord shall call. Today, as St. Peter directed the people to repent and baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins we as fellow brothers in Christ have the same promise to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and lead people to salvation.

Therefore, as we direct a way to salvation to the people, God is faithful to keep His promise!

CONCLUSION

The day of Pentecost is a remarkable event, when the power of God was poured out, displayed and manifested upon one hundred twenty people and the Holy Spirit was further conveyed to a large people in many places. Today God is looking to pour out His Spirit in the same way when we pursue Him in prayer, seek His presence and preach the gospel with determination so that God can fulfill the purpose and promise that He has for us. However, it can only be achieved when we manifest everything with power of the Holy Spirit.

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In the Name of Jesus!

Key Scripture: Philippians 2:9,10 (KJV)  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

SUMMARY

There is power in the name of Jesus,  when we concede to the power of His holy name our lives and situations change and we are never the same again! Though the name of Jesus is the sweetest and the most power name yet it is approachable, accessible and available to everyone. However, the greatest tragedy today is the count on how many of us thirst for His name. Therefore, let’s us pull ourselves away from a ‘spectator mode’ to being a ‘participant’ in the extension of His kingdom to magnify and glorify His name today.

SERMON POINTS

The Name of Jesus.

 2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)    Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

The name Jesus originates from the Latin form of Greek  name Yesous which represents Hebrew bible name Yeshua- our God saves.

We can be rest assured that at the mention of His beautiful name ‘Jesus Christ’ can save us from the darkest pit of our sin, therefore, let us strive in knowing His precious name and learn  what the Bible asks us do in His Name.

Acclamation in the Name of Jesus:

1) Believe in His Name.

 John 1:12 (KJV)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

The Bible clearly tells us that we need to believe in His Name and in the person of Jesus; as we do that we gain the power to become sons of God. However, we can either be just believers having  distant view of God or get closer to Him as His true sons and daughters.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (KJV)   Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty

As we identify ourselves to be His children we must also separate from every unclean temptation of the world, the customs and traditions that is not of God.We should never compromise on God’s word and as we stick to His name, the word of God says that He will receive us and will be a Father unto us.

2) Call on His Name.

 Acts 2:21 (KJV)   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved

Its a blessed privilege to call out on His name. God  created us to have fellowship with Him and He expects us to call out His name even in the most dangerous times so that we have an opportunity to be saved as we call on His name. Therefore, make it a priority to call on the name of Jesus and be saved today!

3) Gather in His Name.

 Matthew 18:20 (KJV)  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The word of God promises that wherever two or more are gathered in His Name He would be present among our midst and when we acknowledge this we take decisions to come to His church and honor His name. Never make any excuses  for not being able to gather for prayer meetings, church gatherings or any ministry that demands our labor for the extension of His kingdom because God says that He will be present and we wouldn’t want to  miss the opportunity do we? Whatever we agree gathering together in His name, would be done by the Father in heaven.

4) Pray in His Name.

 John 16:23,24 (KJV)  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

If our prayers were based on our righteousness or our worthiness nobody would have had the privilege to pray to God.  St. Paul says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Therefore, because of the redemptive power of God’s saving grace we have the privilege to pray to the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ and as He continually intercedes for us to the Father our prayers are being answered. Therefore, let us take this moment of  great joy as we pray in the name of Jesus, as it is being answered in His name.

5) Minister healing in His Name.

 Acts 3:6 (KJV)  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

James 5:14(KJV) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

There is healing in the name of Jesus! As St. Peter prayed in the name of Jesus, a man who was lame from his mother’s womb rose up and walked! Such is the power in the name of Jesus. Today there is no sickness, illness or diseases that is too difficult for the Lord to heal. As we proclaim healing in His name the lame shall walk, the blind will see again and the deaf will hear. Therefore, let us minister healing in the mighty name of Jesus .

6) Cast out demons in His Name.

