Gen 1:1-3 “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
In the beginning, God decided that where there was nothing, He wanted something.
Everyone has influence.
People have been taught that salvation is by grace alone, but was Noah saved by grace alone? No. Of course not. He was saved by obedience to God’s instructions. What if Noah hadn’t built it the way he was supposed to? What if he just quit in the 119th year? Would he have been saved? No. He obeyed every step.
There is obedience to every step. Apostolic churches are made up by Apostolic families and Apostolic families are made up of Apostolic people. They understand that God is large and in charge all the time and they have a covenant with Him. When they come into an Apostolic church there is an Apostolic move.
Too often people come dragging into church and just get filled up enough to survive one more week. There is so much more.
Leaders need to lead themselves first, then lead others. You can turn the world upside down, but you need to be willing to turn yourself upside down first.
There are promises to men and husbands and fathers to take the knowledge of God and teach it to your children. Your family is your first ministry. In order to lead others, you need to lead yourself and your family first. When you get a Word from God, seek change in yourself first. When you get a Word from God, it’s for YOU!
‘My house has become a house of preaching?!’ Isn’t God’s house meant to be a house of prayer? Shouldn’t your house, your home, be a house of prayer? So, when you come into the sanctuary already connected to God and meet with others already connected to the Lord, there is a great movement.
What if your house became a house of believers? Where the Word was spoken and you encouraged one another?
What happens when coals go out? If those coals are separated but still hot, all they need is to be brought together and they will catch fire with no lighter. What about when more fire falls? The fire gets greater.
Get that Word in You and lead yourself. That Word is for YOU.
God wielded His influence in creating the world. God anchored it on His Word. His Word is forever settled in heaven. God hung His promise on that which is permanent. ‘Let there be light, and there was light.’
How do you wield your influence?
Do others want what you have? How do you represent Jesus? Do others think, ‘I want to be like that guy?’ What stands in your way?
If you learn to pray, you will change your world.
Just because you engage your emotions doesn’t mean you are praying. Take a look at every instance of prayer in Scripture. What do they have in common? Often, it’s calling on the past promises and remembering a covenant. Solomon, when he dedicated the temple, called on promises and remembered the covenant.
Solomon remembered God was large and in charge and capable of anything.
This is called worship by the way. Again, same thing, just because you engage and jump and shout, that doesn’t mean you are worshiping. You could just be emotional. However, when you remember God is large and in charge, you are worshipping. Remember His covenant and His promises. The Spirit is greater than the flesh.
Jesus didn’t say, ‘They will know you are His disciples by your doctrine,’ or ‘By your knowledge. By how zealous you appear. How much you cry in prayer or how exuberant you act in service.’ Does the outside world recognize you because of this, and say, wow, ‘You are a true Christian?’ John 13:35 has a different answer.
John 13:35 “This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus wants to reduplicate His love in you and in everyone around you.
See John 13:34 “I am giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”
‘One another’ means ‘reduplicated.’
If you duplicate the kind of love Jesus showed, ALL will know. This was just after the last supper and before his prayer of anguish in the garden, on the way to the cross. He is saying duplicate that love in your life, and show others how to reduplicate it in theirs.
If you reduplicate Jesus in your life, people will know.
Phil 2:4-10 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”
What am I saying? Begin to transform your life. And give this transformative power to others. Keep transforming. And keep passing it on. And keep helping others pass it on. And they help those they passed it on to, to keep transforming, and keep helping those they transformed to. ‘For this promise is unto you, and your children, and to all that are afar off. As many as the Lord our God shall call’ (Acts 2:39).
Be a thermostat.
Some thermostats have all sorts of controls. They can control the climate better than others. They have all sorts of settings that you need to take the manual out to figure out. Set it and forget it. Some of you need to get new default settings. Are you prone to arguing? Get a little “hot” under the collar when challenged? You need to set your thermostat lower, so when the climate gets heated, the cooling fans kick in, and the condenser starts sucking the hot air out and pumping the cooling air in to change the atmosphere.
How do we become like Jesus? If you need a heart transplant, you can’t just cut it out.
2 Kings 3:15-18 “But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. 16 And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. 17 For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. 18 And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand.”
Great battle. Ran out of water. Told to dig empty ditches. Sometimes you’ve got to remove something before God can fill it up. But you’ve got to let God fill it up. And you have to be willing to dig it out.
It might be scary, because you don’t always know what God will fill it up with. Abraham had to give up his people. God gave him a new people. Paul did the same. They weren’t called to their people. In fact, they got a new culture, a new country, a new destiny. But Moses, who was fluent in Egyptian, and held power and influence in Egypt, and was raised amongst them, and totally understood the culture and customs, wasn’t called to evangelize the Egyptians. And Jonah was sent to a people not his own.
What is it that you need to let go of? You are the walls of an art gallery. The picture is the glory of God. ‘Glory’ in the NT is the greek word “doxa” meaning something very visible, very apparent. You need something to hang it on. In order to put something in drywall this size, you need a decent anchor. (The anchor holds.) In order for the anchor to hold, there needs to be a hole made. It has to be big enough for the anchor. Then and only then can the picture hang. ‘More of Him, less of me,’ John 3:30 Will you let Him drill out what’s needed, and fill it with something substantial, so the glory of the Lord can cover your life? Let Him search you out, ever-changing from glory to glory into the image of His son. Then you will be like Jesus, and the world will know and want what you have. We’ll achieve our vision of planting 7 preaching points and 1000 members inside out, because every apostolic home will be an apostolic church, a place where Jesus dwells, and we will reduplicate this same process in others lives.
It starts with you. Maybe you need a new anointing, God is calling you to a deeper place. You need a new hole, a new anchor, and a new manifestation of God’s glory in your life. It all starts with you.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!