Clothed With Power?

Clothed With Power?

God is the only One who can bestow special power upon people.  His purpose for doing so is to enable witnesses to broadcast the gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ to the world.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Eph 3:14-21, emphasis added)

Note that our witness, according to verse 17 above, is to be rooted and authenticated in LOVE!  This will result from our own experience of the love of Christ for us. (v. 19)  Love is the bond of perfection, and it must be our sole motivation for all ministry.  (Col 3:14)

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.  (Lk 24:49 NIV)

In Luke 24, Jesus was instructing His followers to wait for the arrival of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The disciples wouldn’t have received the grace that they needed to be effective witnesses for Christ until then.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to obey the instructions that Jesus gives us in Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Fulfill your mission, brothers and sisters!  Share the power that God has placed within you now . . . today!

Living in the Moment

Living in the Moment

Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.  (Isa 43:18)

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Mt 6:34, NIV)

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  (Rom 13:11, emphasis added)

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Cor 6:2b)

This is all about living in the NOW of our lives.  Our past is behind us, but remembered.  Our future is unknown but hoped for.  Only today—this moment in time—is of ultimate importance and necessity!  Why?

The present matters deeply.  We must live right now, in this moment, in the kingdom of God.  Recognize that the kingdom of God and His power are within you!  (Lk 17:21; Acts 1:8; 2:4)

We should nurture an attitude of heart that is always seeking and searching for God’s will and God’s best for ourselves and for others.  We need to put away distractions and selfishness, and focus on what God’s plan for us is. 

What ministry has God called you to?  What lives does He want you to touch?  What life experience has developed compassion in you for others, and how can you share that compassion?  How can you help others, and improve their lives?

Not only does God’s presence surround us, but people in need surround each of us as well!  Jesus wants us to reach out to the needy and the hurting, and to minister His love and mercy to them through each of us.   Jesus wants us to:   Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.  (Mt 10:8)  These are His instructions that He gives to each one of us. 

In Jesus, come ALIVE and live in the moment for the Kingdom and for God’s glory!

It Stood Fast

It Stood Fast

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.  (Ps 33:9, emphasis added)

What does “it stood fast” tell us?  Here’s the same verse in the The Bible in Basic English (BBE) version:

For he gave the word, and it was done; by his order it was fixed for ever.  (Ps 33:9 BBE)

This verse is communicating the understanding and knowledge that, at God’s Word, things are permanently created!  They are established and secured.

That’s the power inherent in God’s Word.  Once we fully understand that God’s Word is creative, superior, powerful, and invincible—we have anchored this knowledge in truth and supplied our faith with rapid growth food.

As we feast upon God’s Word and meditate upon its message, we become assured not only of God’s love but also of His power to establish and to secure the very thing that it is sent to achieve.  His Word stands forever.  Hallelujah!

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.  (Isa 40:8)

God Is In Control

God Is In Control

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.  (Pro 19:21)

This article is a meditation upon the concept that our God and Savior is in control of life’s events.  Even in those cases where something that is negative or harmful occurs, the Lord can ultimately bring glory to Himself by delivering us.  He can also cause something that was intended to harm us turn into an opportunity for us to receive a blessing!  (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1) – God is not with us in trouble merely to comfort or strengthen us, but to protect and help us.  Hallelujah!

The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.  (Pro 16:4) – The Lord has created everything for His own purposes, and He gave human beings a free will even though He knew that a percentage of us would rebel against Him and reject Him.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  (Pro 16:9) – We make our own, fleshly plans; but the Lord in His mercy and goodness directs the circumstances of our lives according to His good plan for us. 

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.  (Pro 16:33) – Even the most seemingly accidental, chance, unexpected, or unplanned events are under God’s control. Trust Him and rely upon His love for you.

But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.  (Ps 115:3) – Our God is a merciful and loving God, so He will show mercy whenever and wherever He chooses to do so.  Because He can see the end from the beginning, He knows what events need to take place in our lives in order to accomplish His good plans for us.

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand . . . (Isa 14:24) – God’s good purposes and plans for us shall stand for He will bring them to pass.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”  (Jer 32:27) – Whatever our difficulty or challenge or heartache, NOTHING is too difficult for God to turn it around.  Praise the Lord!

