Posts Tagged 'God’s power'

Relying on God

JESUS SPEAKING

          Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me this very night, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”  Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you that this very night, before the rooster crows, you shall deny me three times.”  Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mathew 26: 31-35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

          Peter boldly rejected Christ’s prophecy; he vainly exalted himself above the other disciples, saying, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Despite great effort, he would go on to deny the Lord three times before morning.  Jesus promised that he would eventually send a replacement; after his resurrection and ascension, he fulfilled his commitment; Peter and the other disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  After receiving God’s Spirit, Peter’s strength was restored; he immediately entered a crowded temple and boldly preached the gospel.  The Peter that denied Christ leaned on his own strength; the Peter that proclaimed Christ relied upon God’s power.  For the sake of Christ, Peter went on to endure beatings, imprisonment, persecutions without number, and even death [he was crucified upside down in the city of Rome.]  Without God, it is difficult to accomplish even the simplest tasks.  But with God, it is possible to move mountains.

          Peter shares the experience of divine empowerment with some other notable men of the bible.  While the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, a young Hebrew man named Moses who had grown up in Pharaoh’s household, believed it was his destiny to free his people.  One day, Moses witnessed an Egyptian task master, beating one of his countrymen.  Filled with rage, and a sense of duty, he killed the Egyptian.  In an effort to conceal his crime, he buried the body beneath the sand.  The body was discovered, and a few days later, Moses’ life was in jeopardy.  Alone, and defeated, he fled to the desert and became a shepherd.  For decades he cared for livestock.  At the approximate age of 80 God appeared to him and instructed him to return to Egypt to free his people.  He responded by telling God he wasn’t ‘the right man for the job.’  He no longer believed he was capable of accomplishing the task.  A once prideful and self-reliant young man, had become an old man who recognized his own weakness (apart from God); he was finally ready to be used by the Lord.  The young Moses, with his own power, was unable to bury even a single Egyptian.  The mature Moses, utilizing God’s power, led a nation to freedom, and buried the entire Egyptian army beneath the waves of the red sea.

          Western culture promotes self-reliance; in the divine culture, reliance upon God is paramount.  Is there anything in your life that you are trying to accomplish on your own?  Are you attempting to endure a difficult trial unaided?  Are you struggling to overcome an addiction in isolation?  Do you look to God for provision, or are you the provider?  Your best efforts will never compare to the works of God.  No matter how large the obstacle, or how great the need, if you humble yourself, you will harness the power of the one true and living God.  Do this, and you will be able to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13.)

          “Lord Heavenly Father, we honor and praise You.  You are an amazing God.  Apart from You we are weak and incapable of accomplishing good things.  Be our strength; may we rely upon You and not upon ourselves.  Give us victory over the things that cause us to stumble; may we stand firm, may we endure, and may we overcome.  May our hearts be humble, and our lives filled with joy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

God is in complete control

JESUS SPEAKING

                Pilate […] went again in to the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?”  But Jesus gave him no answer.  Then Pilate said to him, “Are you not speaking to me?  Do you not know that I have power to crucify you, and power to release you?”  Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above.  Therefore the one who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”  (John 19: 8 – 11.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Bound, bloodied, and beaten, Jesus Christ stood before Pontius Pilate (the Roman Governor of Judea.)  The Jews demanded he be sentenced to death.  Not wanting to kill an innocent man, Pilate proceeded to question him; but Jesus remained silent.  Unaware he was standing before the Son of God, Pilate warned him that his silence could lead to his crucifixion.  Jesus kindly corrected the Governor; reminding him that it was God who would dictate his sentence.  Pilate falsely believed he was in control of the outcome of the trial; in reality, he was merely an instrument in the hands of God; used to bring about His eternal plan of salvation.   

                Still today, many look back upon the events surrounding Christ’s death and blame the Romans or the Jewish people.  They forget that Jesus Christ was not murdered; his crucifixion was the work of God (not the work of man.)  Our Lord was not forced to endure the cross, he chose to endure it.  Nor was it the nails that held him in place that faithful day; it was love.  He died freely to accomplish the will of God.  The cross is not a symbol of anguish, but an emblem of grace and mercy; for upon the cross, the Lord endured the punishment for our sins; that through his selfless act, we might all enter in to fellowship with the Almighty God.  Sacrifice is a necessary expression of ultimate affection; Jesus Christ’s death is a love letter addressed to mankind.  The blood spilled at the foot of the cross is proof that God desperately loves His children.

                Have you come to know the love of God?  Do you know why Jesus Christ died for you?  He died so all those who believe can draw near to their eternal Father.  Accept God’s sacrifice and invite Him in to your heart.  Give Him your life, and let him guide you.  He will adore you; He will love you; and He will protect you.  Surrender to your creator, and you will know true peace.  Open your heart to the Son of God and receive His blessings.  Accept the love of God, and your heart will overflow with unending joy.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we accept Your sacrifice, and we thank You for sending Your Son to die for us.  His blood is our blessing; may we surrender our lives to You.  Draw near to us Father, that we might know you intimately.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and give us new life; and may You dwell in our hearts forever.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Get plugged in

JESUS SPEAKING

            Then they said to him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom He has sent” (John 6: 28 – 29.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Everywhere Jesus went the crowds went with him; having witnessed his countless miracles, the masses desperately sought to discover how they too might accomplish similar feats of greatness.  Jesus answered saying, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom He has sent.”  According to the Lord, righteousness and divine power are the offspring of a life built firmly upon the foundation of genuine faith; faith in the Son of God; faith that his teachings are God’s revelation to mankind; faith that he is seated at the creator’s right hand; faith that he loves us and that through him we are reconciled to our Almighty and Everlasting Father.  The messiah is the source of all power; only through him can we hope to accomplish God’s will. 

                Some time ago I purchased a saw from a local hardware store.  Unfortunately the saw suddenly shut down while I was using it; I tried everything to get it to work again.  I fiddled with it; I read the directions more thoroughly; I searched the internet for similar problems.  Eventually I had to bring the saw back to store and exchange it for a different model.  After returning home, I plugged in the new saw; sadly it didn’t work either.  My frustration drove me to try a different socket, and sure enough, the blade began to spin.  I soon discovered that a local fuse had blown which affected only a couple of outlets in the house.  I was needless to say, more than a little embarrassed.  The saw had never been broken; instead, it stopped working because it had become separated from the source of its power.

                Like my saw, many are disconnected from the source of all divine power.  Without faith in Jesus Christ most are unable to function properly.  Those who do place their faith in God’s Son grow strong and continue to mature.  They possess great peace and great hope; they have the ability to live righteously and to accomplish many wonderful works in the lives of others.  May we continue to place our faith in Jesus Christ.  May we never turn away from the source of our strength that our lives may continue to be a testament to God’s power and majesty.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we believe in Your Son and we acknowledge his power.  Increase our faith that we might grow stronger and be more like You.  Accomplish Your works in us and through us, that our lives may testify of Your goodness and mercy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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