 Mark 16:17 (KJV)  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

In the book of Ephesians we read that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, it is imperative for us to take authority over demonic disturbances and cast them out of our lives.  Let our prayers, fellowship, spiritual songs vibrate in our homes to create an anointed atmosphere to drive out anything that is unholy in the eyes of the Lord. We disturb the momentum of the enemy and deactivate the powers of darkness by His name.

7) Confess in His Name.

 Hebrews 13:15 (KJV) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Let the name of Jesus be continually in our lips. Let us continually give thanks and praise to His holy name for the things He has done and for the things yet to some. Let our praises be a sweet smelling sacrifice unto His Holy name.

8) Do everything in His Name.

 Colossians 3:17 (KJV)And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

There are always two ways of doing things; by word and by action. The Bible teaches us to evaluate everything and encourages us to do it all in His name. Every act ,thought or word should reverberate with the kingdom culture our Lord Jesus taught. We represent our Lord Jesus in our workplaces and communities. Bring glory to His name through it all.

9) Worship His Name.

Philippians 2:9-10(KJV) Therefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

God has highly exalted the name of the Lord Jesus because He was obedient to the Father. Now the only name that is worthy to receive worship is the name of Jesus, to the glory of God the Father. When we worship the name of the Lord Jesus, our heavenly Father is glorified.

10) Life through His Name.

 John 20:31 (KJV)But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

His name brings life in us. When we believe in the mighty name of Jesus and acknowledge His  holy name  we not only have peace, healing and freedom but we also have life in Him.  True life comes from the blessed name of Jesus.

CONCLUSION.

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

We have the great privilege of knowing God by His name. We should not take the name of the Lord in vain as mentioned in the law.(Exodus 20:7)

Taking the name of the Lord vain has an implication that we should not walk or live in a way unaware of the greatness of the name of the Lord. Our life should be given to the lifting up of His name.

Resurrection from the Dead.

Key Scripture: Philippians 2:9 (KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

SUMMARY

Death is inevitable. From the greatest aspiration to one moment of weakness can bring an end to every opportunity physical or spiritual if only Jesus is not revealed in our lives. In the gospel of Luke, we read the angels asking, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” Therefore, today instead of searching the Lord Jesus among the dead let us understand that the Lord has rolled away the stone from the dead and He is alive!

SERMON POINTS

John 1:1 (KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Our Lord Jesus lived as a normal man from being born in a tiny filthy manger in Bethlehem to being crucified in Calvary. However, there was something divine about Him; the people were astonished to see Him raise people to life, heal the sick, drive away the demons and transforming water into wine which were all true miracles and nothing fallacious. The Creator walked and dwelt among men to serve and never to parade about His position. People saw the divinity of Jesus, it was evident through His miracles that there was something divine about Him and one such greatest divinity was when Jesus rose from the dead!

Jesus had the heavenly moments in His life. These divine experiences of Jesus were the key to His resurrection from the dead. The same divine experiences should happen in our lives for us to experience the resurrection and overcome death by the power of our resurrected Lord. St. Paul says in Philippians 3:11 (KJV) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Therefore, let us remember today the marred and bruised body of Christ. Let us all be responsible and accountable for the bleeding body of Christ. A responsibility and accountability to reflect Jesus in and through our lives that can over turn any dark forces working against us and overcome death by the power of our resurrected Lord!

There were four divine experiences of Jesus that should happen in our lives  to experience the same resurrection as He did:

1) The Purpose Factor:

Philippians 2:7,8 (KJV)  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

In Greek ‘Kenosis’ means self-emptying, Jesus gave His divine Godly reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant. How many of us want us to be a slave for His kingdom purpose? Has this transformation happened in our lives? Unfortunately, we can’t experience the resurrection from the dead if the transformation has not yet happened. Remember we don’t have any reputation before the Lord, we simply are privileged custodians of His House! Our profession or any materialistic gain is not our purpose but to be a slave of the Almighty God is the ultimate purpose for Jesus.

The bible says Jesus became humble and obedient to the purposes of God unto death. These were His trademark and God exalted and gave Him the name above every other name. As a follower of Jesus, we should be like Him, humble and obedient for the purpose of God.

