Posts Tagged With: fear

The Same Power

Romans 8:11

New Living Translation (NLT)

11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.


Often there are songs that have lyrics that resonate with me.  This past week I was driving home after a meeting with our Worship Design team and such a song came on the radio.  This Sunday is VBS Sunday at our church and we had just finalized the outline for the service.

The theme for VBS this year is “Everest: Conquering Life’s Problems with God’s Mighty Power”.  The kids have been repeating the words “Hold On” as the leaders proclaim certain truths about God’s character and saving power.  As I was driving the chorus of Jeremy Camp’s new song “Same Power” broke through the silence and made me pause.

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

I love it when poets and lyricists can give the scriptures a melody that sticks with you.  One that makes it easy for us to remember and recall God’s Truth.  All week the children have been learning this very truth.  They have been learning that God, who has done marvelous and amazing things, gives us the very Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead.

Do our lives reflect that Truth?  Do our actions suggest that we believe that God has given us that power?  Our children are learning about this and proclaiming “Hold On”.  May we reflect their cry. May we Hold On the Truth, Hold One to the promise, Hold On to Christ, and Hold On to the love of God.

 

How will you Hold On to the love of God this week? 

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A Discipleship Kind of Love

1 John 4:21

New International Version (NIV)

21 And He has given us this command:  Whoever loves God must also love his brother.


I know that I would not be here writing this blog post had it not been for faithful and devoted followers of Christ who poured themselves into my life.  I owe a lot to the time that those key individuals spent teaching, mentoring, and taking a chance on me because they saw my potential.

How many opportunities for great people to rise up do we miss because we don’t take the time to invest in their walk with God.  Christianity is a community of believers, and it is impossible to be lived out in solidarity because God is communal by nature.  He has called us to gather, teach, encourage, empower, and love.  It is our responsibility, as believers, to respond.

My encouragement for you is to think about specific ways that you can invest in the lives of others.  How can you begin building up the youth in your congregation?  How can you begin encouraging your high school students?  How can you engage your college students and young adults?  How can you partner with all generations?

The seasoned have great wisdom to share with the novices and the novices have great energy and enthusiasm to share with the seasoned.  When the church disciples(teaches, loves, gives, sacrifices, encourages, empowers, and challenges) one another it builds strong foundations of faith.

How will you impact someone this week? 

What specific ways can you build into a member of your congregation today?

 

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Flock of Shepherds

John 10:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Matthew 28:

New International Version (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit


Everyday we are tempted from the moment we wake up to follow something.  Follow the advertisement on the TV to purchase something new, follow the Facebook ad down the endless rabbit-hole of YouTube links, or follow someone influential on Twitter.  Perhaps you are even tempted to follow the example of someone at work or school.

Everyday we have the choice of who or what we want to follow whether it be good or bad, helpful or harmful.  Are we making the right choices?  Are we seeking the best yes for our lives?  Are we seeking too hard fit in?

Are we truly following something great or are we wandering around aimlessly like sheep?

Fortunately God sent us Jesus.  Otherwise we would all still be lost.  We would still be wandering in the dark trying to find our way and following any and everything that caught our attention.  However, Jesus didn’t just come to have us follow Him.  He called us to learn from Him, embrace His love, and then go and share that love to the lost.  Jesus calls us to shed our wool, leave the wandering flock, and learn to lead.

How will you accept His invitation this week?

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Love Ran Red

Luke 24:37-39

New International Version (NIV)

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”


Did Christ really rise from the dead as the women had reported?  Did He appear to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus?  Did He really just appear out of no where in the locked room they were meeting in?

I imagine all of that was very hard to take in.  I bet they had to take a seat and breathe due to shock, excitement, fear, and pure joy!  The most amazing thing of all is that Christ did not appear as a “spirit” or a vision.  He came to them fully God and fully man.  He ate real food, walked on hard floors, and at the end of the chapter He literally ascended into heaven before their very eyes.

Christ is not a ghost.  He is not a fictional character from a storybook.  He is flesh and bone.  He is God and man.  The scars from His torture were not healed or taken away.  They remain as a testimony to what He did.  They will remain because He stands in our place and takes on our sin so that we are no longer covered in red.  He takes on our sin so that we can be clothed in white.  He takes on our sin so that we have the ability to be in His presence. It is because He takes on our sin that we gather, remember, pray, sing, rejoice, and recall what is taught in scripture.

It is because He takes on our sin that we are free to worship.

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Doubt

John 20:26-27

New International Version (NIV)

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”


How often have we acted like Thomas?  How often have we wanted proof that something was truly as someone had told us.  We ask for signs and we look for the facts when we hear stories, do research papers, and conduct interviews.  We even prefer to see pictures of our food before ordering it.

Faith does not come with a laminated menu that has highlighted pictures.  It is not presented to us on a silver platter by the nail-stricken hands of Christ.  Faith is believing in something that is unseen.  Our faith is our sight.  It allows us the opportunity to come before the cross and realize what Christ has done for us.

It is our hope.  It is our calling to go out and serve.  It is the reason that we gather.  We have faith because we have witnessed the power of Christ in the lives of those around us, as well as our own.  It is by faith that we look at the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20 and know that we can accomplish anything because Christ is with us.

What is it that you are doubting? 

What is it that is keeping you from believing in the impossible?

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Ethan & Emilie

Embracing an Inspirational Life

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Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul