I wanted to share the latest sermon I delivered at the farm in Pleasant Garden.
It's about the answer to all of the issues we see in the world.
As Christians, we have the authority to change the world.
We are salt.
We are light.
Here are the message notes.
MINISTER FRANK MICKENS
PLEASANT GARDEN, NC
I. Introduction – We Are Born To Transform Environments
We should be carriers of the glory of God, earthen vessels, Bethel, changing atmospheres.
“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:1-10
When Peter said, “Look at us!” he was calling the man’s attention to the glory, the presence, the power of God inside of the apostles.
We too are called to grab the attention of the world.
To see people transformed through our walk with the Lord.
To see a harvest as what happened when Peter preached after this miracle – 5,000 men were saved.
II. We Are Created to Carry God’s Image
From the beginning God came to us to form us.
The word used in this verse that’s translated “formed” actually means “squeezed or molded as like clay.”
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7 KJV
He still wants to mold us into His image, the image of Jesus Christ. He wants to invade our reality to change our reality so we can change the world. When the Holy Spirit visits us, He changes everything because He brings heaven to earth.
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 KJV
It is through this visiting by the Spirit that we are empowered to change atmospheres.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.” Acts 2:1-6 NIV
Heaven doesn’t have separate languages. What we see here is heaven invading earth. Breaking down walls of all kinds. Especially the walls of men and women’s hearts. Christ tore the veil. We now have the access to heaven like never before. We can walk with the Lord.
“As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”” 1 Samuel 10:9-12 NIV
III. Purity is Required
The requisite for carrying the glory is purity.
“Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:10-14 NIV
IV. Prayer is Required
The other prerequisite is deep and intimate prayer.
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:1-2 NIV
Jesus revealed to a chosen few his manifest glory as the Son of God. He let them in on a secret. And he told them not to release it until after he was resurrected. Why? Because sometimes the Lord has a gift for you in prayer that’s just for you. It’s for you to ingest and digest and chew on so you can enjoy His fellowship. And as you learn of Him - you’re being prepared to show the world! You know Him! The end result of this consistent intimacy is fire and transformational power by the Holy Spirit.
V. Walking in the Power and Spirit of Elijah
“As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.” Matthew 17:9-11 NIV
We are called to walk as Elijah walked. Changing nations.
“Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord —he is God! The Lord —he is God!” Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.” 1 Kings 18:37-40 NIV
The number 12 represents divine government. Establishing God’s Kingdom. That’s what we’re called to do. We’re not called to be afraid. We’re called to reveal God the Father with power. But we have to know there is a cost. Before the chosen few saw the glory of the Lord, they were taught. About losing everything for the Kingdom of God. It’s the only way to live. Otherwise, we’re giving the life he died to give us away.
VI. Conclusion – The Status Quo Is Not An Option
Before Jesus was transfigured before his disciples, his closest disciples – he gave them a key to accessing the power and presence of God.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” Matthew 16:24-27 NIV
What do you want? Is it worth more than Christ? He’s got your reward in hand. We just need to seek him to receive it. And it’s far more glorious than anything this world has to offer. ““Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30 NIV Give him everything. And watch him change the world through you.