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Can you believe it?! Just last July we started laying the foundation stones that would become The Year Long Celebration of God.
We started our celebratory year in September, and now, in just a little while we’ll be entering June, the first month of the final Season of our celebratory year.
And — speaking of June — each of my family members were born on the first of the month. My dad was born on October 1st, my mom on February 1st, and my sister on August 1st. However, I was born on June 6th.
Not only does that make me the black sheep of the family (for which I like to blame all of my poor life choices), but that day also happens to be the anniversary of D-Day.
So on the day many people observe the storming of the beaches of Normandy during World War II, my mother gave birth to me . . . clearly another impending omen of my personhood.
Of course, you know that I’m just be silly. I’ve always been a fan of my birthday, but I will say — honestly — that growing up I was stoked that my birthday was in the summer. However, I eventually learned that many people follow the astronomical reckoning of the seasons which means that my birthday actually occurs at the tail-end of spring.
And that annoyed me. As a kid, I preferred summer the most.
However, now that I’m grown, I actually like spring more than summer . . . but — in order to simplify things for The Celebration of God — we now observe the meteorological seasons which means that my birthday is back in summer.
So, really, this proves that all of my misfortunes in life really are due to my own poor choices.
Anyway, I hope you’re looking forward to our fourth and final celebratory season where we focus on God’s awesome power.
The Celebration of God is broken into seven year chunks, years, seasons, months, various length collection of days, and individual days. Of course, we could also subdivide it into hours, minutes, and seconds, because God is worthy of our praise and submission every moment of every single day.
But — for today’s discussion — we’re focusing on the Season of Power.
We utilize the four season approach because it’s a helpful way to collect our major holidays into thematic categories which enhance the celebration of the individual holidays as we appreciate how they fit together and flow from one to another.
For example, Easter and Mother’s Day falling during the Season of Life ties the two celebrations together as we marvel at God’s plan for giving physical and spiritual life.
And we’ll see the same thing happen with the Season of Power.
But before we dive into the individual holidays, I want to look at the word “power” in the Scriptures.
So far we’ve talked about grace, mercy, and life. And those are spiritual realities that many Christians know a lot about and enjoy discussing, but — believe it or not — there’s a lot of misapplication, misunderstanding, and misinterpretation when it comes to the biblical concept of power.
So, let’s begin by looking at a verse I cite frequently, Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
The Greek word translated “power” is the word dunamis from which we get English words like dynamite and dynamo and dynamic.
This word can refer to physical or spiritual power of ability, power in action, and the effect of power — like a miracle. Now, depending on your translation, in I Corinthians 14:11 dunamis is translated “meaning.” Allow me to read it for you, “If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.”
However, it may be better to translate it this way, “If then I do not know the force of the language.” And here we are reminded that Greek doesn’t always work the way English does, and that should encourage us to learn as much about the original languages of the Bible as possible. God chose to write His Word in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, so there’s value in appreciating what He meant when He chose the words He did lest we get distracted or misunderstand the text based off our diluted understanding of English.
Anyway, this is just one of many, many places in the Scriptures where we learn that God’s power is eternal. It’s infinite. God is omnipotent — all powerful.
There is nothing He cannot do that aligns with His character. Yes, God cannot lie or sin or tempt people to sin, but that doesn’t mean He’s not all-powerful. In fact, His inability to do that which contradicts His godhood is actually proof of His omnipotence, not the other way around.
If God were not infinitely powerful, He wouldn’t be worthy of our worship. He couldn’t be trusted to give us eternal life. He couldn’t fulfill the eternal weight of what it means to be God.
We worship God — in part — precisely because He’s all-powerful.
But the Season of Power is not just about God’s character, it’s also about God’s deeds.
For example, one of my favorite verses is II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
The word translated “spirit” is the same Greek Word used to refer to the Holy Spirit and the immaterial part of man. It’s also used for “wind.”
Since we know that man is made up of two parts — the body and the spirit — we recognize right away that this power is not inherently a physical ability. This is a spirit of power.
Here we learn that God gives us, among other things, a portion of His power. Because He is the God of infinite power, He can give us the power we need.
