Aug 24, 2017

Turn Up the Volume

We live in a noisy day.  The average person has up to 10,000 messages coming at them each day through mobile ads, TV, internet, radio, people, pop up ads, etc.  Together all of these messages form a noise barrier that makes it hard to get one message to rise above the other. 

And many of the messages coming at kids are the wrong messages.  Messages of wayward ideas, wrong priorities and false doctrine.  Messages that say God is not real.  Messages that say there is no absolute truth.  Messages that say do whatever makes you happy.  Messages that say the Bible is just another book.

How do we penetrate the hearts and minds of kids and families with our message? 

If we are going to get the message of the Gospel and the truth of God's Word to rise above the noise and be heard, then we must TURN UP THE VOLUME.

In the Bible, we find a group of men who turned up the volume so loud that they were accused of "turning the world upside down."  This group of men raised the volume of their message so loud that it literally changed the world!

Paul and the other followers of Jesus lived in a day that was very similar to ours.  A world of many messages.  There were hundreds of different "gods" clamoring for the hearts and minds of people.  In fact, they even had a shrine to the "unknown god."  It was a noisy, noisy, noisy day. 

So, how did Paul turn up the volume so loud that it changed the world?  Was it through his wisdom, great preaching skills, charisma or natural abilities.  No.  In fact, look what he says. 

"When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.  For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.  I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.  And my message and my preaching were very plain.  Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.  I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God."  2 Corinthians 2:1-5

Paul and the early believers turned up the volume through the power of the Holy Spirit.  It wasn't through clever speeches or extraordinary wisdom, but through God's power working through them. 

If you are going to turn up the volume and get your message to rise above the noise, then you must operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.  This means before you minister publicly, you must get alone with God and ask Him to anoint you and work through you.  You must beg the Holy Spirit to do what you cannot do...change hearts and lives. 

Look what Matthew 6:6 says.

"But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you."
If you want to turn up the volume front stage, then you must turn up the volume backstage by spending time alone with God.  
 Notice what our calling is in Mark 3:14.  

"Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach."

See the order?  Your first calling is to be with Jesus.  To walk with Him.  To talk with Him.  To move into a place of total dependence on Him.  After that, you go out to do ministry.  If you skip the first part of your calling, then the volume will not be turned up in the second part of your calling.  

God wants to use you to turn your community...your city...your church upside down for Jesus!  He wants to make the message of His love and forgiveness so loud that it rises above the noise and is heard by the kids and families He has called you to reach.  

Walk with God.  Spend time with God.  Beg the Holy Spirit to anoint you afresh with His power.  Depend not on your own strength, but on His strength.  Before you stand to teach, get on your face and ask the Holy Spirit to turn up the volume.  Before you walk into that classroom, fall down and ask God to work in power and might.  Before you serve, get into the Word and let it fill your heart and mind.  

Let's turn up the volume so loud through the power of the Holy Spirit that it cannot be ignored by Gen Z and their parents!  

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