Remember humility is the condition of the mind which is reflected outside as well. Unless we are humble God cannot reach out to us to fulfill His purpose.

A Route to Achieve the Purpose of God:

Humility with obedience is the route in achieving the purpose of God. When we live by the standard of the cross to die, to be servant and slave for His purpose, we will resurrect from the dead as Christ did!

2) The Prayer Factor

 Hebrews 5:7-8 (KJV)  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Jesus Christ being the Son of God, prayed with loud cries and tears offering His prayers and supplication. Prayer is one of the factor that set Jesus different from the rest, the bible says He prayed with loud cries. How is our prayer life or when is the last time that we prayed with loud cries for our community and people around us? If we haven’t then sadly we need to examine our prayer life.

Jesus always emphasized on the importance of prayer. Matthew 26:41(KJV) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Jesus not only prayed with tears but with reverence. He exhibited the fear of God. We also need to introspect our prayer lives today. We must ask the Lord for a heart of prayer instead of the vain things of this world. Let us always be in an attitude of prayer. If Jesus prayed a prayer with tears and crying that was able to save by a God who resurrected Him from the dead then the same God will resurrect us too!

3) The Presence of God Factor.

 Acts 10:38 (KJV)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

In the book of Acts we read the two personalities of God: God and Jesus of Nazareth. The humanity and the divinity of Jesus. He was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healed all who were under the power of the enemy because God was with Him and His promise. The question is who is with us today? Do we have the presence of God? It is important for us to have the presence of the Holy Spirit, to dwell within us in doing good and healing the oppressed.

Romans 8:11 (KJV) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead. When the presence of God is in us and we are anointed with the Holy Spirit and power; the Holy spirit will never let go of us even after death. When Lord Jesus comes us we will be transformed into a glorious body by His Holy Spirit that dwells within us.

4) The Promise Factor.

Acts 2:30-32 (KJV)  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

If God promised us the resurrection He will give it to us. Apostle Peter speaks of the prophesy that King David is given regarding the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As per the promise of God, He is faithful to fulfill His promise. He neither allowed the body of Jesus to decay nor let death swallow Him.

John 14:1-3 (KJV)  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

How many of us today have this promise? Can we hear the voice of Jesus making this promise or do we believe that God will resurrect our body? Jesus gives us this glorious promise that He will come again and has prepared a place for us so that we will be with Him into an eternal life.

CONCLUSION.

If St. Paul a great servant of God who laid his life for the gospel of Christ says that he “might” attain unto the resurrection of the dead how much more should we strive to experience the power of His resurrection. This Easter as we celebrate and send a message of the greatest victory of the Living God unto death, lets us believe that Jesus who resurrected from the dead because He had a purpose, He prayed, He had the presence and  promise of God; the divine experience that should happen in our lives  to experience the same resurrection as He did!

Therefore, let us live our lives to fulfill the purposes of God, being filled with the Holy Spirit, praying without ceasing and holding unto the good promises of God today.

Apostolic Prayer for a Model Church.

Key Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (KJV)  Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

SUMMARY

Apostle Paul is the most important person after our Lord Jesus in our Christian faith. In his first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul gives us a glimpse into the early church, as to what was happening. What would have St Paul prayed if he was invited to our church and we gave him the pulpit? This sermon helps us understand the prayer which Paul made for the Thessalonians, which is the outline of his letter itself.

SERMON POINTS

Background of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.

 1 Thessalonians 3:6 (KJV)   But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

Thessalonica was a big city in Greece. Apostle Paul started a church here but because of some opposition, he was driven out of the city and was never to return. (Acts 17:1-9)

Though Paul tried real hard to go back to visit the Church at Thessalonica, he wasn’t able to do so. With lack of proper means of communication, the only way Paul could know about what’s going on with the Church he started, is by physically sending Timothy there to find out the welfare of those who were part of the church.

Paul had a special relationship with this church. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7,11, Paul says that he was as mother and father to them and this made him more anxious to go see them and hear from them.

Therefore, Paul writes this letter to the Church from Corinth, after Timothy comes to him with news from the believers at Thessalonica. (1 Thessalonians 3:2,6).

