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We're turning to Hebrews chapter 13 for our Scripture reading, and I have the privilege of concluding your studies in the Epistle to the Hebrews tonight. So, Hebrews 13, beginning to read at verse 18: "Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably". Now let me just pause there for a moment. It's interesting to note that the writer is not too proud or self-sufficient to request prayer, and that should be instructive for us all. This was, I remind you, if you look at the verse, with confidence and good conscience. So he's got confidence in the Lord and a clear conscience, and yet he still needed the prayers of God's people. We need each other's prayers, don't we? Paul, of course, famously, in Ephesians chapter 6 at the end of what he says about the armour of God requested that 'for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak'. He requested prayer that he would be faithful in the calling that God had upon his life.

Let's continue to read verse 19: "But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly. Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you. Grace be with you all. Amen".

It's interesting to note that the writer is not too proud or self-sufficient to request prayer, and that should be instructive for us all...

Let's pray, and please do pray with me now, will you, that God will speak to your heart? We can pray for one another, of course, as we have just seen in verse 18 - but do pray now for yourself, that God would come in a very special way and minister to you. Will you do that? Let's pray: Father, we do come before You as our Abba Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We thank You for the cross, we thank You for the precious blood of the eternal covenant that we have been thinking about already in our reading. We thank You that it's the Holy Spirit who comes and applies all of that to our lives practically and personally. We just invite You to come now to do that, by Your own divine power: that none of us here tonight would miss out on what You have for us, Lord. As we conclude our considerations in this epistle, we pray, Lord, that we will meet You in a very definite way, in a life-changing way that will make a difference for us, for our families, for our relationships, for even this fellowship and community. Lord, we need You now, and we pray for Your help in the name of the Lord Jesus. Deliver us from going through programs, going through the motions, and just preaching sermons, Lord. We want to be real, and we want the atmosphere to be charged with the presence and power of Almighty God. So come, Lord, we pray, come and meet with us in a manifest way. For Christ's sake we ask it, Amen.

Well, we've come now to the benediction, the final exhortation and farewell of the writer to the Hebrews. I wish I had been here at the beginning to find out who the writer to the Hebrews was - I'm sure somebody told you who that was, and if you know you can let me know afterwards! But, in the light of all he has shared, whoever he is, he emphasises it further really in verse 22: 'I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words'. I don't know whether that was tongue in cheek or not, but it's one of the longer epistles that we have in the New Testament. I want you to notice that at the end of this epistle he prays and blesses these believers to enablement. We've had a lot of exhortation right throughout the epistle, but here at the conclusion he prays and blesses them to enablement. So I've entitled this message tonight: 'Encouragement And Enablement To Do God's Will'.

I think this is an interesting concept to consider, that is: being able to bless others - not just pray for them, but to bless others. When I say 'bless', I don't mean just being kind, I'm talking about the actual act of spiritual blessing. The New Testament calls us a kingdom of priests, and so there was a particular exclusive class in the Old Testament of priests, Levites, and so on - but we now are considered, new covenant believers all, male and female, to be priests. We saw last week how we can offer up spiritual sacrifices to God, all of us - but what often is missed is the privilege that we have, as a Levitical priests had in the Old Testament, to bless others. We can bless others. There are several scriptures in the New Testament that talk about this, not least James chapter 3 verse 10, he says: 'Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so'. Now, I'm sure you've never known believers to curse one another - have you not!? It can happen! I'm not talking about cussing, I'm talking about cursing - they are not identical. We can say negative things about other believers and don't realise that we are using our tongues, effectively, to bring curse.

I think this is an interesting concept to consider, that is: being able to bless others - not just pray for them, but to bless others...