This power includes, but is not limited to:
1. The power of salvation.
Romans 1:16 tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
2. The power of sanctification.
Ephesians 3:16-19 ties together both of these points, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Do you remember how I said that many Christians believe they understand the power of God in their lives, but they are actually misinterpreting it?
Here’s a perfect example.
Too many Christians focus on the physical power necessary to overcome difficulty and stress. However, the Bible does not give the church those types of promises. Yes, specific physical promises of strength and power were given to the Jews as well as other Old Testament saints, but that is not what the modern church can expect.
I don’t have time to go into it now, but when people in the church spend all of their time trying to access the power of God in order to escape physical hardship, be healed, and perform miracles, they are seriously misunderstanding the power that God provides.
The same is true for those in the prosperity false-gospel cult.
Does God work miracles, cure us of illnesses, and allow some of His followers to accumulate great wealth? Yes, but that power is not promised to every believer.
The promises of power in the New Testament focus primarily on the spiritual power necessary to obey God.
And that’s why many people avoid that particular application of God’s power in their lives.
It’s nice to imagine God casting down the political figure I don’t like, or healing me, or giving me the power to speak in tongues . . . those are all exciting and comfortable and cool. But the expectation that I use the power of God to submit to His expectations on my life feels restricting and lame to those who do not truly understand the Almighty King of the universe.
This — by the way — is why the aspect of salvation we celebrate during the Season of Power is sanctification.
Sanctification is the process whereby we are conformed to the image of Christ from glory unto glory by the power of God. II Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
This is not only a powerful work of God transforming a sinful human into a perfected child of the King, this is also a celebration of the fact that God calls on us to put His power to work in our own lives.
Sanctification does not progress as quickly from Christian to Christian. There is a personal responsibility and cooperation in which each believer is required to participate. God is not necessarily tinkering in us against our will like a mechanic overhauls a car. He calls us to access His power and participate in the process of sanctification.
So, during the Season of Power we celebrate the power of God because that’s Who He is, but it’s also what He’s done, and what He shares with us. Because He is all-powerful, He is worthy of our allegiance, and because He gives us all the power we need, we can follow Him in a way that glorifies Him.
Now, there is so very much more we could talk about, but I want to overview the Season for us as well as give us some ideas about how we can prepare for, celebrate, and disciple during the Season of Power.
So, let’s look at the holidays within the Season of Power.
The first is International Children’s Day.
We observe this day the same way we would Grandparent’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. We celebrate the great God who provided the beautiful gifts of family, but we also celebrate the individual as they have submitted to God and been used by Him to accomplish His will.
Of course, of all the family members, children are a unique picture of what often appears to be never-ending energy and perpetual motion. It’s appropriate for their special day to be included in the Season of Power.
It should also be no surprise that Father’s Day is among the Power holidays. Dads are often viewed as the strongest one in the home. That’s not always true, nor is it a requirement for fatherhood, but dads do need to have inner fortitude to do their jobs well and lead their family for Christ.
Then — in America — there’s Independence Day. Different nations celebrate their independence on different days of the year, but — regardless of the day — it’s God’s great power that defeated death, hell, sin, and Satan, and purchased us freedom and liberty within the spiritual realm.
Even if you don’t emphasize the patriotic nature of your country’s independence day, you definitely can take time to celebrate the mighty power of God that conquered death and took you captive into His eternal Kingdom.
And — if you happen to use fireworks in your celebration — the comparatively finite power of those mini-sticks of dynamite can be a great way to point to the infinite power of God.
Now, this next holiday may seem like bit of squeeze, but when you look at the order of creation from day six onward as it applies to mankind, you see that God created a relationship between Him and man first. After that came the family. After that came a nation. And after that came the church.
That means that within the scope of human relationships, the most fundamental building block is the family — represented by a husband and wife in its most nuclear sense.
That means that the family is the backbone foundational relationship to all of the other institutions. And we’ve watched this happen over and over where the strength of the nation or church rises and falls on the strength of the family.
That’s one reason we’re happy to celebrate Family Day during the Season of Power.
And then we have two brand new holidays for you to round out our celebratory year.
The first is Scripture Day.
Now, I recognize that the name is neither fancy nor glitzy. But — honestly — regardless of whether you call it Bible Day or The Day of the Word or even Cannon Day or Testament Day . . . I think you’ll agree that the term Scripture is more beautiful than the others.