St. Paul’s Apostolic Prayer for the Church.

 1 Thessalonians 1:7 (KJV)   So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

St. Paul calls this church a ‘Model Church’ for all the other churches to follow. (1 Thessalonians 1:7). Being the exemplary church they were, Apostle Paul makes a prayer which echos God’s desire for each one of us. This three-point staple prayer becomes the place of spiritual growth for every believer.

Apostle Paul prays that we may-

  • Grow in Purity-living a blameless and holy life.
  • Be prepared for the Coming of the Lord- living in the light.
  • Grow in love-pursuing love and generosity towards all.
  1. Grow in Purity-living a blameless and holy life.

 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 (KJV)  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 

Apostle Paul gives an explanation for his prayer for the Thessalonians in chapters 4 and 5 of the letter. We are all broken people, chronically sick with sin and only the Holy Spirit whom God gives can help us live a holy life.

God wants us to have an intention, a passion for purity, especially in our sexual lives. Jesus Christ in His sermon on the mount, said,

Matthew 5:8 (KJV)   Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

We see and hear these days of people being exploited sexually by those above them . The superiors take advantage of the position they have and violate the sexual integrity one should have. It was not different in the times of the Thessalonians too. Sexual misconduct was prevalent and St Paul tried to address this in this letter. We know David, the Man after God’s own heart also fell in this trap as he killed Uriah and took Bathsheba to be his wife. That incident invariably started the downfall of David. God desires that we be pure and holy –especially in our sexual conduct.

God’s ultimate purpose for giving us the Holy Spirit is to enable us to live a pure life and control our passions. Let us seek the help of the Holy Spirit to be passionate for purity.

 

  1. Be prepared for the Coming of the Lord- living in the light.

 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV)   But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 The second thing that Paul prays for the believers is that they will be prepared for the Coming of the Lord. The Early Church believed in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. However they had some questions regarding when He would come. Apostle Paul states the following in his explanation

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (KJV)   But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Our curiosity with regard to the exact time of Jesus’ Second Coming takes the better of us. This proves to not only be a distraction and waste of time, but it has also been false thus far. Nobody should try and speculate the time of the Lord’s coming because the Lord Jesus Himself said that no one knows the time. However we ought to be prepared anytime for His coming.

The real question is no matter when the Lord would return, are we prepared to be taken up with Him, when He does come? Apostle Paul calls us to live in the light and not in darkness.

HOW DOES ONE LIVE IN THE LIGHT?

1 John 1:7 (KJV)   But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

We can be prepared for the coming of the Lord Jesus by keeping our focus on living in the light. We live in the light, when we have fellowship with one another; wherein we share our struggles and confess our sins to one another. Living alone and keeping to ourselves, as a Christian means that we are living in the dark. Since there is a greater chance of dying before the Coming of the Lord, let us stop being distracted in speculating the time Jesus Christ is coming back and focus on living in the light, by being connected with others.

 

  1. Grow in love-pursuing love and generosity towards all.

 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (KJV)   But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Most of Paul’s prayer for the Churches always include that they grow in love. (Phil 1:9) He makes a special connection to growing in love and how one works.

The believers are urged to lead a quiet life, without unnecessary conflict with one other. He also encourages them to put their minds to their career and work diligently with their hands, so that they may earn the respect of outsiders.

 

3 THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE WORK HARD AT WHAT WE DO:

  • By working hard,we earn the respect of non- believers.

 Sometimes, even today, at our areas of work, we tend to get lazy and procrastinate our duties. In doing so, we give an impression of being irresponsible. This destroys our testimony in the workplace and an oppurtunity to witness the gospel there is lost. Let’s become diligent and disciplined and excel in the places where God has placed us.

  • We stop becoming dependant or burdensome to others.

There were some people who were found to be idle in the church of Thessalonica. Apostle Paul asks them to get to work and not become burdensome to those around, especially when they are physically and mentally able to work. In this way, we can make sure that we don’t profane the name of the Lord by being lazy and dependant on others.