But it's the positive I want to labour tonight, because that's what this writer is doing at the end of the epistle. He is blessing these believers who he has exhorted to run the race, to not look back, to not resort to their old ways of Judaism and deny Christ; but to press through, to go outside the camp bearing His reproach, and to stand with Him whatever the cost - but he blesses them to that end with what we might call apostolic blessing. By the way, the Lord did say: 'Bless those who curse you, pray for those who despitefully use you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake' - do you remember that in the Sermon on the Mount? Sometimes folk will say to me (and maybe this is a conversation you've never had), 'I was cursed by someone'. This can happen, a certain person might come to your door, or somebody you meet in work or in the public square, and they have a certain belief, superstition, or whatever you want to call it, and they can put a curse on you. Do you know how to handle that? I'm sure you've never considered it, but just in case it happens to you tomorrow, do you know how to handle that? Bless those who curse you! The first thing you never do is have fear, because as soon as you have fear you allow a landing pad for anything the enemy will send against you. The best way to bounce any curse off anyone is to bless the person! First of all you will see a blank look on their face, because they are totally and utterly confused by such a reaction - but who knows how your blessing them might affect them?

Now, we can attribute that to the occult and all the rest, but what about people who just have it in for us? People who don't like us, who slander us? Some have called this 'to come in the opposite spirit'. It certainly disarms someone because it isn't what they are expecting, but it is a spiritual law, if you like, in the kingdom of God, that our Lord Jesus taught about: how we actually can defuse many a situation by blessing those who curse us. I suppose we might ask from that what our conversation is like? As we talk about one another, do we bless each other? What is our attitude? Is it helpful? Even in our pastoral care, it's very easy whenever we do see shortfall in people's lives to point out the negative, rather than to exhort people with encouragement to enablement through blessing them.

Look at how many problems these Hebrews were facing, being persecuted by those in their faith, fellow Jews, for professing faith in Christ; their own deficiencies themselves - and yet the parting farewell of the writer is a faith-endued message of hope and blessing. Basically, if I could paraphrase it, his parting shot is to say to them: 'You can do it! You can do it! The God of peace and power is with you, and you can do it!'. Isn't that encouraging? In case you haven't noticed, people need encouragement and they need enablement. Incidentally, that's why the Father sent the Holy Spirit. He is called the 'Parakletos', the One who comes alongside and helps. Some translations translate His name 'The Encourager'. The old English translations call Him 'The Comforter', which is made up of two old Latin words 'com' and 'fortis', meaning 'with strength'. So we think of comfort as a pat on the back, 'There, there, everything will be all right', whereas the original meaning was more like a blood transfusion of strength to get through. So the Holy Spirit is our Encourager, He is the One who enables us, the Promise of the Father and the Son whom we need, without whom we can do nothing.

The parting farewell of the writer is a faith-endued message of hope and blessing...

This point leads us well into the subject matter of this farewell, which really is: 'You need God for this, Hebrews. You need the God of peace for this, but you have God for this. Be encouraged, He will enable you!'. So I want you to see four things from this farewell, particularly verses 20 and 21, that hopefully will encourage and enable you to do God's will also. The first thing I want you to see that it is the God of peace whom the writer exhorts as the encouragement and enablement to do God's will - the God of peace. Now, of course, the New Testament is written in Greek, but it would not have been lost on the Jewish Hebrew mind that 'Shalom' in Hebrew is the word for 'peace', and of course you will know, if you have been to the Holy Land, that this indeed is the present greeting word that people use. But we often construe the meaning of 'Shalom' as 'peace' in our understanding, which is the absence of war. Of course, our greeting, we say 'Hello' but we often shake hands, is traditionally a sign of the bearing of arms being put down, and shaking hands, a greeting of peace. But 'Shalom' means much more than that, it's not simply the absence of war, but it is the presence of something: the presence of wholeness and well-being, health, life, and blessing. When you consider that the context of this epistle was the threat of persecution towards many of these Hebrews for professing faith in Christ, from their kinsmen, you understand why it was so important that they knew the peace of God in their lives. This persecution may not stop, and the peace of God does not always change our circumstances, particularly the adverse ones; but the fact of the matter is: God, the God of Shalom, is with us - that's why we can be still in the storm.

