Posts Tagged ‘Power


God Is Great

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. — Psalm 145:3 (NIV)

…they were all amazed at the greatness of God. — Luke 9:43 (NIV)

When I was a little Shawn, we said the same prayer at the dinner table each night.  “God is great.  God is good.  Let us thank Him for our food.  Amen.”  I can still remember it after these many years.  As a child, I never really thought about what the words meant.  What does it mean that God is great?  What does it mean that God is good?

God Is Great

The Hebrew and Greek words that are translated as “great” or “greatness” have to do with God’s deeds.  They have to do with His majesty and power.  God’s greatness is displayed in His creative works.  He spoke and the world came into being.  He formed mountains and oceans.  He parted the waters of the Red Sea.  He shook the earth when Christ was crucified and again when He raised Jesus from the dead.  The people’s amazement at the greatness of God in Luke 9:43 was in response to Jesus healing a man and casting a demon out of him.  Jesus’ power caused people to wonder in awe at God’s greatness.  When was the last time you were awed by God’s greatness?  When did you last sit in wonder and amazement at the power, majesty, glory and greatness of God?

PRAYER: God, You are mighty and You are great! I am in awe of who You are. Your power is amazing and Your greatness cannot even be measured. I praise You for Your mighty works. Thank You for doing great things in my life. In the name of Jesus I praise You, amen.


We Need The Power

In 1 Corinthians 4, we find Paul defending himself and his ministry to the Corinthian congregation.  He has some harsh words of rebuke  in chapter 5 and in chapter 4, he is justifying himself and his fellow Apostles.  Toward the end of this chapter, Paul speaks of wanting to come and visit the Corinthians.  He was sending Timothy to them in order to remind them of the things that Paul had taught them.  Paul was their spiritual father as they came to faith under his teaching.  Paul had shared the Gospel with them (Acts 18) and they eventually put their faith and trust in Jesus.  Luke records in Acts 18 that Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half in order to preach the Gospel.  Many believed and were baptized and the church was born.
Apparently there was some trouble in the church at Corinth as Paul writes about in chapter 4.  Some were full of arrogance and pride.  They were full of talk, but not full of power.  This is what led Paul to write:

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. – 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV)

Paul echoes this thought in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NIV):

our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.

The Greek word that is translated as power is the word, “dunamis” from which we get our word, “dynamite.”  It is an explosive power that comes by the Holy Spirit.  God’s Kingdom is revealed in power, not in a whimper.  We need to pray for God’s power to be revealed in three ways:
  1. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us overcome sin and temptation.
  2. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in the church to reach those who don’t know Jesus.
  3. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Kingdom and reign to earth that the world will be transformed.

Let us pray for power to come by the Holy Spirit in our lives, our churches and our world.

PRAYER: Father, fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit today. Empower Your people with Your Spirit to bring about change in our world. I ask for Your power to fill Your church again that lives may be transformed, including mine. Thank You for the Holy Spirit. Amen.


By The Power Of God’s Spirit

Zechariah 4:1-7 (NIV)

Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He asked me, “What do you see?”

I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”

I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”

He answered, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I replied.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
The visions Zechariah continue into chapter 4. He sees a very bright lamp with seven lamps and seven channels to the seven lamps. These channels are connected to two olive trees that provide an endless supply of oil to these lamps. Zechariah asks about the olive trees, but is not given an answer until later in chapter 4. Instead, the angel gives a prophetic word to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel. He was in charge of rebuilding the temple. The key to rebuilding the temple is found in verse 6. Zerubbabel would not rebuild the temple by military might nor human power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even the mountains would be flattened by the power of God’s Spirit when it came to rebuilding God’s temple.
We can attempt to do many things in our own power. We can try to overcome obstacles and mountains in our own lives. The fact is that we are powerless in our own strength. We need the power of God’s Spirit to overcome the mountains we face each day. It might be an obstacle of sin. It might be a mountain of fear. It could be a struggle with doubt. On our own, we are weak and frail. But with the power of God’s Spirit within us, those mountains and struggles may as well be flattened. Quit trying to do life on your own. Let God flatten your fears. Let His Holy Spirit level the mountains of doubt. Let Him lift you high above the peaks of doubt. It is not in your strength that you can overcome. It is by God’s Spirit that you can have victory.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to overcome the fears, doubts and struggles in my life. The journey is hard and the climb is difficult. Fill me with Your Spirit today as You flatten the mountains in my life. Let me hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as I face these mountains today. Give me Your strength so that I may have victory and You may receive glory and praise. Amen.

God’s Spirit Is Greater

1 John 4:4-6 (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
We oftentimes give the enemy too much credit.  The spirit of the antichrist (which John says is in the world in 1 John 4:3) is not greater than the Holy Spirit.  Those who deny Jesus Christ have the spirit of the antichrist.  Those who follow Jesus are filled with the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit is greater than the evil one.  God’s Spirit is more powerful than the devil.  For the follower of Jesus, the One living in you has already defeated Satan.
Do not give the enemy more credit than he is due.  Yes, the devil is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour.  But that doesn’t mean that he can can devour you.  Surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit and submit to His guidance.  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit when tempted by evil to deliver you from the temptation.  Don’t blame the devil every time you give in to temptation (“The devil made me do it”).  The enemy is dangerous, but he is also defeated.  God’s Son defeated Satan when He arose from the grave on that glorious Sunday morning!  We have Resurrection power living in us.  Let’s trust in God’s Spirit to empower us to overcome sin, temptation and the evil one.
PRAYER: Father, protect me from the evil one today.  On my own, I am weak.  But in You I find strength to overcome sin and temptation.  Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit today for He is greater than the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Holding On Too Tight

