Friday, December 29, 2017
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Happy New Year, Amigos
This week between Christmas and New Year always has a kind of wistful feel to it. We are reflecting on the past year, and often many years before that, and trying to look forward and plan for the new. I have such an anticipation for 2018, I want to get on with it. Today, let’s put aside planning and focus on expecting.
2017 has been quite a year. Amazingly, the world has survived the presidency of a reality show star, a lunatic with the bomb, Russians on Facebook, and a good deal of other strangeness in the culture. At the beginning of the year, the Lord told us at FCF Tucson to “Build your faith, share your faith, and stand in the gap.” I believe we have been faithful to that commission. We continue to stand in the gap for our nation and the church. For a recap of some of the highlights of our year, check out this Facebook post.
So, what is the Lord saying for 2018? He has been talking to me about three things:
1. Personal Purity. Without holiness, wholeness is impossible. This will be a year of cleaning up the personal debris left by a culture and a church that has forgotten the reality of man’s fallen condition and the devastating impact of sin. For ministers, it will be a season of personal purity before pulpit polish. 1 Peter 1:14-16
2. Spiritual maturity. Jesus and Paul both spoke of truths that could not be grasped by the spiritually immature. In order to hear what we need to hear as a Church in this last hour, we will have to grow up, dig deeper, and prioritize more prudently. 1 Corinthians 3:2-3
3. Supernatural power. In a culture that laughs at the Bible and the Gospel it proclaims, no new program or technique will be effective in bringing genuine revival. We will do whatever it takes to move the Body of Christ into a place of powerful, miraculous impact on the world around us. It is time for the supernatural power of God to flow in the marketplace, the academy, and the byways. The Sunday performance of a preacher must be transformed into the daily passion of an empowered people. 1 Corinthians 12:7-12
Under those headings, important thoughts will come to the fore. Worship as we know it will change. Our concepts of holiness and maturity will have to grow, lest a new legalism overtake us. The mental paradigm of church as a performance to be watched and evaluated must be overhauled. We must catch the spirit of the Gospel and run with it, all of it.
Somebody Said: “Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.” Ed Cole
Scripture Reading: We say this because we have confidence in God through Christ. There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God; it is he who made us capable of serving the new covenant, which consists not of a written law but of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:4-6 GNB)
Here’s what I’m expecting for 2018: It’s going to be a great year. We are about to see miracles, signs, and wonders such as have not been seen since the Book of Acts. Certainly, there will be adjustments necessary if we want to participate, but the prize is worthy of the battle. Personal purity and spiritual maturity put us in a position for the release of supernatural power. Happy New Year!
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
For more on the reality of the Holy Spirit visit our Tuesday evening service on YouTube.