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  (Mt 10:29) – We know that God cares for us vastly more than the sparrows, so this verse opens our eyes to the truth that He diligently watches over us in all of the details of our lives.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  (Rom 13:1) – We must recognize that God even determines who will have authority at every level of a nation’s hierarchy.  He determines when and for how long a person will be in authority, even our employers, overseers, or business partners. 

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.  (Ps 62:11) – All power comes from God because it all belongs to Him.  Therefore, whatever position of power, authority or influence that you may have, be conscientious, kind, respectful and merciful to others.  You will one day give an account of yourself.

. . . not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.  (1 Pet 3:9)

We are called to bless others and to be a blessing.  Living in obedience to God’s will always causes us to inherit blessings.  Recognizing that God is not only in control of all things, but that He watches over us in order to be able to bless and help us will make it quite easy for us to want to help others.

Does Living for God Yield Benefits?

Does Living for God Yield Benefits?

Are there really benefits given to those of us who live for God and His Kingdom?  The Scriptures tell us that there are!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits . . . (Ps 103:2)

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)

What might some of those benefits be?  

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.  (Ps 34:22)  This is God’s promise to redeem the essence and character of His servants, as well as that—as we trust in Him—we won’t be scorned, abused, or belittled.

. . . and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.  (Ps 37:19b)  In famine, the Lord says that He will quench our hunger.

. . . but the Lord upholds the righteous.  (Ps 37:17b)  . . . for the Lord upholds him with His hand.  (Ps 37:24b)  The Lord supports, defends, and encourages us.  Praise God! 

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite [crushed] spirit.  (Ps 34:18)  The Lord comforts and heals us when we’re brokenhearted or feel crushed in spirit.

All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.  (Isa 49:26c)  The Lord will demonstrate to everyone that He is our God by showing His power on our behalf.

The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints:  they are preserved forever . . . (Ps 37:28a)  God will never forsake us but He will save and sustain us always.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.  (Ps 5:12)  God surrounds us with His blessings, esteem, kindness, and approval.  Thank You, Lord!

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain [protect; support; defend] you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. [shaken]  (Ps 55:22)  As we share our concerns, problems, and heartaches with the Lord, He’ll protect us and prevent us from getting pushed around (bullied) by the enemy or by our circumstances.

And these are only the benefits from the Old Testament!  There are more and BETTER benefits recorded in the New Testament.  (Heb 8:6)  Hallelujah!

The Living & Active Word

The Living & Active Word

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective].  It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 AMP)

I really appreciate this version of the above Scripture passage.  It amplifies our understanding of what the writer may have been thinking as this was written. 

It makes it clear that God’s Word is alive and powerful; that God’s Word can read us, and it can reveal us to ourselves!  Most of us keenly need God to do that for us, because we don’t truly know ourselves. 

This is why the Bible tells us that the Word is like a mirror.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.  (James 1:23-25)

Let us read the Word and allow it to introduce us to ourselves!  As we come to know the Word more thoroughly, we will come to know ourselves more honestly.  And we’ll experience the incomparable love of God, without which, we could not have been saved! 

Love the Word; read the Word; embrace the Word—and LIVE!

Power to Serve

Power to Serve

Here are a handful of Bible verses about:

  • God, who has power and uses it;
  • God gives strength and power to His people;
  • Jesus, who demonstrated his power by many mighty miracles; &
  • Jesus sharing His power with His disciples (and us).

O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!  (Ps 68:35)

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  (Isa 40:29)

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.  (Mt 10:1)

Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power.  (Mk 3:14-15)

And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.  (Mk 6:7)

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  (Lk 9:1)

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  (Lk 10:19)

For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.  (1 Cor 4:20)

Jesus called His disciples together to commission them to preach and to impart power to them.  Luke 9:1 says that He gave them power and authority; and Luke 10:19 says that our power can triumph over the enemy and protect us from harm.

We have been given this power to SERVE–in order to testify of Jesus and to preach Good News to all.  We are called to serve the Kingdom of God from the moment that we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

What a joy and a privilege to serve Jesus!