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May 1, 2017, 4:10 PM

Release the Power Inside

"But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God,  which had given such power unto men" Matthew 9:8

Jesus had just performed two miracles.  A man who was paralyzed had been brought before Jesus by his friends, and Jesus had both healed his spirit, (by forgiving his sin) and healed his body by curing his disease.  The man got up, picked up his bed, and returned home.

Throngs of people were amazed and gave God glory because of this miraculous power.  

Christian, God still does miracles today, and He is willing to do miracles through you if you will but use this power for the glory of God.  You have access to power that is on loan from God for use in this life!

Two thoughts occur to me.  I encourage you to ask the same questions I have asked of myself today.

 Am I a believer in the power of God?  Or am I one of the skeptics that doubts the authority and power of God to do miracles.  If I believe that God has the ability and power to forgive my sin in my life, (which is the greatest of these two miracles) then why do I doubt His ability and authority to work miracles in this world through my life?

Is my life bringing others to an amazement of God's power and causing others to turn to God and glorify Him.  Or, am I living a life for my own glory.  Am I seeking for others to see me, or God working through me.  Or, am I living my Christian life in such a shroud of secrecy that no one even is amazed because I don't declare the glory, power, and authority of God through my body?

Friend, if you belong to God, then the Holy Spirit and power of God live in you.  You have power of which you do not realize.  Live you life believing that God desires to do mighty works through you for His glory.

If you want to live an amazing life, live a life that leads people to be amazed at the power of God and causes them to give Glory to God, that He could do such a work through you.  

Do others see Jesus in you, marvel, and praise God!  Let others see Jesus and release the Power inside.




April 28, 2017, 10:59 AM

May This Be My Prayer Each Day

Every once in a while I stumble upon a song that the words really, really speaks to my heart.   This week I heard a song whose words brought tears of conviction and desire.  I want to share them with you and my prayer is that the words to this song will become your prayer as much as it is mine.  

Make me broken
So I can be healed
'Cause I'm so calloused
And now I can't feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

Make me empty
So I can be filled
'Cause I'm still holding
Onto my will
And I'm completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

Make me lonely
So I can be yours
'Til I want no one
More than You, lord
'Cause in the darkness
I know you will hold me
Make me lonely

'Til you are my one desire
'Til you are my one true love
'Til you are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

 Sidewalk Prophets - Keep Making Me 

May God speak to you through these lyrics to this song and may this become a daily prayer of your own.  




April 26, 2017, 8:18 AM

Who God is After


“And I, if I am lifted from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” John 12:32

Jesus came for every kind of person.  He crossed every barrier, religious, moral, tribal, racial, and cultural.  He died for every demographic group.  Being born however as a Jew, he was born into a culture that had narrowed the pathway to God as Jews restricted salvation to Jews, or those who behaved like Jews.  Within Judaism some Jews felt superior to other tribes and all tribes felt superior to other ethnicities who were not part of God’s chosen people.  

They did so because they had been rightly taught that the Jews are God’s chosen people.  They were wrong however in thinking that salvation was only for the them. The Bible says it salvation was offered to the Jew first but also to the Greek. (meaning Gentile, or everyone not Jewish)  

Jesus however broke down cultural barriers and religious taboos when He visited with a Samaritan woman (John 4), when He healed a Samaritan Leper (Luke 17:17-18), when He healed a Roman Centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1-10), and a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter.  (Mark 7) He also healed on the Sabbath (Mark 3) and forgave sinners of their sin. (Mark 2) He forgave a woman allegedly caught in adultery (John 8) and ate in the house of publicans and sinners.  (Matthew 9)

The point of all this is that Jesus is that no matter what your ethnic, societal, or religious standing; God is in search of you.  

God has been in search of all kinds of people even from the beginning.  Consider the birth of Christ:  God wrote 4 kinds of people into the Christmas Story.  

1.  The High - The Wiseman represent those who are educated, connected, and rich.

2.  The Low - The shepherds represent society’s blue collar worker and those on the bottom rungs of the social order.  

3.  The Resistant - King Herod stands for all those who see themselves as too powerful, too important, or to self sufficient for God.  

4.  The Receptive - Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna represent people who are open to God’s grace.  

Jesus when He died stretched out his arms on the cross, symbolic of the open arms that await anyone, no matter where you are from,  who you belong to, or what you have done, if you are willing to accept Him.  

No one falls beyond the reach of God’s redeeming love.  It is by grace that you can be saved through faith in Jesus as God and His work on the cross as your payment.  

It is for you! You are who He is after!




April 25, 2017, 9:44 AM

Keep on Keeping On!


“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.”  II Thessalonians 3:5

One of Paul’s prayers for the church at Thessalonica was that they would be would be directed into the steadfastness of Christ.   To be steadfast is to endure.  It would help to understand that the church in Thessalonica had faced much persecution and difficulty as a church.  They faced a difficult road in which endurance would be required for each day of life.  

