- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 6, 2005

The following are excerpts from a sermon delivered recently by Pastor Tim Kirby at Centreville Community Church.

Think of the influence of the Christ follower in the world. We’ve been talking about the way God poured out His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and how He birthed the church and how the church is the people and how the Spirit of God filled the first Christ followers and flowed out of them.

In Acts 1:8, it says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses.” You will be filled to the point of overflowing with God’s presence, so much that it spills out of you and it’s on you and you’re immersed literally in the presence of God’s spirit.

So, when you and I follow Christ through this world and we live and walk in that kind of supernatural enablement, when we live and walk through life in the fullness of His spirit, our lives become a powerful influence and the impacts we make are for eternity.

I want to look into that thought a little more in our passage of Scripture for today.

Look at Acts 14:8. I want to look at this passage and talk about the impacts of a Spirit-filled life, and three impacts that we can find in this passage — three impacts that we make as we walk through life as spirit-filled believers or followers.

The first impact that I want to talk about is this: The Spirit-filled follower stirs up spiritual hunger in others. In Verse 11, it says, “When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form.’”

When the people saw this miracle take place, when they saw the powerful way in which it was performed, they realized that Paul and Barnabas were people filled with God’s presence and power. They said these are not just everyday, ordinary people.

When you and I walk through this life as people of His presence, people of His spirit, people begin to notice that something is different about us. People know. When Paul and Barnabas came, they sensed something different about these guys. And as you and I live and walk in the spirit of God, with God’s presence on us, it begins to stir things up. That’s the life of a spirit-filled follower. That’s the impact.

But then it continues. Here is the second impact. The spirit-filled follower reveals the true nature of God.

When we walk alongside the people in our lives and that spiritual desire is stirred up, they may have all kinds of crazy ideas about how to connect to God. And these people got confused, and they didn’t understand. They didn’t know what to do. So, Paul and Barnabas began to reveal the true nature of God to them. They ran down and went into the crowd and said, “No, we’re humans just like you.”

Listen, you in your life will clarify who God is to people around you. God will use your words, your actions and your life. So, our lives stir up spiritual hunger in others, and then by our words and deeds we clarify the true nature of God for them.

And then, the spirit-filled follower inspires faith.

You and I have people who are sitting in places around us. We have people who are sitting because they are crippled spiritually. Not people we look down on as if we are better than they. It’s just that spiritually they don’t know how to walk. They don’t know. They sit there, and they have been sitting there and no one has ever spoken in such a way under the presence and power of God’s spirit that faith has been inspired in them. That’s what happened when Paul spoke.

That’s what happens when you and I, as people of His presence, of His spirit, begin to share the stories and talk about what God has done in our lives. We get around them and rub shoulders and tell them these are the things that God has done in my life. It begins to inspire faith.

When you follow Christ in this world, in a spirit-filled way as a Holy Spirit empowered follower of Christ, your life impacts everyone around you. Your life will provoke a spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst, your life will reveal the true nature and character of God, and God will use your life to inspire others to a place of faith.

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