Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Power of the Word

Sermon notes by Mike Enns
New Life Church – Varna, 24.05.2015

(Greetings) I welcome you all on this special holiday here to church. Day Of Bulgarian, AlphabetEnlightenment and Culture”.
When I was preparing for the sermon on this day, I was thinking of what to tell you.  
-> And I thought there probably isn’t much I can tell you about Bulgarian culture. So I will stick to the alphabet for today.
I don’t know how much of this is common knowledge but you guys probably know the inventors of the Glagolic alphabet right? (Cyril and Methodius. …… Well there are born Constantine and Michael (my names relative)   And they were born in a famous city from the bible. Do you know? Thessaloniki (today in Greece)
Emperor Michael 3 (another from my family) send them on a mission to evangelize here on the Balkan.                                                                                                                                        
And they needed an alphabet to translate the bible into the languages of the people there.                 
- That’s how the Glagolic alphabet was born.                                                                                      
- Later their students reached Bulgaria and were instructed by Boris 1 to teach the people.
Furthermore the translation of the bible played a major role in the generalisation of the Bulgarian language.
You have to imagine whole alphabets and languages bending around one book.    Coming to existence for it.                                                                                                                                    
 - Calling it the day of enlightenment when we finally could read it.                                                  
 - Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" path.”                                                      
Great how many people acknowledge that without even thinking about it.                                                                         
- That’s not even a rarity!
In Germany we had Martin Luther who unified the German language solely translating the bible.                      
– and there are many more examples still happening today.
Giving tribes alphabets and unifying languages.
!!!   Isn’t Gods word truly powerful?
But if we want to try to understand just a little of how important it is we should start in the beginning.                                                                                                                                 
-> The beginning of John that is.                                                                                                             In John 1,1-3:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.         
In the beginning was the Word. God’s words were here long before anything was created.  
-and only through that were all the things made.
-          Imagine the power his words have.    
The power of creation.
è That would be greater than any force known to science.!!!
-nobody is able to create from nothing.       
-even the big bang is supposed to come from something that explodes.
And if we read in 2 Timothy “All Scripture is breathed out by God".                                                       -what does that mean?
è Our whole existence is based on God words and here we have these same words written down for us. So we may learn from it.              
 ;isn’t that amazing.
At this point in my preparations I realised already that I too may not always treat the bible with the respect it deserves.
I have 5 bibles. 2 in German, 2 in English and one in Bulgarian.                                                                                    
 -I even have one on my phone with all the translations I want.
For us here it’s now a days an every day item.                                                                                         So we are in danger that the importance slips our mind.
You know? I always wanted to study far away. At best in English and out of the country .I was really happy when I could come here to Varna. Being so happy to never see the school again from inside.                                                                                                                                                  -
If I would tell my 3 years ago self how much home sick I was the first years I would have thought I have gone crazy here in Bulgaria.
Sometimes it’s hard to see what value something has for us if we have it every day.                                  
 They get buried in daily activity and thinking.                                                                                   
 - we constantly have to remind ourselves what importance we have in the word given to us                           
 -the Jews aren’t even allowed to touch the Tora (5 books Moses) with bare hands.                             That’s how important God’s word is for them.
And while we speak about importance: Do You happen to know who was voted most important person of the last century?
-a hint is he was German.
In the end of the century many publishers discussed this and the one who won was   Johannes Gutenberg – inventor of the printing press.  
-and what was the first book ever printed? …….The Bible.                                                                  
-being the bestselling book every year since creation of book making.
The power of God’s word doesn’t end with creation. ….. It reaches far into our time. Our lives. Into each and every one of our lives:                         
-”For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  As is written in Hebrews 4 verse 12                                                            
God’s word is alive. ……..Even today. And the world is in desperate need of it. ……With all the conflicts going on: With all the disasters, wars and terror: I don’t think I have to name them. We are praying for them all the time. God’s words have the power to pierce the souls and change our heart.                                                                                             
 -sharper than any sword could ever be. 
Nowadays we can build blades just a few atoms wide. Cutting with laser, or diamonds.  
-God’s word is sharper.
It can reach every person differently because it’s alive.                                                                                                  
 -   Some may be touched by sermons, some by songs, and some might even be changed by dreams.  ……God’s word is alive. It can pierce every soul.  
-The 1911 (11th) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica implies something a little over 1000 existing languages.
 – Do you know in how many languages the bible is translated until today?

2508 in the last ten years around 300 new languages.
The word of God is alive. …….spinning around the globe piercing people in the soul and changing them.                                                                                      
  - The Power to truly change a person.                                                                                                                           
That’s far more than I can fathom.
                                                                                                                                                        
- I don’t even have the power to change myself.
Repeating the same mistakes over and over again………. Sinning over and over again.                                              
 -No Christian is without sin and will ever be.       
But God can help us change more and more.
Like Trif I also like the picture of the butterfly transformation.                                                           The interesting thing about it is:   that the caterpillar isn’t actually transforming into a butterfly.                                                                      
 It liquefies completely into a random mash of proteins which than transforms into the Butterfly.     Scientist have no idea how. They even retain their memory.                                                                       
 - A God who can change a protein mash into something beautiful like that can probably change me a little too.
But there is more to the power of God’s word.                                                                                                                           
That is the power of faith.  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God“as is written in Romans 10,17
Without Gods word we would not now of the salvation given to us in the gospel of Christ.                                 
-> We could not be saved
Who should we pray to?... Who worship? …..How would we know of Jesus sacrifice?
There are so many false teachings we talked about in the last weeks. How would we know right from wrong?
It too is the word that gives us the Power to have faith and therefore be saved.
And we can trust in it to always do so. Today. Tomorrow. And all the years to come
      “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
We can trust that God’s word is there to give us faith whenever we need it.
When we are weak and when we are strong. It will always be there so that we might be saved through the faith.
And maybe that is the most important power of them all                                                                               I’m not sure they are all essential for us as Christians.
è The Power to create
è The Power to change
è And the Power of faith.

As goodbye I want to give you a little power from the word of God:

Jeremiah 29:11-13

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

                                                                            The End