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FIRST-PERSON: Developing a full-throttle faith

Editor’s note: Beginning in November, Jack Graham’s column will run twice a month.

PLANO, Texas (BP)–We live in a culture that continues to push the envelope to become more and more immoral. In the midst of this disintegration, why do Christians seem to have such a small and seemingly insignificant impact?

Millions of people consider themselves Christians saying they believe completely in the Word of God, but they often compromise its truth and are often weak, disengaged, and disinterested.

The New Testament tells us of the fishermen and tax collectors — common and ordinary men — who were so infused with the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room that their actions would leave an everlasting imprint. The disciples acted upon this extraordinary transformation, and in an immoral culture much like ours — full of paganism, false worship, idolatry, sexual immorality and more — they rocked the world and turned it upside down for Christ.

How can you and I turn the world upside down and influence people for Christ? One word — passion. Jason and other passionate believers in the city of Thessalonica were brought before rulers of the city and accused of declaring Jesus as king rather than Caesar. The Bible says the evil mob cried out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:6).

They made an impact on their city, despite the persecution they faced, and led many to believe that Christ was King. We need the same fuel, fire and energy that made such an impact on early followers of Jesus. Fortunately, it is very available and accessible.

In Acts 1:7-8 Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

They were given a seemingly impossible task when Christ commanded them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel against all odds and obstacles. Their faith was small, but Christ empowered them with the Holy Spirit and energized them with His passion for sharing the Message.

There are two conversions every believer must go through. We must first get out of the world, and then go back into the world. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we must be distinctively different from the rest of the world. While non-believers (and sometimes carnal believers) may entice you to participate in worldly things, it is our duty as Christians to determine whether we will separate from their ways in our words, actions, thoughts and attitudes.

Secondly, believers must go back into the world with the Gospel of Christ. Our culture has become increasingly anti-Christian, often in the name of tolerance. The alarm is ringing but many Christians are punching the snooze button. It is time to wake up, get filled up with the Spirit of Christ, and get going with the Gospel message.

Our task doesn’t lie somewhere in the future — it is right here and now. But know this: you have God’s power available. The great evangelist D.L. Moody said, “You might as well try to hear without ears, see without eyes, and breathe without lungs as to witness or live without the Holy Spirit.”

Do you have a maxed-out, full-throttle faith in Christ? Do you engage the world with an uncompromised obedience to the Word of God? Do you express a courageous, confident faith in the Son of God — the redeemer, risen, reigning and returning King and do you embrace complete surrender to the Spirit of God?

As Christians we are bold in our faith, not because we’re arrogant, but because we know the truth and can’t help but proclaim it. We couldn’t stop this story of Good News if we tried. Fired and fueled by the Spirit of God to take the Gospel around the world, we must make sure we have the passion of Jesus Christ and a full-throttle faith living in us.
For more information on Jack Graham, visit www.jackgraham.org. The website contains Graham’s sermons in audio and video format, as well as an online store with resources. Visitors also can sign up for “A Daily Word from Pastor Graham.”

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  • Jack Graham