Couple of weeks ago Skip talked about transformation, metamorphosis, and mentioned the Incredible Hulk. It got me thinking about the awesome power that God has placed inside of every believer. So, I’ll just come right out and ask you point blank…if you could have any superpower, what would it be?
You know you’ve thought about it, because science has proven that everybody has thought about it. I think. And this just might reveal what is really going on in that head of yours! The superpower you choose will probably be an extension of your deepest fears or feelings of insecurity. But then again, mind reading is not my superpower, so what answers come to your mind?
For me? I’ve gone through a whole series of potential choices, starting with the less impressive, to the “whoa, that would be so cool!” Sort of like the X-men world. You know, like, a guy who can actually fly a paper airplane at will, to a girl who might shred the known universe because she’s having a bad hair day.
You’ve see the X-men movies? Cyclops has laser beam vision. Storm could bring on about any sort of weather. Jean Gray could move things with her mind. Rouge could take the life out of you with just a touch. Wolverine had these three metal blades that came out of his hands and could heal his wounds… Magneto could use the power of magnets and steel to bring about the downfall of the known world. That’s right; there are a few X-men that could use their power for evil rather than good.
Anyway, for me, I started with something very simple – Perhaps it was only the power of cheese, but I thought through the usual choices like flying, freezing time, invisibility, flying through frozen time while invisible, but finally ended up with the best choice for me:
My superpower would be the ability to get more superpowers. I thought this was a unique gift until I noticed that the TV program Heroes had a guy who could do just that… and he turned out to be the villain. I think it’s sort of like Aladdin wishing for more wishes in the Genie scenario, only this time it’s allowed. That way I’d never run out of choices!
But we all know, this conversation is sort of like Nacho Libre’s habit of wearing stretchy pants in his room – it’s for fun. In the real world we don’t have superpowers…or do we?
According to the Bible, you don’t have a superpower – but you do have a supernatural ability. It’s not what you think – you won’t be able to see through walls or shoot spider webs from your palms, but you will be able to do things that are beyond your natural abilities that effect things beyond this natural world.
Sound interesting? It should, because it’s one of the coolest parts of being a Christian. When you trusted Christ as your personal Savior, God sent His Holy Spirit to live inside you – and when He ‘moved in’, He brought a unique ability that’s custom designed to be used in great and powerful ways.
Here’s the way the Bible describes what I’m talking about:
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (I Peter 4:10-11)
Wow! That’s a lot of amazing information in a short time – so let’s take a closer look.
- First, notice that God has given each of us a spiritual gift – not just pastors and ‘super-spiritual’ saints. Every Christian on the planet is sitting on a powder keg of spiritual power just waiting to blow apart the gates of hell.
- Second, Peter tells us that when we use our spiritual gifts or abilities, God’s power flows through us to do amazing things. Peter wants you and every Christian to discover that we all have a supernatural ability that can literally change the world for an eternity. When Spirit filled Christians use their Spirit given gifts to the glory of God, lives are changed, souls are saved, and the world is a better place because of your willingness.
We’ve just gone through an evaluation process involving our mission and vision here at King’s Grant. The only way for God to move through this congregation is for all of His children to use the gift He’s given to them, to serve and reach out to others.
We are called to be the stewards of the lives God has given to us. The Bible has a lot to say about stewardship. We are to be good stewards of everything the Owner has given us. If we are truly His hands and feet, then the task of “Bringing all the peoples of the earth to saving faith in Jesus Christ” is to be taken literally, and personally. That is what the Great Commission is all about. God has called many to be obedient goers (missionaries), but He calls all of us to be faithful witnesses, servants and stewards.
Luke records a marvelous story about stewardship, although that’s not what this story is known for. I believe every person here will focus upon one person in this story, a person in whom you can identify. The story is the Good Samaritan, and the story begins with an ordinary guy.
I. The Certain Man – What’s mine is mine, if I can keep it.
Most people might fit into this category, especially in America, as compared to the rest of the world.
- People’s possessions – their stuff, upgrades
- People’s plans – life goals and dreams, your future, career plans, college (missionary, ministry)
- People’s possibilities – their giftedness, talents
II. The Corrupt Men – What’s yours is mine, if I can take it.
Many of us know people with this attitude, maybe not criminals and muggers personally, but with other things like selfish ambition and jealousy. Many people don’t want to work for their own successes, but would rather take things from others, to build themselves up, and their careers.
