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Peace And Power!

John 20:19-22

Visualize with me that scene in the Upper Room.
Christ had been killed by His enemies.
Loving hands had tenderly laid His precious body in the tomb.
A Roman seal had been set up on that tomb.

It appeared that the Roman power had done its work.
The anger of the Jews had not diminished.
They had destroyed the leader of this new sect, and now they would exterminate His followers.

The disciples were afraid.
The Shepherd of their little flock was gone, and now their enemies would scatter the sheep.
That little band gathered for fellowship, for strength, and to consult with each other.

So often, the hours of testing in a church bind our hearts in new and stronger ties of love and fellowship.
A common danger brings a common love.
Adversity is a mighty force that can bind and bless.

It was the evening of the first day of the week.
The first day of the week -- blessed day!
On that first day the most stupendous event of history took place.
This occurrence should cause all of us to rejoice.

Christ will come to you through the barriers of your life, through the locked doors of doubt
and through the veil of your tears.
Today, He will come into the upper room of your heart and show you the scars of the nails in His hands.
Today, you will hear Him say clearly and comforting, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."

"Peace, perfect peace; with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus' bosom naught but calm is found.
Peace, perfect peace! Our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.
It is enough: earth's struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus' call to heaven's perfect peace

Jesus said, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." (John 20:21) We must have a new vision of the mission to which we have been called.
What a tremendous privilege for us and as a church to participate with Christ
in such a mighty undertaking!
We are laborers together with our Lord.

Christ was sent by the Father on a mission of redemption with the message of mercy.
Jesus said, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life as a ransom for many
Jesus came to seek and save those that were lost.
We are to participate with Christ in that wonderful work.

Our main mission, as individuals and as a church, is to seek the lost.
This is our task and our duty every day.
Christ completed His part of the task.
He could say, "It is finished."

Shall you and I fail in our part of the mission?

"Seeking the lost, yes, kindly entreating
Wanderers on the mountain astray;
'Come unto me,' His message repeating,
Words of the Master speaking today.

Thus would we go on missions of mercy,
Following Christ from day to day;
Cheering the faint, and raising the fallen,
Pointing the lost to Jesus, the way

He also spoke a word of power.
He breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." (Verse 22)
We cannot participate with Christ in this urgent mission unless we have received the power of the Holy Ghost.

It is not in our strength that God's work is done.
Divine work is done by Divine power.

"Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."

The power of the Holy Spirit is a purging power.
God will not use unclean vessels.

I pray that God will open all our hearts afresh for the purifying power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the first requisite for service.

God will withhold His presence in power from His on children until sin is put out of their lives.
Let the Holy Spirit search and probe our hearts.

"Our blessed Redeemer, ere He breathed
His tender last farewell,
A guide, a comforter, bequeathed;
With us to dwell.

And every virtue we possess,
And every victory won,
And every thought of holiness,
Are His alone

The Holy Ghost came upon the disciples at Pentecost, and they went out witnessing for Christ full of heavenly power.
A study of the Book of the Acts shows that those who were filled with the Holy Spirit were full of power. Thousands of lost souls were born into the Kingdom of God and blessed through their ministry.
This work of grace was not wrought through human energy, zeal, wisdom, or eloquence,
but through the power of the ascended Lord poured forth through Spirit-filled lives.

That is what I desire for my ministry.
I long that my service for Christ everywhere shall be in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

Every teacher of God's word should come into his or her class every Sunday just like that. Choir, sing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Get alone with God until you get so close to heaven that you can hear, in anticipation, the song of the redeemed.
Then, come and sing in the fullness of the divine power of God.

May all of us give the Lord Jesus Christ our hearts and heads, and tongues and hands and feet afresh for His service. "Oh! Fill me with thy fullness, Lord,
Until my very heart o'erflows
In kindling thought and glowing word,
Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
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