A few weeks ago a member of our family was going through an operation, and my wife was writing a greeting card for them to wish them well and assure them of our prayers. As she often does, she asked me: 'What verse will I put on this card?'. Normally I just fire out anything - well, something appropriate, you understand! - but I don't normally think about it too much, you know, it's usually Psalm 121 (you've maybe got one of these cards sometime!) Psalm 121 or Psalm 46 verses 10 and 11. This time it happened to be Psalm 46 verses 10 and 11, which is: 'Be still and know that I am God'. So she wrote the card, and later that day I happened to have a period to pause and just reflect a little in prayer, and I wanted something to meditate on. It came to mind, that verse, Psalm 46:10-11 - and I thought to myself 'I know that so well', you know, you're so familiar. But I was sitting, and I had a pile of Bibles and books beside my easy chair, and one of them I always have there (don't tell anybody, OK?) is the Good News Bible. I like the Good News Bible, especially the pictures in it! But some of the renderings in the Good News Bible are tremendous, and I lifted it and looked at what the Good News Bible rendered Psalm 46:10-11, and it's this - instead of 'Be still' it said 'Stop fighting and know that I am God'. I thought 'That's interesting, I've never thought about 'Be still' in that context' - I thought it was more, you know, just settling down and quietening yourself before God. But actually, as you look at the rest of that Psalm, it's all about the God who causes wars to cease, isn't that right? The God of Jacob who is with us. Then I thought, I had another translation there as well, and it's called 'The Passion Translation', and I lifted it and I thought 'I wonder what it says'. It said this: 'Surrender your anxiety, be silent and stop your striving, and you will see that I am God'. Surrender your anxiety, be silent and stop your striving, and you will see that I am God. A little marginal reading referred to what is called the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament Hebrew, and it translates 'Be still' as 'Relax'. 'Relax and know that I am God!' or 'Relax and know that the God of Shalom is with you'. Does that not help? It ought to help!

The God who makes wars to cease is with us, and yet when we are in the midst of conflict He gives His peace, which Philippians says is beyond comprehension. You know, I call that 'Pinch yourself peace'. In other words, everything would say rationally that you should be distressed and in a panic, but you're not because the supernatural peace of God has come upon you, and you nearly have to pinch yourself to ask 'Why am I not in an anxious state right now?'. That's because the God of Shalom is with you. It's a wonderful thing to have the peace of God in your life, isn't it? But it's an even greater thing to have the God of peace with you! Boy, these Hebrews needed to hear this because of the cost that it would mean to profess Jesus as Saviour and Lord of their life. You need it, don't you, whatever you're going through? I know some of you are going through very tumultuous experiences right now, and I know you have God's peace.

I know some of you are going through very tumultuous experiences right now, and I know you have God's peace..

Secondly we see that the God of resurrection is with them, isn't that what it says? 'The God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead' - wow. We touched upon this a little bit last week. I love Paul's prayers in the epistle to the Ephesians. There is a marvellous prayer in chapter 1, and another in chapter 3 - and, by the way, if you want to really know that you're praying according to the will of God, it's a good practice to start praying the prayers of the Bible. In chapter 1 Paul prays that the Ephesian believers, and by inference all of us, that they may know the exceeding greatness of God's power towards us who believe. Do you know that? Do you know the exceeding greatness of God's power which is toward you? 'According to the working of His mighty power', here's how it's measured, 'which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places' - that's the measure of the power of God. It brought Jesus Christ back from the dead - by the way, never to die again, that's more than just a resuscitation. There are resuscitations, if you like, or resurrections if you want to put that term on it, in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles - but those people died again. But the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, He was the firstborn from among the dead, His was a unique resurrection because He was raised never to die again and He became the first of a new order, the first of a new creation, and we will follow in His train.

So the power that raised Him from the dead is the power of God that is towards you, but you need a revelation of the exceeding greatness of that power - do you have that? Why not pray with Paul that you might have it? In Ephesians chapter 3 and verse 20 he says: 'Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think', listen, 'according to the power that works in us'. That verse is often emphasised in relation to prayer, how powerful prayer is - but it's not really about how powerful prayer is, it's about the power of the Spirit of God in us that is engaged when we pray according to the will of God. It's the God of the resurrection that we have, and He is meant to live within us to the fullest extent possible. The New Testament phrase is: 'to be filled with all the fullness of God' - isn't that incredible?

