The X Factor

Superheroes are a universal phenomenon. From the ancient Greek gods to the rugged Wild West cowboys, from the Ninja and Sumurai warrior legends in the East, to African warriors like Shaka Zulu or Luanda Magere, every culture has had its own brands of superheroes, each with marvelous superpowers. What is it about superheroes that so captures our imagination? I suspect a large part of it is the fact that most of them look like plain, ordinary people with major issues – just like the rest of us. But unlike the rest of us, they have an ‘X-Factor’, a secret power that allows them to fight against injustice and win. They may look like ordinary people but they have the ability to change the world.

I have some amazing news for you. God is in the business of raising super-heroes! People who may look on the outside like everybody else but who have the power to change the world… This month we are going to be learning from some ordinary people who became heroes and changed their world. And in the process, we’ll learn more about the exciting mission that God has called us to as Mavuno.

The series title is ‘Heroes Wanted: An Invitation To Change The World’.

READ Acts 1:1-8

The book of Acts ends with Jesus after his resurrection, unfolding for the disciples his plan for them to change the world on his behalf. I suspect at the time that they neither understood nor believed what he was saying. You see in their minds, they were not super-hero material! If you asked any of them, they would have given you many reasons why they were not the right people for the job of changing the world.

Reason #1 might have been…

  1. It’s Someone Else’s Job! – The disciples were happy to support as long as he was the one doing the world-changing! Like the disciples, many of us feel that changing the world is not my responsibility.
  2. I’m Not Qualified! – The disciples had seen their major share of failures. Whether it’s walking on water, casting out demons, or staying by Jesus after his arrest, they failed. Surely, they must have felt very inadequate and unqualified. In the same way, many of us feel inadequate to represent God. Maybe one day when you’re more equipped and confident, you can step out and help others but not now!
  3. It’s Too Costly! – After Jesus died, a group of the disciples led by Peter returned to their old job which was fishing. I suspect that as Jesus talked about representing him to the ends of the earth, some of them wondered if they would be able to give up on their own dreams and ambitions. Many of us have the same fears – I’ll end up poor, never travel the world, never fulfil my dreams. As a result, many of us prefer to keep a safe distance from God’s call. I’ll come to church and even give but don’t ask me to do too much else!

Really? These are the guys Jesus wanted to change their city, take their continent and win their world? What poor raw materials for super-heroes! And yet the reality is that many of us feel just like these disciples must have when Jesus told them he wanted them to be world changers. ‘I’m so inadequate… I’m such a sinner… I’m so spiritually weak … I’m so untrained… I’m so young… I’m still busy hassling just to make it… I still have ‘ma-issues’!’ Surely, God can’t mean me!

SO WHAT CHANGED?

Every hero has a defining encounter. They weren’t born that way! Peter Parker was an ordinary and fearful journalist who was bitten by a radioactive spider and became…Spiderman. Bruce Wayne was a little boy whose parents were killed by thugs and that drove him to become… Batman. In the same way, the disciples had an encounter that changed everything. Let’s read the story in Acts 2:1-4

From the minute they encountered the Holy Spirit, everything changed. These guys who had feared to take responsibility would from now on have a clear sense of purpose, be filled with authority and be completely fearless. These people had found a purpose large enough not just to live for but even to die for! And it all began with the Holy Spirit – the X-Factor that made all the difference.Because of this ‘X-Factor’, this group of nobodies would accomplish the impossible. From a small persecuted core, they changed every part of the world. Heroes indeed!

The amazing thing is that we were built to experience the exact same power that these disciples encountered. You see here’s the thing; God did not create us to be born, go to school, make money, get married, have children and then die. None of us wants that – maybe that’s why we have such an fascination with superheroes. Each of us wants to make a difference. Each of us longs to life a life of eternal significance. And we long for that life, because God created us for it. Even though we may be naturally fearful, timid, and unqualified, when His X Factor checks in, we are transformed into the influencers we were created to be. (Tell your neighbor) You’ve got the power!

So how do we access God’s power in our lives? How do we tap into the X-Factor?

v.38 says ‘repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’.

To repent simply means to turn from doing things our way and instead to do them God’s way. Our natural instinct is to manage our lives based on our preferences but repenting means surrendering to God’s direction instead. As we do so, God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is His super-power to change our lives and the lives of others. God wants to give you this X-Factor. But it begins with surrender. I’ve come to understand that each of us is as full of the Spirit as we really want to be. For a long time I used to pray, ‘Lord I want more of your power in my life’. ‘All I want is more of you’. But I have learnt a lesson. If I want to have more of God, I need to let Him have more of me. When I voluntarily surrender every area of my life to Him, He releases His Spirit to fill me with wisdom, direction and authority.