  • We will have enough to share with those in need.

Ephesians 4:28 (KJV)    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Apostle Paul while writing to believers, asks them to not steal! Instead, he says labour hard so that you can give to those who are in need. Apart from Tithing, we need to grow in generosity towards those in need. Generosity is the way we grow in love. Tithing should be just a start of our life of giving.

 

THE MACEDONIAN SECRET:

 2 Corinthians 8:2 (KJV)  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

This unbelievable passage indicates how the Macedonian believers even in their affliction and deep poverty, abounded in liberality and abundance of joy. They had learnt this secret of generosity, which is the reason why they were liberal in their giving even in their suffering.

 

CONCLUSION.

 

This prayer of Apostle Paul for the Thessalonians is also the desire God has for His children today.

He wants us to be holy and blameless, pursue purity. The Lord wants us to walk in the light like He does by being in fellowship with other believers, thereby getting ready for His coming. Last but definitly not the least, the Lord wants us to love without calculating, love even those who don’t deserve it.

Let us make it a point to live out what St Paul prayed for the Church at Thessalonica.

 

 

Prayer at Mount Carmel.

Key Scripture: James 5:17(KJV) Elias was a man subject to passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

SUMMARY

Mount Carmel shows The Mount of Prayer. Our prayers are definitely strong prayer which has the power to change things that are against us. The prelude of what happened in Mount Carmel is Elijah prayed down fire from Heaven and brought rain where the land was barren for three and a half years. Elijah had the prayer key with him; through prayer everything is possible nothing is impossible to a man who fervently prays. As we pray, Jezebel’s table is turned down and God prepares a table before us in the presence of the enemies.

SERMON POINTS

Elijah was a man of like passions, just like us but though he was like us there was something different in him that made his payers powerful. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. Elijah was a man of faith, rising up in prayer. He climbed the Mount Carmel and released the blessings. Today we need more Elijah’s in this generation who would have the spiritual prayer quotient to move the mountain and shake the nations. The prayers of every believer ought to be powerful.

Secrets of a Powerful Prayer:

Our prayers ought to be powerful. Prayers are the greatest investment that we can make in a life time that can yield good returns to our generation. We have power and authority to bind the things of the enemy which are pulling us down. A powerful prayer in faith can not only bring fire from heaven but also can change the direction of wind. Unexpected miracles can happen through our prayers.

  • Forgiveness:

In our prayer life, forgiveness is the most important. Forgive others and the Lord will forgive our sins and forgive our land. Our prayers can change the life cycle of the devil. Be Elijah today to change the life cycle of the devil.

1 Kings 18:17,18(KJV) And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.

Elijah was called the trouble maker. We might also face extreme opposition in our life but always remember that a prayerful man is never a trouble maker, we are the destiny changers. We change the life of people by telling them of the love of God.

1 Kings 18:19(KJV) Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.

There is no secure place except Mount Carmel, it is the vineyard of the Lord so is the church. We shouldn’t go to anybody without the anointing and grace of God otherwise the chances are that it may backfire on us. However, when we go with the Lord’s anointing and authority much bondage will break and change the life of people in and around us.

Colossians 4:2 (KJV) Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

When our prayers are obstructed, continue praying by thanksgiving. Devote in prayer and be ready with the armor of God. When we put on the armor of God, we have victory against all the wicked plans of devil over our life. Be watchful and thankful and it will revive us to pray powerfully.

  • Time of Decision making:

1Kings 18:21 (KJV) and Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

It is not the intelligence quotient but spiritual prayer quotient that is important in the scheme of God. Mount Carmel is a place of wise decision making. We have to choose between two tables a) Lord’s Table and b) Jezebel’s table. We cannot take part in both the Cup of the Lord and the Cup of the Devil. If we want our prayers to be powerful, make conviction today to serve a true and a living God. Once we take a firm decision to follow the true God and not the sinful world then the Carmel prayer happens in our life. Our prayers will now become powerful. Be wise and careful to set the roots of prayers deeper and deeper.