Do you remember John chapter 11, when Lazarus died and Mary and Martha were so dejected at the thought that the Lord had come late to help him? Then the Lord began to speak and reveal Himself as the resurrection and the life: 'He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die'. Do you remember how He finished such a famous statement? 'Do you believe this? Do you believe this?'. I'm asking you that. I know you might recite a creed or catechetical statement or doctrinal assent, 'I believe in the resurrection of the body', or however else you might term it - but I want to ask you now: do you believe this? That whatever you're going through in life, or whatever you shall face, not only the God of Shalom, peace, is with you, but the God of resurrection is in you, and the exceeding great power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in you to do beyond your wildest dreams - but you've got to believe it! You've got to believe it.

That's why, I believe, Paul emphasises the importance of the resurrection in his epistle to the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians 15 he says: 'We are of all people most miserable if we just die and rot in the grave', because his life was under threat. What was the point of having all these close shaves that we read about in 2 Corinthians that Paul experienced if there is no resurrection of the dead? Paul says in Philippians if we die: 'Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death; for to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain' - because of the resurrection, it's the only explanation. To put it bluntly: you can't threaten a Christian with heaven, can you?

The exceeding great power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in you to do beyond your wildest dreams - but you've got to believe it!

It's also comforting to know that God is interested in the physical universe. We can have a very ethereal spirituality, which is dangerous at times, that divorces the spiritual dimension from the physical - but there is no such distinction within Scripture. In fact, that borders on heresy, such as Gnosticism. Isn't it good to know that God is interested in our bodies, that matter matters to God, and one day He's going to raise these bodies. Now they will be different, but He's going to raise them. Do you know there's going to be a new Heaven and a new Earth one day? Do you know that this world is not going to be completely obliterated and never exist again, and we will just all live in some pie in the sky - God is going to renew creation to such an extent, a redeeming of creation, that will be more recognisable as this Earth than you would ever imagine? In fact, Revelation indicates that the New Jerusalem will come down from God and, as it were, will meet Earth and Heaven will come to be upon Earth. We believe in the God of incarnation, Jesus Christ came into human flesh. God showed how there is sanctity in the human being in incarnation and in redemption, and one day through resurrection we shall all be changed in the twinkling of an eye.

The God of resurrection, but the emphasis is really on Who was raised from the dead here. It's found in this phrase, this title, 'the great Shepherd of the sheep'. What he is emphasising here is that we have the greatest Leader. We touched on this last week if you were here, last Sunday night we looked at the context of chapter 13 which goes right back to chapter 11 where there is this great list of heroes of the faith and heroines of the faith, the Hall of Fame and Faith; and then he exhorts us in chapter 13 verse 7 to 'Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you', our own heroes who brought us to faith in Christ 'whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct', and then verse 17 'Obey those who rule over you presently', be in submission to your leaders now. But he ends in this benediction, reminding us that the One who was raised from the dead is the greatest Leader of all, the great Shepherd of the sheep - and that's our ultimate encouragement and empowerment, coming from having the great Shepherd who established an everlasting covenant through the shedding of His blood. Didn't we see that last week in verse 10: 'We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat' - that's the cross. Whilst they might have the altar, and the laver, and the Ark, and all the ceremony and the ritual; we have the cross which is the anti-type of all those shadows and pictures.

If you go to verse 11 of chapter 9: 'But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?'. This Shepherd, this Leader, and His sacrifice remains the same forever. We saw last week in verse 8 of chapter 13: 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever'. Therefore, chapter 12 verses 2 and 3, we are to fix our eyes on Him, 'looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God', verse 3, 'For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls'. We have the greatest Leader who suffered, but He despised the shame for the joy that was set before Him. He endured the cross, therefore consider Him in what you're going through right now, consider Him, He is your Leader! There is no place that His sheep will traverse that He has not gone before. No road, no way, no terrain that you will pass that He has not passed already.

The One who was raised from the dead is the greatest Leader of all, the great Shepherd of the sheep - and that's our ultimate encouragement and empowerment...

The God of peace and resurrection, who has given us the greatest Shepherd of all, and really the conclusion of this benediction, I feel, is that this One makes us, verse 21: 'complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen'. If I can paraphrase that, he's simply saying we have all we need to make it. We have all we need to make it! Some of these Hebrews didn't think they were going to make it, some of them well-nigh had gone back to their old Jewish ways, rejecting Christ - but we have all we need to make it, the writer says. He is encouraging them through the enablement that the God of peace and resurrection gives, our great Shepherd of the sheep.