You’ve got the power!

What are the areas of your life that you are holding on to; that you have not yielded over to God? Is it your finances, your career, your business, your house, your family, your plans for marriage, your material possessions? Is it a sin that you are unwilling to let go off? Ironically, these are the very things that could be keeping you from living the life that you’ve always wanted! A missionary called Jim Elliot once said, ‘it is a wise person who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose’.

You’ve got the power!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be following the story of these heroes as they changed their world. And we’ll be learning from them how to do the same. We tend to think of them as ‘extraordinary Christians’. And yet my conviction is that their story was never meant to be extraordinary but rather a template of what the ordinary Christian life should be. Unimpressive, fearful, ordinary people who encounter God’s X-Factor and become world changers! God is still in the business of raising super heroes!

You’ve got the power!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. We stream the sermon LIVE every Sunday 9AM GMT+3 here, bookmark and tune inn. ‘Heroes Wanted – An Invitation To Change The World‘ Sermon Series video playlist. Future sermon videos will be uploaded to our YouTube channel

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24 Responses to “The X Factor”

  1. Awesome sermon:-)

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  2. Awesome

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  3. karletski Says:

    Great sermon Pastor M! may God turn us all into superheroes to change the world.

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  4. The book of acts starts with…

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  5. God's friend Says:

    I loved the sermon and especially how you acted out the 12 disciples. It was veeery funny but the message sank and i am very challenged. Thanks pastor M. May God bless you.

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  6. kyasssupu Says:

    eager for the heroine in me to gather up courage and do the necessary.

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  7. philip mungai Says:

    Today’s sermon really has reflected the feeling I have had this weekend about letting God take over and I follow in His footsteps.Im offloading my baggage and picking up the Lord’s thats His word to rule my life.

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  8. I reserve my comments until the end of the series.. because i know God is preparing me for something huge, Something that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has conceived” Yaani, i cant wait.. I will be a fool to think that it wont cost me, that i wont have to surrender everything to God, i will be a greater fool to not surrender those blessings that God has already blessed me with in this time and season, how can i somehow trust that tomorrow i will still be alive, and not trust that the same power that will wake me to provide for me what am in need.. why am i still typing.. I still reserve my comments until the end of the series..

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  9. AWESOME SERMON! I just watched it with my girls from Canada, it was funny how i occasionally has to translate the sheng, but we totally loved the sermon. We feel so empowered, so rejuvenated and we are looking forward to our breakthrough.
    God bless you Pastor, God bless the flock at Mavuno church!

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  10. It ALWAYS amazes me when the sermon ends up being the exact thing that I’m going through. Yaani, one day I’m blogging about it, the next day Pastor M you’re speaking about it on stage! It’s kinda like God is speaking directly to me, HOW COOL IS THAT??!! At least in the midst of the stress, I’m just blown away by God’s love 🙂 Can’t wait to see how the series progresses.

    God Bless!

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    • si uwongo jo thats cool!it shows how close God is to you plus how much He loves you n wants to communicate to u.He is awesome!

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  11. Heroine Says:

    Lovely sermon Pastor M. This years sermon series are just what a growing christian needs.
    X factor series is a home run ,because deep down i know am called to live for more than myself. My heart deeply goes out to the homeless. I find my self crying just thinking about someone who has to sleep out in the rain.
    I believe this sermon will equip me to change some of their lives and to be the fearless influencer i am called to be.
    Thank you pastor.

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  12. If I want to have more of God, I need to let Him have more of me. When I voluntarily surrender my life to Him, He releases His Spirit to fill me with wisdom, direction and authority.
    -My take home!

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  13. Awesome,awesome series..and its jst the introduction cant wait for the next one.

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  14. Muiruri Mura Says:

    A hero will rise in the name of Jesus and powered The Spirit!

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  15. The sermon was really amazing and its very funny cause just before service as i was driving, i was listening to this preaching by Joel about “more of You God and less of me” and pastor M you just concluded the word God wanted me to listen. And it’s true i have been saved for long and i am serving in Mavuno but i just could not allow God to take full control in a certain area in my life (i had once committed it to God but when things didn’t go in the direction i wanted, well, i was just like Mathew who outran his clothes…i was last seen heading…) and i was so heartbroken. And slowly by slowly i started losing focus on my relationship with God because this thing i couldn’t let go started to take center stage. So this Sunday i stopped running and listened. It’s really really hard to let go of my dreams and desires to get married, coz thats the thing making me run away, but i started this year with a mentality to thrive and not survive so i’m gonna let go and let God and let’s see how this year will end. All i know, by faith, i will be amongst the one’s making prayers of thanksgiving REGARDLESS.