  • We belong to Him:

1 Kings 18:30(KJV) And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.

Something was right in Elijah, the people thought. Elijah saw that the altar was broken and he repaired the altar. Today God wants us to repair the altar, the time for us to set the things right in our lives. Family prayers and the relationship that we have with God are very important. In Mount Carmel we have a scope to repair the altar because when the fire of the Lord comes down it will stamp God’s identity upon us. We live and die for Him because we belong to Him and once we understand to accept the truth that we belong to God our prayer life will be powerful.

Seven Steps to See the Fire from the Lord:

1) Invitation to Pray:

1 kings 18:30(KJV)  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

Give an invitation to pray with the constant knowledge of Jesus. Call people like how Elijah called and repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken. Elijah took twelve stones and started building it in the name of the Lord. Likewise, we also need to set ourselves in order to the Lord and pray for people so that God will change their lives through our powerful prayers. Invite and pray together with them to see fire from heaven.

Acts 3:4-6(KJV) And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

It’s time to rise up and walk from discouragements, troubles and depression. Ask ourselves when is the last time that we gave an invitation to pray? At Carmel people came, so with humility invite people to pray and they will come and once they come the Lord will pour out the fire from heaven for them to see His power.

2) Introspecting our lives:

1 kings 18:30(KJV)  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

Elijah saw that the altar was broken and he repaired the altar. Today we need to introspect ourselves and repair things that are broken in our lives. Prayer is mandatory be it a personal prayer or a family prayer it needs to be examined today. Fix areas which have leakage in our life; it could be family, marriage and relationships. Introspect it now, and as we cry out to the Lord, He will hear us from heaven.

3) Initiating the Work of the Lord:

1 Kings 18:31 (KJV)And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:

Elijah took twelve stones number of the sons of Jacob and started building it in the name of the Lord. Likewise, we also need to initiate and set ourselves in order before God because God cannot come to our disordered lives. Initiate the work of the Lord today and never step back in doing His work. Examine the prayer life and initiate the work of the Lord by arranging the stones and building the altar of God by our prayer and we will receive the answers from God as a fire.

4) Imbibing the word of God:

1 kings 18:32 (KJV) And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

Do everything in the name of the Lord, imbibing in a space for God’s word. Dig trenches; speak to one another and be filled with the living word of God. Be always ready to receive the word of God and imbibe it in the heart.

5) Infilling of the Holy Spirit:

I Kings 18:33 (KJV) And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

Elijah put the wood in order and poured water on it before they could experience fire from heaven. Likewise, church is place for us to prepare ourselves before we see the miracle from God. We should be planted firmly in a church so that we receive the answers from God as a Fire, the anointing from heaven. The kingdom of God must be our highest priority, meditating the word of God will rebuild our life with the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

6) Intercession of Prayer:

I Kings18:36 (KJV) And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

When the word of God is flowing in us we should show His glory in whatever we do. Prepare and we will receive the answers from God as a Fire. The fire of God would fall upon everything, He will accept our offerings and all the people around us will testify saying, “Your God is a true God”. He will make it known to everyone that He is the God in our family, career and future. Be a servant of God and do as He commands us to and we will experience His glory in our life.

7) Impact of Prayer:

I Kings18:38 (KJV) Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Those of us who choose the Lord’s Table would receive a great fire from heaven. Our prayers would change the situations and the lives of people around us. When our prayers are filled with fire the people around us will feel the presence of God. Blessings that were withheld will now pour out as a sound of joy and peace; it will reside in the house of the righteous. So, let us all turn to His side and be filled with His fire. Let us get ready for the abundance of rain by the impact of our prayers.

CONCLUSION

Elijah went up to Mount Carmel, repaired the altar of the Lord to experience the deliverance and the powerful presence of God for himself and for the people around him. He gave an invitation of prayer to everyone near him.

Today as followers of Christ, we need to stretch our hands to invite people to pray. Introspect our lives and initiate to rebuild the broken altar of God. Imbibe His words which will help us with the infilling of the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit. Intercede for the dying world and as we intercede, the impact of our prayer will rain down His glory upon us and every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is God just like the people at Mount Carmel.