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?   How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.  But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place.  Many followed Him, and He healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who He was. — Matthew 12:9-16 (NIV)

The Pharisees were holding on as tight as they could.  What were they holding on to, though?  Was it the Law or was it their positions of power and prestige?  When Jesus came on the scene, the Pharisees were respected and admired.  Jesus changed that.  He confronted them and revealed their innermost selfish and self-centered desires.  He showed them to be self-righteous glory seekers.  Worse yet, verse 15 says that “many followed Him…”.  In other words, Jesus took away their cash cow.  He was popular and they were jealous.

So they tried to trip Him up.  They conveniently find a man with a shriveled hand and they get all theological on Jesus.  Jesus brings it back to the basics of “mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6; He quoted it just before this story takes place).  They had no argument against what He said!  He was right (He still is, btw)!  Since they couldn’t argue with Him, they started hatching a plot to kill Him.  They held on too tight — not to the Law, but to their own self-centered desires.

What they didn’t know is that the plot to kill Jesus had been hatched thousands of years before they came on the scene.  When humanity fell in the Garden of Eden, God set into motion the events necessary to restore the relationship between Himself and His most prized creation.  He would allow His only Son to be crucified so that sins could be forgiven and sinners could be set free.

What are you holding onto today that is getting in the way of really serving Jesus?  What are you grasping so tightly that prevents you from seeing what is truly important?

PRAYER: Father, help me to let go of the things that keep me from loving and serving Jesus.  I only want to hold on tightly to Him.   Thank You for never letting me go.  Amen.



The Struggle


I hate it.

Sin separates people from God.

Sin separates me from God.

Sin is what caused Jesus to die on a Roman cross.

Sin is what sends people to an eternity separated from God in Hell.

When we think about overcoming temptation and sin, it may seem like an insurmountable task.  So we give up before we ever start to fight.

The author of Hebrews talks about the struggle we have with sin:

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. – Hebrews 12:4 (NIV)

It calls to mind a boxing match where two opponents struggle and fight and blood is drawn.  I can just picture two heavyweights going at it in the middle of the ring, toe-to-toe.  Neither opponent wants to give up and they slug it out for 12 rounds.  Blood is shed.  Bodies are bruised.  Eyes are swollen shut.  It is a battle for the ages!  It is an epic contest where there can only be one winner!

This is a picture of our struggle with sin.  You stand toe-to-toe and resist temptation and the devil.  You fight with all you’ve got!  You get knocked down but you get right back up.  You keep struggling and resisting and fighting!  Don’t give up!  Fight the good fight!  You’ve got three things going for you…

  1. The crowd is on your side (Hebrews 12:1).
  2. Jesus is your corner Man (He’ll never tell you, “You’re a bum, Rock!  A bum! – apologies to Burgess Meredith!)
  3. The power of the Holy Spirit dwells within you and gives you victory!

You’re not alone in the struggle.  You’ve got power and perseverance on your side.  Don’t give up!  Never, ever give up!  Keep struggling and fighting and resisting sin.  Remember this one thing – when sin knocks you down, God’s grace will always pick you back up again.

What is the sin you’re struggling with the most right now?

Pray and ask God to help you in your struggle and to help you keep fighting and resisting today.

PRAYER: God, I need Your strength to overcome the temptations that will come my way today.  I don’t have the strength to do it on my own.  Help me to repent of sin and to run to You for strength.  Thank You for forgiving my many sins in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.


Is Anything Too Hard For God?

Let’s face it.  We doubt.

We doubt God’s goodness.  When we doubt His willingness to provide for what we need, we are doubting His goodness.  Is God not truly good that He would withhold the things His children need?  Of course not!  God is good and He will provide what we need!

We doubt God’s forgiveness.  We think that we are so far gone and so sinful that He could not possibly forgive what we’ve done.  What kind of Heavenly Father would He be if He limited His own forgiveness of His children?  He is full of love and grace and forgiveness and He demonstrated it by sending Jesus.

We doubt God’s power.  We sometimes believe that God has “more important” things to do than to attend to the petty little details of our lives.  Oh really?  God is not all-knowing or all-powerful enough to handle what we are going through no matter how big or small?  I like what God said to Jeremiah:

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:  “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:26-27, NIV)

He is the “God of all mankind.”  Nothing is too hard for God.  No problem is so insurmountable that He cannot handle it.  No child of His is too far gone that He cannot reach him or her.  No sin, save one (Mark 3:29), is so egregious that He cannot lovingly forgive it.  We have to learn to trust Him with every aspect of our lives.  I believe that God is calling out to us each day, “Trust Me.  Trust Me.  Trust Me.”  He is good and His love is everlasting.  He is good and He will not withhold good gifts from His children.  He is good and full of grace and mercy.  He is good and His power knows no limits.  God is good, my friends.  God is good and nothing is too hard for Him.

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for Your goodness and grace.  Thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness.  Thank You for loving me at my worst and helping me to be my best.  Thank You for Your power and might.  Allow me to experience Your goodness in my life today.  Amen.

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