    So time to surrender and make space for All of Him and less of me.

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  16. Well Pastor M|
    … the sermon on Sunday was not only great but VERY … ehem … TOOOO close to home … You know the way we pray for God’s will & we still want to influence it? This was me on this one thing … An opportunity I really WANTED & thought I NEEDED … WALALALALALA …. ANYHOOO … I have been waiting for this call for the last 8 weeks … for some reason it just seemed the logistics weren’t right … at this point I must explain something …

    I’m truly blessed to be one of those people who love what they do, they love doing & get Seriously paid for loving doing what they love to do … FACT … I have had a gazillion challenges in my life but NEVER with my career … this was the 1st time I had ever agonized about any element of my career | vocation |calling | passion … STRANGELY during this time … my dad’s final blessings kept ringing in my ears & God’s word was like a resounding Gong …

    … Proverbs 10:22 (Amplified Bible (AMP) 22 The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it] … I like how it is said in …The Message: (Fear-of-God Expands Your Life) 22 God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God.

    Come Sunday hubby & I bright & early are off to church … great worship (as always) … then comes the special treat from Daddy Owen & Denno|Mbona (Oh my the performance not only touched my life but re-ignited the vision & calling that fuels the passion of what your passionate about) … the stage was set to receive God’s word … After total & absolute conviction … couldn’t wait for the alter call … I found myself on my feet … can I remember what you prayed over our lives … NOPE … but this I know as I felt God’s power & calming spirit come over me as I surrendered to His will … the course of my life & my Destiny were re-aligned at that moment … A HEROINE WAS BORN …

    Fast forward to Monday … In the office totally focused on my excellent team … the long awaited international call comes through … did I get the opportunity NOPE … but instead was offered a consultancy for exactly what I to tie myself down to do … My feelings & thought @ that point ABSOLUTELY mixed as I thought I really needed the opportunity but FACT actually I JUST WANTED IT … as I prayed & shared with the Jethro’s in my life … it was clear … this was not only a great opportunity but most importantly … a God anointed one …

    My take … Value What Is Precious … Let Go & Let GOD|

    Asante & Barikiwa Pst. M|

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    • Wow….that is encouraging
      We sure cant leave the place of prayer(God’s presence)unchanged

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  17. I’ve got the power!!!!

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  18. Chinese Says:

    The disciples were extraordinary men who did extraordinary stuff and all this time I’ve been reading the bible it was all a pleasant story. I didnt get that they were templates of what ordinary christians like me and you (not exactly you koz i mean your Pastor M, Mavuno’s King Leonidus of Spartans) are meant to do and change the world. Something guys should realise as they try be these superheros is that superheros, The Avengers (i looove that movie) always do that which they do for a great cause and not for fame and selfish needs.

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  19. Joy Njau Says:

    Hi Pastor M;
    I totally understand that repentance is also about surrender of ur every aspect of our life to God.
    What about the baptism part? what does that entail?

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  20. Monicah Njeri Says:

    Pr m!!! What! just how do you read the bible as to analyse the disciples like that?they were so unqualified!& to-date they are our heroes! did i say heroes?s-u-p-e-r h-e-r-o-e-s!! yaani God for real doesnt call the qualified, he calls and qualifies. I have so much peace hearing that he can fill me with his holy spirit, me? holy spirit? as in i dont have to wait for Pr.m,c,s…..to be filled for this church?, Do you know for how long av sat in churches as others thrived in christ? thinking its for them?not for people like me?Ans me! do you know how long?all my life!!. Up with the sleeves&am so taking the world by storm! God created me a writer,i have sat forever wondering,who on earth i think i am to even think i can write but guess what? from my small ‘shao’Galilee, i have surrendered this gift to Christ and No! i will not write about Superman! i will write an inspirational book, infact am on page 20just this week, this way,God will use me, monicah to reach Judea & Sameria…So help me God and Him be the glory! i so believe!…..Mavuno? i have been here only 4months&God hasnt turned me 360degrees! he is spinning me!

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  21. I cant wait to see what the Lord has in store for me through the sermon this month. God had prepared me for the sermon, I had been reading about grace and the work of the Holy Spirit and reached the same conclusion you shared. “If I want to have more of God, I need to let Him have more of me. When I voluntarily surrender every area of my life to Him, He releases His Spirit to fill me with wisdom, direction and authority.” That was my sermon take out.

    When you asked us to release the things that are holding us back I did. And you know what, the enemy has challenged my resolve to let go of the stuff I identified.’ But my resolve will not waver as the level of opposition shows am on the right track.

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  22. jane mumbi Says:

    awesome series, hi guys i have a business idea where u can make extra cash part time anyone interested can email me. God bless

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