A Life of Prayer.

Key Scripture: Acts 9:11 (KJV) And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.

SUMMARY

There is nothing better in this world than prayer and nothing more effective when someone prays for us. Our prayer has the widest and the highest coverage area. It covers the heavens and reaches to all vicinity in the earth; all our supplications, all our prayers and praying for all the saints is the hallmark of a Christian faith. Therefore, pray a prayer that can move the mountains and shake the nations, be men of great faith and prayer!

SERMON POINTS

Acts 9:9-11 (KJV) And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.

The book of Acts is also called a ‘Prayer book.’ Throughout the book of Acts, we read a series of prayer attitude with different episodes and in lives of many. In chapter nine we read four powerful word that God is telling about Saul to Ananias, “For behold he prayeth.”

We don’t like to pray and have termed it ‘hard.’ We don’t like to do anything related to church activities or for God. We have become hard-hearted, uninterested in doing God’s work but remember God is interested in doing things what we are not interested in!

St. Paul an Epitome of Prayer

Ephesians 1:16 (KJV) Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

We know that throughout the life of St. Paul, he was great man of prayer. In all his epistles, he has written and laid much emphasizes on prayer. To the Ephesians he writes that he mentions them in his prayers with thanksgiving. He mentions in his writings the guidelines, importance and the fruits of a powerful prayer life.

  • Posture in Prayer

Ephesians 3:14 (KJV) For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Knowing our posture before the Lord is important, it signifies our love and reverence to the Lord. St. Paul says that He bows down before God in prayer. This is very important if we know how to bow down before God in prayer, we will stand before any man. So, set your posture right before God today!

  • The Hallmark

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Our prayer has a wide and the highest coverage area. It covers the heavens and reaches to all vicinity in the earth; all our supplications, all our prayers and praying for all the saints is the hallmark of a Christian faith. It doesn’t really matter if our intelligence has been infested by our companies to produce more effectively and creatively because at the end of the day the so called ‘acquired intelligence’ comes from God alone. Therefore, have a new Godly vision today and desire a life to be a life of powerful prayer!

  • The Fruits of a Prayerful Life

Ephesians 6:19 (KJV) And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.

A life of Prayer will make us humble, approachable and soft natured person. According to St. Paul as we live a life of prayer we begin to speak boldly of the gospel and we live how we ought to live not how we thought to live. In Isaiah 55:8 (KJV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Even Moses was raised in the palace but his heart and thought was for the people and hence he was able to lead the Israelite’s through the wilderness. Therefore, don’t consider any thought as moderate because what we think as the lowest thought could be the highest thought for the Lord.

How to Have a Life of Prayer?

1) Foundation of prayer

Acts 7:60 (KJV) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The foundation of prayer which somebody has put into our life is very precious. When Stephen the first martyr of the gospel was stoned to death, he knelt down and prayed an eight-letter prayer that Lord, lay not this sin to their charge and later we read in the following verse that St. Paul then Saul was consenting unto his death. This is the power of the earnest prayer of a spirit filled man, his prayer can bring souls during his lifetime and after his death too. Stephen laid a strong foundation of prayer and Saul who used to breathe out, persecute threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord later is revealed of God’s glory and power to becomes a mighty vessel for the Lord.

For whom will we lay the Foundation of prayer? Will it be to any tribal group, society or community who don’t know the love of God or Can we be a Stephen of this generation? A man who laid a foundation of prayer for Saul, who used to breathe sufferings to the Christians could now breathe out prayer.

Today lay the foundation of prayer to our children’s life so that it will support to lay the foundation of prayer on somebody else’s life. We are already laid on the foundation of prayer by our Lord Himself in John 17:20 (KJV) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Understand that we cannot escape from prayer if we are holding strong in our prayer to the Lord. Get inside the prayer room today. A life which is built on the foundation of prayer will never shake us because it is the foundation of our salvation which has the widest and the highest coverage area. Therefore, as long as we have the foundation of a continuous prayer chain we are safe in the arms of the Lord.