The Christian life is a long steady climb upwards and onwards as we march toward Christ and the perfection that is waiting for us in Heaven.  It is a steady pace that we are to take and it should be a consistent, determined march that is both towards God and alongside the Savior as helps carry our load.  

Sure there are ups and downs in the Christian life, but living the Christian life should not be compared to riding a roller coaster.  Rather, it should be a steady ascent as Christ propels us and carries us forward.  It is when we climb out of His capable arms that we find the dips and plunges that often mark our lives. The Christian life is also not supposed to be an “on again, off again” life that characterizes the lives of so many believers. 

The problem is that too often we sprint when we are on a spiritual high, and we want to give up when things bog down.  

Endurance is the ability to keep on keeping on when things get tough and you want to quit.  

So what is the key to spiritual endurance? It is easy to miss this even though it is spelled out in the verse.  

Surprisingly this Scripture does not speak of our endurance at all!  It is a prayer that we would be directed by God, into Christ’s endurance.  The Christian life is not about your ability to whip up enough grit to cross the finish line.  The Christian life is not about your ability to pick yourself up by your bootstraps.  We might be able to find enough internal fortitude to slog through a difficulty with something that resembles endurance but it would not be accompanied by joy or peace, or any of the exhilarating hallmarks that make the journey the adventure God intends.  But, looking to your own strength and will power will only eventually grind you down  and end in bitterness and failure.  

To live the life abundant that we are called to in this life we must find our strength in Christ, and we must rely on His endurance that unlike ours, never fails. 

How do we do that?  We do so by continually returning to Him in prayer.  We do so by asking Him to give us the supernatural strength and endurance of Christ.  We find that supernatural power in the arms of a loving Savior who not only died to save us, but also walks along with us until we finish the course of our life.  

Living the Christian life does not mean living a perfect life based on your ability. Rather it is a supernatural life, fueled by supernatural power.  

For that life you need the supernatural endurance of Christ, not the limited endurance of you.  




April 24, 2017, 10:50 AM

So You Think You Have Blown It?


She had an affair while her husband was out on the battlefield defending the country.  Then her lover, after he failed to manipulate her husband in covering up the affair, plotted to have her husband killed, and succeeded.  Because of their sin, God caused  their illegitimate child to die.  For the rest of time her name was attached to one of the most disgraceful chapters in Israel’s long history.  Her name was Bathsheba, and for many people she represents illicit temptation, unfaithfulness, and sin.  No, she did not commit the act alone.  But her name has been reviled through the years since.  Think about it; throughout the years since her time, there have been as many girls named after Jezebel and Delilah as there are Bathsheba’s.  

But…

In the Gospel of Matthew in the first chapter, you will find the genealogy of Christ.  Most people skip over the genealogies when they are reading the Bible, but pay close attention to Matthew 1:6 because you will find her name listed in the line of Christ.  

“Jesse was father of David the king.  David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.”

Can you imagine the shock and surprise of early readers of the book of Matthew must have been to find her name listed prominently in the line of the Messiah?!?

Perhaps you live a life with a secret or not so secret past of wrong choices and indiscretions.  Perhaps you think that your past precludes you from being used for God’s purposes or even loved by God himself.   Perhaps, you are a believer, but deep down inside you think that you are somehow a second rate Christian.

Maybe you think that the promises of God’s love don’t apply to people like you. That somehow you have blown it, and don’t deserve to be loved by God or at the very least used by God for His will and purposes.  

This verse and genealogy proves that you are wrong.  

It does prove that God keeps His promises.  God had promised David that the Messiah would come from the family of David. (II Samuel 7:12)  The promise was made to David before David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. (II Samuel 11) God had made an unbreakable covenant with David, and even David’s despicable act of adultery, deceit, and murder could not break that promise.  

But God could have kept the promise to David without including Bathsheba.  Why?   Because sin is the story.  The no-so-subtle message of Matthew is that Jesus didn’t come from those who are self-righteous but from those who lives are stained with sin.  

This is what makes the concept of grace so radical and surprising! The Gospel doesn’t invite good people to do better; it invites broken, flawed sinners to throw themselves upon the mercy of Christ.  Surrender to Christ, the Messiah who came from a family with a checkered past.  

Why did God use a child from David and Bathsheba?  Because God delights in using anyone who is repentant from sin.  David (and Bathsheba) are on record as repenting and confessing of their sin and begging God to be merciful.  

God’s grace was for repentant sinners like David and Bathsheba then, and God’s grace is for repentant sinners like you and me today.  

Grace allowed the sins of David and Bathsheba and grace allows for your sins to be paid for and for you to be restored to a place of love and usability to God just as if you had not sinned.  

Our sins might be different than that of David and Bathsheba, but we all need the same grace.  And it is available to all who will turn to a loving Christ that loves you no matter what you have ever done.  

 


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