power

Receive Power and Grace

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ ” – Mark 1:9-11 The Gospel of Mark is fascinating, and in its earliest form, it can be referred to as the Gospel of Peter. According to most scholars, Peter and Mark wrote it together. The Gospels had been told, memorized and shared, but eventually, they wrote it down so people could remember what happened. In my imagination, I see these two deciding where to begin. It was the exciting memory of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist that came to them! John was a peculiar man who

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Flip the Switch

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) We should never be timid about our faith, the Kingdom of God, or His promises! Instead, we should be strong and bold because He has not given us a Spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. We don’t need to be afraid or shy about what He’s put inside of us; instead, we can embrace it, knowing that He’s provided the power — we only need to activate it. If I purchase a new home, assuming the power company has gone in and installed the correct equipment according to the proper codes, by all means, that building is set to receive power. Once I move in and pay my bill, I should have all the electricity that I need, right?

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Your Best Life

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” – James 1:19,20 We need to move from being ego-driven people who are always first to judge or call people out, to becoming a listening, humble, and life-giving presence in the world. Of course, this can be a challenge when people are cruel, unfair, unkind, and rude. However, life in the Kingdom of God enables us to be a force of mercy and healing, even in an increasingly angry and hostile society.  Our best life doesn’t come when we get really good at finding out what’s wrong with the world and pointing it out, but rather when we become the kind of people who are unoffendable, relaxed, and walking in the easy rhythms of grace. This

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Funnels of Forgiveness

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14,15 Today, we will continue our series on forgiveness. If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve probably heard the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly, and you have likely said again and again, “forgive us our offenses (or debts) as we forgive those who have offended us.” Although the words may have become routine, think about what they mean. In essence, when you pray that sentence, you are saying, Lord, forgive me to the same extent that I have forgiven others. This is how Jesus teaches us to pray. He then goes on to say, “For if you forgive men their sins, your Heavenly Father will forgive you of your sins, but if you do not forgive

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The Art of Being Unoffendable

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11 If you’re looking for a superpower to achieve great things in life, here’s one: become unoffendable. As we continue examining the woman of great faith found in Matthew Chapter 15, we can see that she was unoffendable! This woman made a scene that became embarrassing to the disciples of Jesus. In desperation, she was begging loudly for Jesus to heal her daughter. His disciples urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” This mother cared more about receiving her miracle than her ego. One commentator of this passage stated: “She was too desperate to take offense.” How desperate are you to receive answers from the Lord? How crucial is it for you to achieve that dream or goal laid before you? Do you want it so bad that you

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God’s Will and Power

“…and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” – Luke 6:19 Recently, our son Cohen had a series of seizures and it was a very difficult time for Hannah and I, to say the least. We tried all the emergency procedures, but the attacks wouldn’t stop. We had to call 911 and have him transported to Children’s Hospital of Orange County. It turned out to be a long couple of days for our family. I understand and can empathize with what it’s like to go through trials, and I thought about how I used to pray. I used to pray, “Lord, please, please, let us out of this hospital.” But I have a new philosophy. I don’t pray that way anymore, because I know God’s will and power.   With this belief, my new approach is that I pray Cohen comes

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Nothing is Impossible

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ” – Matthew 19:26 Nothing is impossible with God! I remember a story about the famous mathematician George Dantzig when he was in college. One particular day, he was running late to class. When he finally got to his seat, he noticed a math problem on the board, so he hurriedly copied it, assuming it was the homework for next week’s class. When he attempted to solve it later that night, he realized it was very difficult — much more than the typical assignment.  Although it took him some time, George didn’t give up, and he finally figured out the answer. Proud of his achievement, he went to his professor’s office and set the solution on his desk. Several weeks went by until early one morning, the young man heard a knock

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Listening is a Ministry

“…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—” – Proverbs 1:5 Today, as we conclude our exploration of God’s solutions, I want to reemphasize the value, power, and strength of listening. Imagine you’re driving on a highway behind two cars next to one another; one is an old Honda from the 80s with about 150 horsepower, but it has a big, loud-sounding muffler. Next to it is a Tesla Model S Plaid with a thousand horsepower; it’s almost as loud as a golf cart. The question is, which one has the power? Guess what? It’s the quiet one. Furthermore, from a people perspective, picture yourself in a room with people who are loud and shouting, but you notice one lady or one gentleman sitting in a chair, confidently listening. I’ll tell you who has the power, it’s the quiet ones. The strength is

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Serenity is Power

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:20 I want to look at the source of Jesus’ serenity — power. The Lord was able to be calm because He was connected to His Father, who created everything and everyone, and therefore knew how things were going to turn out! He was fully God but also fully human, so as much as He possessed the ability to change any situation, He practiced the disciplines that kept Him “plugged in” to the source of His strength. He spent a lot of time in prayer, He went to lonely places, and ultimately, He lived in the Father’s love, even while enduring the hatred of his neighbors. Although He was among people who should have known who He was and welcomed His good and miraculous deeds, the religious and Pharisetical spirits disliked Him. Even

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Stay Focused on the Dream

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20 As we conclude this series about dreamers today, allow me to reiterate that dreams from God will annoy people and get you in trouble, but so what! Joseph had two significant dreams: ”We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” Also, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” As God brought Joseph’s dreams to fulfillment, I don’t think he pictured becoming the Grand-vizier of Egypt, but God did. Joseph had no idea that the gauntlet of betrayal, suffering, deception, and abandonment, were all preparing him for the moment of saving many lives. 

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