- How often are people out to get something from you?
- Your time or money, (people want to use your time and money, rather than their own).
- Your homework, information on a test (cheating, stealing, plagiarism)
- Your support, commitment, or endorsement…
- A lot of things can easily keep you from doing the important things of life.
There is a story that I read many years ago, a short booklet called, “The Tyranny of the Urgent.”
There are a lot of urgent things (perhaps even worthwhile things) that come into our lives each and every day, and then the important things can sometimes get put to the side. Think of all the important things in your live that if you do not do them, they literally will not get done:
- Supporting my family and raising my children
- Sustaining my quiet time with God.
- Setting up my Sunday school lesson
- Securing my financial future.
Now think about your giftedness and the work to be done here. Could it be that if you don’t join God in what He is doing, it will not get done? We are the hands and feet of God in this world. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. If we don’t do it, who will? Is our service to God something that is urgent or is it something that is important?
III. The Clergy Men – What’s yours is yours, and you can keep it.
Many people don’t like getting involved in the lives of other people. At the very least, we feel that we can throw some money at the problem, but not get personally involved. The trick is learning how to discern between the “robbers” and the “religious men.” Perhaps it is not an easy task in these days of scandal. People say, “I just don’t have time to get involved, so I don’t, and expect someone else to do it.”
- Perhaps I won’t go work in that downtown mission, with those kinds of people.
- Perhaps I won’t befriend that girl in my class because she’s just not cool like me and my friends.
- Perhaps I won’t stand up for or help the boy that is bullied by the rest of the guys on my team.
- Perhaps I won’t invite my classmate or co-worker to my church because they might think I’m some Bible toting Jesus freak.
But there are some people who want to do more, to get personally involved. They schedule their time for the important things, and can’t wait to see how God can use them for the work of His kingdom.
IV. The Committed Man – What’s mine is yours, if you’ll have it.
Christians all over this city and county desire God’s name to be lifted up, lives touched, families changed forever, men praying openly without fear and leading their families toward commit to Christ and obedience to His Word.
You are here at church. You are the faithful who come to church to learn how to be a better minister of the gospel, to learn something new. I remember hearing Rick Warren of the Saddleback Community Church tell about a time when he was at this conference several years ago, with the pastors of the top 25 largest churches in America. The pastors were all together, and he was invited to speak about the miracle growth at Saddleback. As he spoke, he saw W.A. Criswell, the then pastor of First Dallas, taking notes. It really spoke to him that someone as influential as Criswell would was still interested in learning something new and taking notes! He said it was a humbling experience.
So, it will be an insult to your faith and the God we serve if after hearing a message like this, that we do not ask ourselves the question, “What can I do?”
Look for the superhero deep within you. Find your superhero ability and use it for the service of others. What does your Spidey sense tell you? What can you do for the kingdom of God? Sort of beats shooting spider webs – ya think?
Speaking of Spidey – God is challenging us to be good stewards of the gift he has given to us. At the end of the first Spider-Man movie that should be one of the first things you think about each day: ” Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ ”
By the time Peter Parker is in the second movie, something changed. He is more interested in a relationship with MJ, and he knows being Spider-Man will forever put her in danger. He figures that if he was no longer Spider-Man, he could follow his personal dream. Let’s look at this brief video that is a perfect picture of God calling us to be good stewards of what He has given to us.
The great part is that discovering and using the superhero inside you, it’s not difficult.
- Start with reading what the Bible says about spiritual gifts and praying.
- Ask Him to give you a passion for your gift and to open doors where you can use it.
- Also, ask your Christian friends, family, pastor, youth leader, etc. what they think your spiritual gift is and how they see you using it.
Your spiritual gifts represent great power – and you have a great responsibility to find out what they are and use them. God is sitting with you right now, with his hand extended, “Take my hand Peter” and those haunting words of Peter Parker fill our thought, and we say to the God of the universe, “No, I’m Spider-Man no more.” How can we casually walk away, and break our Father’s heart and dash His plans for our lives?
So I’ll come right out and ask you point blank again…you definitely have a spiritual gift, so how are you going to use it? The Bible says… “Many gifts, One Spirit.”