Obviously, they all refer to the same thing — the holy Word of God — but we decided to go with Scripture Day.
Aside from human relationships, and other than physical life and a relationship with God that ensures us the opportunity to worship Him for all eternity in perfection . . . I would have to say that the Scriptures are the most powerful gift God has given mankind.
For thousands of years God’s revelation was passed down orally. You had to know someone who knew it, and you had to have them share it with you. But God chose to inscripturate His Word so that Truth could spread farther and faster than ever before.
And since no man can have a relationship with God without knowing the specifics of the Gospel, this is a mighty and powerful and awesome gift . . . the Word of God in our hands. Everything we need for life and godliness right there in the Bible. That is a powerful gift that too many professing Christians and most of the world take for granted.
Bible-believing Christians need to put a bigger emphasis on the glorious all-sufficient gift that is God’s Word inscripturated for us.
So that is why I and the Celebration of God staff created Scripture Day.
Now, you may ask why we celebrate this day so late in the year, but the reasons behind why we observe it in August will have to remain a secret until we officially introduce it to you later. I hope you’ll still be worshipping with us when that time comes.
And then, as a perfect end to a glorious celebratory year, we set our eyes toward the greatest Christian anticipation of all . . . the Consummation.
On The Consummation we celebrate the awesomeness of God in light of our eternal future with Him in perfected glory.
Now, it may seem strange that Creation Week wasn’t part of the Season of Power, and — to be honest — what celebration of God couldn’t fit under the category? But, we love the fact that it’s the first holiday after The Consummation. It makes full circle, and after spending three months glorying in the omnipotent majesty of God, we’re ready to marvel at the Creation once again.
Now, let’s be reminded yet once more of how we can prepare for, celebrate, and disciple during the Season of Power.
Make sure to prepare your hearts, your spaces, and your disciplees. This includes downloading our Season of Power Bible Reading and glorying in the awesomeness of God’s omnipotence in our lives.
We should also then prepare our spaces to worship God from June through August by setting up biblical memorials throughout our houses, classrooms, churches, and workplaces, and on our Celebration Walls.
And we can start the discipleship process by inviting fellow Christians to participate in the preparation with us.
Read the Word together, pray together, and challenge each other to access and use the power that God promises.
As always, care should be taken to focus on God — not just His gifts to us and the benefit we receive. Meditating on and studying God’s Word should be a daily focus, as should prayer.
But I encourage you to look for God’s power on display this Season and take careful note of it. It may come in the birth of a baby or a natural disaster. It may be displayed in a miracle or the steadfast faith to overcome adversity. We may wonder at it in the salvation of a child of God or our own sanctification.
And you should tie this celebration into each of the individual holidays we just discussed.
Whatever you do, don’t get distracted from the omnipotence of God by the impotence of Satan, the World, and the Flesh.
In Matthew 14, Peter and the other disciples see Jesus walking on the sea of Galilee in the middle of a terrible storm. Peter asks to join His Lord, Jesus welcomes Him, and the Scriptures tell us, “Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’”
The same Lord who created the waves and silenced the waves and tread upon the waves had shared His omnipotence with Peter so that he was able to tread on the waves just like the Son of God, but Peter allowed himself to be distracted from His omnipotent Lord by the comparably impotent power of the storm.
May we not succumb to the same temptation this Season of Power.
And lastly . . .
Invite other Christians to partner with you in celebrating God. Participate in the holiday with each other, do life together, and access the power of God in your sanctification as you both work out your own faith with fear and trembling as well as help the other work out their faith.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 beautifully illustrates this when it says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
And the entirety of the New Testament is filled with commands and illustrations of the power of the church in helping its members mature and grow and unify and strengthen.
I hope you’re looking forward to the Season of Power! I know I am.
I look forward to stepping through some old favorite holidays with you as well as introducing some new ones, but — most importantly — I look forward to making it less about us and more about God.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets, and join us next time as we look at part 3 of our Celebrate God at Church series. On that episode we’ll be discussing the kind of church required to make sure we’re actually celebrating God when we assemble.
It may be a little controversial for some of you, but it will be biblical.
I’ll see you then.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.