2) Revelation of Jesus Christ

Acts 9:3,4 (KJV) And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

If we get the glimpse of the Lord Jesus, nobody can force us to get up from kneeling down.

The light will shine in and through our lives. No darkness will hover in our families, health and work place. The Lord will put the feet back into our life.

As Saul, neared Damascus, the bible says that a bright light shone from heaven and he heard a loud voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” And he asked the Lord questions about who He is? Have we ever asked this question to Jesus? Who He is in our lives? Or do we have a revelation of Jesus in our lives today?

Philippians 3:10 (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

If St. Paul a great servant of God says that he may know the Savior more how much more should we know Him? And if we haven’t had this conversation or the revelation of the Lord before then it means we haven’t prayed enough to have the knowledge about Him.

Psalms 27:4 (KJV) One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

The Psalmist says that his only desire is to seek the Lord and dwell in His house all the days of his life but if we haven’t known Him and don’t desire of Him that means we haven’t had the revelation of Jesus yet.

Psalms 103:14 (KJV) For He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

This worldly name or fame can’t frame us because We are the dust of the earth. We are here today and gone tomorrow but what we can build is someone with our prayer life which can stay with them forever. As we build in prayer, a step closer to God, He likes it! So, have the revelation of God in prayer.

3) Life should be transformed.

Romans 12:2,3 (KJV) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

The ancient Greek word for transformation is ‘Metanoia.’ We all know the transformation that happened in St. Paul’s life then Saul when he had the revelation of the Lord. Revelation of the Lord will transform us. Saul’s spiritual eyes were opened and he was never the same again. What is God trying to do in our life today?

Acts 9:9 (KJV) And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

The bible says that after the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ Paul didn’t eat or drink even God says not to worry for food and drink because the pagans seek those things but when our lives are transformed we pray to seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto us.

When we pray, the roughest sinners will be made the smoothest general. God will change our hearts to accept people and to be accepted in His kingdom.

Today the question is, have we had a transformation? If we have a transformation, the Lord changes our heart, our passion for the Lord will expand and we will be in a street called ‘Straight.’ The Lord will cause our crooked paths to be straight and the mark of our true conversion will be sealed in our prayer life. Remember nothing is important and glorious than being transformed and praying to the Lord because the Lord hears the prayer of the righteous and gives an answer to his prayers.

4) Impartation of the Holy Spirit

Acts 9:15,16 (KJV) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

The Lord says to Ananias to go to Saul, for he is a chosen vessel bearing the name of God before the kings and children of Israel. God also says that He would show Saul the great sufferings that he must face for His name’s sake. What is the Lord showing us today? Are we ready to bear the sufferings for His name’s sake?

Acts 9:17 (KJV) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Having the revelation of God is not complete without the works being executed through His church and His servants. St. Paul wouldn’t have executed His works only by seeing the revelation of Jesus with his eyes closed until God sends Ananias a Pastor to put his hand on Paul. God works in marvelous ways by sending Pastors to open our spiritual eyes through His word. Therefore, if we want miracles, the touch of God then love and respect the pastors and men of God. Never discourage and dishearten them otherwise the scales in our eyes would forever remain to blind, delusion and cripple us.

The bible records that immediately as Ananias put his hands on him, the scales fell from his eyes and received his sight, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Our Christian life is a touch of a miracle life, healing come when we pray. We should be senders of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will in turn deposit the grace of prayer unto our life.

CONCLUSION

God desires our life to be a life of prayer, to pray without ceasing. When we have a strong foundation of Prayer, we can build someone up, the revelation of Jesus will bring forth a bright light to shine in and through our lives, desiring and dwelling in His house. As we dwell in His house we are transformed into His newness with His Holy Spirit who deposits the grace of prayer unto our life. Remember Christian life is not a ‘Play-ground’ but a ‘Pray-ground.’ When we have a life of prayer it will be contagious, conscious and continuous with the power of the Holy Spirit. So, do you want to burn the sweet incense of prayer to God today?