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Sermon Illustrations: Power

Pope Gregory was showing Thomas Aquinas all the treasures of the Vatican. The Pope said, "We can no longer say with Peter, silver and gold have I none." "Yes," replied Aquinas. "But no longer can we say in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."


Jesus healed three blind men. One was healed when He touched him. Another was healed when He spoke. Another when He spat in the dirt and made mud. Each blind man started to teach that that was the way to get healed. Eventually they had a conference where they discussed the proper way to be healed. Blind people came to listen, and by the end of the conference they understood each other more. But the blind still went away blind.


Rent-a-cop [security guards] have no power and no authority - all they can do is tell on you.


James Brown, credited with inventing soul, funk, and hip-hop was performing in Boston the night Martin Luther King was murdered. He managed to control the crowd. Responding to a comment on the power he was wielding to be able to do that, Brown said, "That's not power. That's influence. Only God has power."


It's interesting that the Greek word for power used in 1 Cor 1:18 is dunamis, the word from which we get our English word dynamo, a generator of electrical power. We've got 240 volts of electricity coming into our place. If I put my finger in the light socket you'd expect that I might get electrocuted. But I won't, not if I've got the fuse in my pocket. It doesn't matter how many volts are connected up to my house if I've unplugged the fuse. I believe that according to this verse that says that the message of the Cross is the power of God, that the Cross is like the fuse. If we don't live in the way of the Cross we remove the fuse from our lives and block the high voltage of the power of God. To release the power of God we need an uninterrupted connection to the source. We need to be closely identified with the Cross.


You're speeding down the road, doing 90 in a 60 zone. You're pulled over by the cops. The polite policeman says, "Would you mind showing me your licence, sir?" "Yup." "Sorry?" "I said yup." The policeman shows his badge: "Your licence please, sir." You blow a raspberry. "Okay, out of the car pal." "But I like it here." Out comes the gun. He sticks it right up your right nostril, drags you out of the car, cuffs you, throws you into the squad car, and drives you off to the watch house. When he showed you his badge, that was a demonstration of authority. When he stuck his revolver in your nose etc, he was demonstrating power, the ability back up that authority. The words that God speaks not only have authority, they have power. Heb 4:12


Law of Deadly Force: Use the least amount of authority to deal with a situation. Too much is the wrong application of force. (e.g. shooting someone for jay walking.)


Whenever there's a show of force, you may never have to use power; put all the ships on the shore and you may never have to call the marines. Mark T. Barclay


The only limits that we know that God has, are the limits that we put on Him. Nick Vujicic


A logging foreman sold a farmer a chainsaw. He said, "This is guaranteed to chop down 50 trees a day." The farmer was impressed with that. A week later, the farmer stormed back through the front door, threw the saw on the counter, and demanded his money back. "There's something wrong with this saw. There's no way it'll do 50 trees a day. It can hardly do three trees a day!" The foreman grabbed the saw, pulled the cord, and the saw went, "Bzzzzzzz." The farmer jumped back, eyes wide open: "Hey, what's that noise?" For so many Christians, God's power is available to them. But they simply don't know how to access it.


A workman was repairing a stained-glass window when the pastor came along, so they went outside together to admire the workmanship. "That looks very good, but isn't that piece a bit loose?" asked the pastor. Just as he finished saying it, a piece of glass dislodged, fell out of the window, and cut the workman's ear off. "Aughh", screamed the workman. "I've lost my ear." Immediately the pastor remembered the way Peter had cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, and how the Lord had healed him, and he thought, "This is my moment. I was born for such a time as this. I can be a man of faith and power." He bent down and picked up the ear, held it out to the workman and asked, "Is this your ear?" "No!" the workman yelled. "That's not mine! Mine had a pencil behind it."


It is in the nature of the flame to burn away the oil by which it is fed. It is all an outgoing of oil; and if there be no incoming thereof, the flame will not burn long. E.M. Goulburn


David Brainard, missionary to the Susquehanna, Delaware and Stockbridge Indians once preached through an intoxicated interpreter who was so drunk he could barely stand. Yet scores were converted through the preaching. Brainard's secret was his prayerfulness.