Now, I have to sound a note of warning here: because we have all we need to make it, does not mean that it is automatic success and maturity that we know as Christians. That is a mistake that we often make. You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ - that means everything that comes to Jesus comes to you in the will, isn't that incredible? Everything that He gets, you get, and it's deposited in your account - but though it's in your account, it must be drawn down by faith, and you must walk in obedience to the promises of God. When you walk in faith - and who can deny the centrality of faith in this epistle? Romans says Christianity is from faith to faith, Hebrews 6 has told us that without faith it is impossible to please God - but when we live this life of faith and obedience, we can be sure that God will make us complete in every good work to do His will. But it's not automatic.

Now, I want to share with you some requirements that are necessary if you're going to be complete to do God's will in every way. The first is found in Romans 12:1-2, you mightn't even need to turn to it: 'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God'. So if you want to be complete in doing the will of God, everything He wants for your life, it is required of you that you surrender your body. Again, here is this physicality being spoken of. We like to talk about our soul, giving our soul to the Lord, have you given your body to the Lord? You might say: 'Well, which is more important, the soul or the body?'. Well, I think what is being inferred here is that if you've given your body to the Lord, your spirit and soul is contained within it, so you're more than likely giving Him everything - yes? Every Christian I know wants to know God's will for their life, but that usually means: 'Lord, who am I going to marry?' or 'What job am I meant to do? What is the career that You have lined up for me?' or 'Where do You want me to live? What country, or what neighbourhood or district, or what house to You want me to buy?' - when maybe upwards of 80% of God's will is already revealed to us in Scripture.

I want to share with you some requirements that are necessary if you're going to be complete to do God's will in every way...

We often treat God as a veritable satnav, but there are many things that He says to us. First Thessalonians 4:3: 'For this is the will of God, your sanctification', your holiness! Let's work on that for a while and forget about who you're going to marry, or what job you're going to do, or where you're going to live! That may actually sort itself out if you realise it's God's will that you be sanctified, it's God's will that you surrender your body to Him. Have you surrendered your body to the Lord?

The second thing I think is necessary in order to be complete in every good work to do His will is to submit to the Lordship of Christ. Now, we could talk long enough about that, and some of what we have referred to in Romans 12 incorporates that - but do we really appreciate the full extent of the rule and reign of the Lordship of Jesus over every area of our lives. I'm going to ask that a prayer be put up on the screen here, it's a prayer that I've used many, many times - I may have used it here, I'm not sure - but just look at this, I'm not going to ask you to pray it, I'm just showing you this, there are several slides of it, about three or four, to show you the various areas where Christ needs to be Lord.

'Lord Jesus Christ, I confess You now as my Lord, my Saviour, my Redeemer and my Deliverer.  I welcome You now to be Lord of every area of my life.

Be Lord of my spirit - of my worship, my conscience, and my spiritual perception.
Be Lord of my mind - of my thoughts, my understanding, and my imagination.
Be Lord of my emotions and each feeling I experience.
Be Lord of my will - of my choices and motives, of my plans and all my intentions.
Be Lord of my body and of my health, all my actions and all my senses:
- of my sight and the things I would look at, along with every look that I give out
- of my hearing and all that I listen to
- of my speech and conversation, and of everything that enters my mouth.
Be Lord of my sexuality in all its expressions.
Be Lord of my hands, the tasks that they engage in, and anything they touch.
Be Lord of my feet, each step they take, and every path that I travel.
Be Lord of my finances, as they come in and go out, and of all my belongings.
Be Lord of my time - of my labour, my leisure, my sleep, and my dreams.
Be Lord of my relationships - of my friends, my co-workers, my church, (my marriage) and my family.
Be Lord of my ambitions and any plans for my future.
Be Lord of the timing of my passing from this world to the next.

Lord Jesus, I thank You for shedding Your blood, that I might be cleansed and set free.  I place myself into Your hands, spirit, soul and body.

