Monday, September 26, 2011

Strength or Power

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV) 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The other morning My wife and I were talking about the word strength verses the word power. Strength is something we can gain in the natural sense. We exercise our muscles and they get stronger. Power is something you acquire. Power is the explosives you pack into a bomb.

We are children of the One who created time, space and matter (Genesis 1:1). We have access to an amazing power that is beyond our comprehension. We need to move on from this thinking that our needs are just met. As humble as it may seem to be satisfied with just barely getting by, you don't have anything left over to help others. The Bible says in Philippians 4:19, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." According to His riches in glory is so much more than just getting by.

The verse at the top says that God gives us victory. Victory means more than standing strong, it means overtaking and increasing the size of your territory. So how do we move into this place of blessings from barely getting by? The Bible says in Ephesians 6:10, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."  If we are strong in the lord we will see the power of His might.

To be strong in the Lord is to know Him personally. Every child of God has access to the Father. The Bible gives us several ways to know Him more personally:
  1. The Bible itself is truly living. Many of us have experienced the voice of God literally as we absorb the Scriptures. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and powerful..." 
  2. Prayer is another way to connect with God. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."Meet with God in prayer.
  3. Have communion. The word communion means "sharing and exchanging intimate thoughts". This is something God desires. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus, "...who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..." This is the Joy of fellowship that the cross provided. When you break bread remember that He paid a price for us to be able to fellowship with Him. Take advantage of it.
  4. Get connected to a church. The Bible tells us that Jesus had the Holy Spirit unlimited (John 3:34). The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:27, "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." This is telling us that the church (body of Christ) is a source of Holy Spirit power.
The power of God is available to every child of God. Take advantage and move beyond barely getting by. The Bible says in Revelation 5:10, "And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." Both a king and a priest are a source of something for others. They have something to pass on. They are a source of physical and Spiritual treasure.

So be strong in fellowship with God and tap into the same power that created time, space, matter and even light in just 1 day. He is real and He is available to you.

Be Blessed!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wake up to the Glory

Luke 9:32 (NKJV) "But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory..." 

This verse comes from a story in the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament). The story tells us how Jesus met with Moses and the prophet Elijah of the Old Testament. The Story is packed with amazing revelation about our new covenant with God. The Story is repeated 3 times in the Gospels (Mathew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8 and Luke 9:28-36).

Mathew and Mark tell us that Jesus brought the disciples Peter, James and John with Him for the occasion. There is an interesting truth revealed within the names of these disciples and the order that they appear. The Order is the same in these 2 accounts.

The first name is Peter then James and last is John.
The name Peter means "stone".
The name James means "wrongfully takes hold of".
The name John means "God's given grace".

Stone symbolizes the laws of God because they where engraved in stone.  When we put these names together they say, "the law wrongfully takes hold of God's given grace". Because this is repeated so many times in this order we know that there is an important point being made here.

I have heard so many people say, "I am a good person". I have heard this from people close to me as well as people who are famous. All of them believing that this is their ticket to heaven. They couldn't be more wrong. Jesus said in Luke 18:19, "...No one is good but One, that is, God."

The good news is this. We don't get to heaven because of how good we are. It is a gift. We don't have to earn anything. People seem to think that God will punish us if we don't meet the mark. That doesn't sound like good news to me. The word Gospel means "good news".

Even in Churches people have been taught that they must be good to get good. We get good because of what Jesus did on the cross. The more we understanding this, the more changes take place in our lives that free us from the bondages of sin. It's who we know that brings holiness not what we do. Get to know Him personally and you will see wonderful changes in your life.

Luke puts a different twist to these names. This always draws my attention. Let's take another look at the opening scripture substituting the name Peter with the meaning of this name. Now it says "the law and those with it were heavy with sleep (worn out from working). When they were fully awake (stopped working), they saw His glory". That glory is His grace.

Be Blessed

Monday, September 12, 2011

Face to Face

Colossians 1:10 (NKJV), "that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him..."

The first 4 books of the New Testament are known as the Gospels. The Gospels reveal the will of God for us. God wants us to have happy, healthy and prosperous lives. The only way this can happen is by removing sin from our lives.

The Gospels also teach us that removing every sin is impossible for us to do on our own. When the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 19:25, "...Who then can be saved?" Jesus responded in verse 26, "...With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Sin can not exist before the face of God. When the devil came before God in the book of Job, He was surrounded by angels as a covering (Job 2:1). When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from the presence of God (Genesis 3:8). Even Cane was permanently hidden from the face of God when he murdered his brother Able (Genesis 4:14).

It has been God's desire since the fall of Adam that we can fellowship with Him face to face. Yet with any sin in us we would be destroyed instantly. I have heard several people over the years say, "I am a good person". The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, "For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin." This verse is quoted many times in both the Old and the New Testaments. You must understand that it is impossible for us to be good without receiving the gift of righteousness.

In the Old testament the children of God could obtain a form of righteousness through the sacrifice of an innocent animal. The sins of the people were transferred to the animal. This was a temporary solution and had to be done regularly. Jesus was God in the body of a man. God has no sin so He was the ultimate flawless sacrifice. The sacrifice was so perfect and powerful that it paid for all sins committed past, present and future. All we have to do is receive this gift by faith.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God)..."  So How do we walk worthy of the Lord? By faith. We simply have to believe that we are perfect because of what Jesus did on the cross. When we receive this gift, God can come face to face with us. This fellowship will break the bondages of sin in your lives. Unhealthy desires will effortlessly fade away and be replaced by healthy ones.

The verse above (Col 1:10) continues on to say,  "...being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." When you know that any sin in your life has been judged by the sacrifice of Jesus, you will become fruitful in deeds and more personal with God. He has judged all of our sins, past, present and future. You no longer have to hide from the presence of God as Adam and Eve did. This will give God an open opportunity to work through you.

Be Blessed!

Monday, September 05, 2011

As Christ loved the church...

Ephesians 5:25-26 (The Message) 25 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. 26 Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her.

I lost my first wife in a car accident back in 2003. Since then I have re-married and I have an amazing marriage. In fact my marriage is so good that one day I asked God why. God said, "It's because she knows you love her". I then realized that as the Scripture above says, "my words evoke her beauty. Everything I do and say is designed to bring the best of her".

When my first wife died I laid on the ground beside her waiting for emergency crews. The very first thought that came to my mind was how she didn't know how much I loved her. When I re-married I made a point of asking the Lord to help me make sure my new wife knows that I love her. It was this request that brought me to understand that love produces love.

Having a connection with God and asking for His strength in our marriage has made His love flow naturally in our marriage. The Bible says in 1 John 4:19 (New Living Translation), "We love each other because he loved us first." Most of us have heard the expression "you reap what you sow". When you sow love into your marriage you will reap love. I can't help but to see her beauty and I know without any doubt that she gives me her best.

We have been married a while now and as cliché as it sounds, our love for each other grows even more powerful as time goes on.  Having a strong marriage gives you strength to face any challenge that life can throw at you. Love is a very powerful force and it should start with the husband. The husband is meant to be a source of strength in a marriage.

Be Blessed!