Sunday, August 15, 2010

Words of Encouragement

Theme: Women charged by the Spirit
Preached Metropolitan Church of God
Detroit, MI, 2007 (Part 3 of 3)

What does it mean to be charged? Charged – excited (eager, energized, animated), stimulated (inspired, stirred, moved, motivated, encouraged), electrified (exhilarated, amazed), thrilled (delighted, overjoyed, pleased, ecstatic).

So the day you gave yourself completely to God was the day, he said, I empower you with my Spirit. My Spirit will transform you from the misfit you were, to the mighty vessel of honor I have ordained you to be. I now charge you to go forth. I give you a mandate. I want you to go forth in the excitement of my spirit. I want you to stimulate, inspire, and stir the hearts of men and women. I want you to motive and encourage the people and move them to taking a closer walk with me. I want you to amaze with the transformation that has happened in your life, because no one can heal the brokenness of your heart the way God can. I want you to be overjoyed in me, pleased to do as I say and delighted to be my servant, my child. I charge you.

There are some of you right now that God has given a vision of what he wants to happen in your life, but you have hidden it because you can’t believe it can come to pass. Let me tell you, nothing, I say nothing is impossible with God. I stand here before you, a picture of what God can do. I did not like to talk in front of people and I surely could not image he would want to use me for anything. Yet, next May I’ll be graduating from Mid America Christian University with a 4.0 average. A girl who was told she would never be anything or was stupid, but God said I have the last word on that. A girl who didn’t think she could speak well or could write well, in a few weeks my first book will be available. God said I have another plan. Remember you are never God’s second choice! Whatever the world says you’ll be is not what God says. He has the final word on our lives.

Let’s take a look at one other transformed life, Mary Magdalene. “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him. And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out whom went seven devils. And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.” (Luke 8:1-3)

What do we know about Mary Magdalene? She was a woman sick and possessed. She was not in her right mind, who could be possessed with seven demons? She was infirmed or sick; if not from a physical illness surely from the sin in her life. We know that Jesus healed her of all that possessed her, he set her free from the sin that she was entangled in he released her from her island of misfits.

While we do not know a lot about Mary’s beginnings, we do have more information about her latter part of her life. She was a woman that had met the savior and had felt the beauty of his touch on her life. The ugly life she had before had been transformed into something beautiful. The ashes of her life were now turned into beauty. She was able to come with other women that had been changed by Jesus and minister in his work. Mary also came with others to prepare Jesus’ body after he was crucified (Mark 16). It said they came early in the morning at the rising of the sun. As I thought about this, instead of them coming to the rising of the sun, they came to the find the risen son. They came to be part of the witness of Jesus’ resurrection. Mary had been a witness to his treatment and his crucifixion. Now she would be a witness to his resurrection, she would be able to tell others about the power of Christ to raise lives from sin and to transform them. She would be able because she had been one of those people transformed and now she was united with other transformed women to see what Jesus needed. These women came to prepare the body of Christ for burial, well we, as transformed women today need to band together and be about the service of God and we then become like those women that were preparing the body of Christ for burial. This burial isn’t an actual burial, but as we help others be transformed we become help in the burial of their sinful condition and then the rising of the son in their lives can be witness by us as we walk together. Are we transformed women about the business of the savior are we looking to see how we can serve Jesus?

What is God’s plan for your life? He wants you to know you do not have to be the best of the best to come to him. He doesn’t expect you to be good at anything. He doesn’t choose us based on what we have or what we think or what positions we hold. He simple says come as you are, that means with your brokenness, your hurts, your fears, and your issues. And when you come, he says, I will heal you. I will restore wholeness to you. He takes the brokenness of our lives and creates the beauty inside. He takes those things in us that are pleasing to him and he cultivates them and shapes them. Those things that need to be removed, he removes until we look more and more like his Son.

But he doesn’t do all this so you can keep this transformation to ourselves; he wants us to go find those other misfits that are in need of a savior. The beauty of the body of Christ is we are all a bunch of misfits that God put together and made us work in unity. We become like that band of women in the scripture working together for the purpose of Christ. That can only happen with the power of God.

My question to you then is this; do you want to be a woman charged by the spirit of God? Then come and yield yourself completely to him. Allow him to transform your life from what it is to what he wants. If you have a relationship with Christ then ask God to revive you for the mission he has especially for you. I cannot fill your place, only you are the one. See it was thought that someone else was going to be here today, but I was God’s first choice all the time. We are never second choice for God. We are always the ones he has called to do the work he has called us to do. Today, rededicate yourself to the work of the Lord. You were once a misfit, but God changed you into a vessel of honor. So he says go to the uttermost parts of the world and find those other misfits and bring them into the kingdom. Help someone know that they have a place with God. We have someone that seeks us and ask us to be his disciple. We have been given a great honor, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Are you charged for the journey? What if you are a misfit? Do you know sitting right in your midst is your light? There is another woman sitting here ready to hold you hand through the darkness and help you find the light of Christ. They won’t judge you, but love you as you allow God to heal your hurts and brokenness. You have to first accept the gift of salvation that God offers freely to you today. When you do, he will give you his Spirit so that you can make it in this world, and he bonds you with others so that you no longer have to walk alone, you have a home, a place to belong. You are wanted, and no longer an outcast, a misfit. I leave you with this poem I wrote as God spoke to my heart one early morning.