It's a good prayer, isn't it? Would you like it? It's in the back of my book! But seriously: it covers every facet, perhaps, generally every facet of our lives that we often don't consider. Yet someone rightly said, I think it was Billy Graham, 'If Jesus Christ is not Lord of all, He's not Lord at all'. Well, I'm not sure about that to a degree, because none of us have it all cracked, have we? Yet, we can submit to Him potentially in all these areas, it's not saying we don't struggle in some of the areas, but true relationship with the Lord, true abiding is actually not being perfect - believe it or not - but being honest, transparent about our struggles and bringing everything into relationship with the Lord and submitting to Him to have His way.

Surrender your body, submit to His Lordship, 'what is well pleasing in His sight', do you see that in verse 21? What is well pleasing in His sight may not look right to you; it's what's well pleasing in His sight. Then thirdly, after surrendering your body and submitting to the Lordship of Jesus, you need to access the supply of the Spirit. This is inferred here: 'make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you', working in you, 'what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ'. Now, how does Jesus Christ work in you? Jesus Christ works in you by the exceeding greatness of His power that was demonstrated when He rose from the dead, what we were talking about. So you must access the supply of the Spirit - didn't we read in Hebrews 9 that it was through the eternal Spirit that the Son of God offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins to the Father - through the Eternal Spirit what does that mean? Well, people have debated it, but I think basically it means that was by the power of the Spirit that He gave Himself to God.

True abiding is actually not being perfect - believe it or not - but being honest, transparent about our struggles...

The Galatians made this grave mistake, having begun in the Spirit they tried to make themselves perfect by the flesh - legalism. Many evangelical Christians are living on the same basis. Yet this power of the God of peace, the God of resurrection who brought again from the dead that great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant has promised that when we surrender our bodies, when we submit to the Lordship of Christ, and when we access the power of the Spirit, He has promised that we will be complete to do His will perfectly.

Colin Dye said this, listen: 'We can only imagine the power needed to create the universe in the first place. The power needed to re-create it' - do you understand? - 'will be infinitely greater than anything we could ever imagine. When we understand the power at work in the sun, the star at the centre of our solar system, we can begin to imagine the full power at work in the universe. In one second our Sun produces enough energy to meet the current needs of the entire earth for 500,000 years. That is the same amount of power needed to boil one kettle of water for every man, woman and child on earth continuously for 160 million years! But the power at work in the universe is far greater than produced by a single star. We are told that there are at least 100 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Scientists also estimate that there are 100 billion other galaxies in the observable universe. The power contained in the cosmos as we know it is above and beyond human comprehension. But the power revealed in the resurrection of Jesus is far greater than all the observable power in the universe. The resurrection is the first step in recreating the cosmos. It was not just a resuscitation of a dead corpse; it was a manifestation of the power of the New Creation, a resurrection to a totally different physical order' - and that power works for you, that power is meant to dwell in you through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever.

The power comes through the One to Whom belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, Amen. Resurrection power comes through He who is the Resurrection and the Life - may you know that blessing in your life, may you experience His encouragement, His enablement to do His will completely. Let's pray.

Father, we thank You for this epistle, we thank You for so much rich truth. Yet, Lord, there is such a weight of responsibility upon us to apply these truths to our lives. Not only is there that burden, there is a great need to do it when we consider the trials and difficulties that we go through. Lord, we need You, we need You, the God of peace; we need the God of resurrection for the dead things in our lives; we need the power of Your cross to set us free. Lord, I pray for grace to come to that point of surrender of our bodies, soul and spirit, and every facet of our being; to enable us to give You the keys of every room in our lives. Help us, Lord, to plug into the power that is there, that power that raised Christ from the grave and seated Him at Your right hand, Father. Lord, that power is there, just there right now at Your right hand, Lord. He has poured out that power, having now ascended and been glorified, that out of our innermost being would flow rivers of living water. Lord, may none of us be devoid of that peace and resurrection power as we live this life. To Him be glory forever and ever, Amen.

Transcribed by:
Preach The Word.
February 2018

This sermon was delivered at Scrabo Hall in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording titled "Encouragement And Enablement To Do God's Will" - Transcribed by Preach The Word.

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