Tag Archives: power

A Weekend Word

Because this is too good not to share…

the God of hope

And who doesn’t need to hear this reminder, this encouragement, this TRUTH?

At the end of a weekend … full of many good and rich and wonderful things that in our weak moments threaten to exhaust and overwhelm?

At the beginning of a week … full of work and routine and busy that tempts us to get lost in the mundane?

In the everyday … as we learn to trust Him more one moment at at time?

Trust the faithful God of hope.

Be filled with joy and peace.

So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit alone.

—–

ps: just for fun, if you happen to love this print as much as I do, check out StudioJRU for this & others!

Fully His

“…rescued by hands bleeding grace. Are we ready to see His face? On the great day.”
The Great Day, from The Story

fully his

As I entered this holiest of weeks, it was from a place of mental and physical exhaustion. The last few weeks have been over-scheduled, and I have been running on near empty trying to tackle the commitments and responsibilities competing for my time and attention. And truthfully, being pulled in so many directions has left me feeling more than a little defeated … as if I’m failing at almost everything.

My calendar is filled with some really great things, and while in some ways I’m noticing a lack of discernment when it comes to commitments, in other ways, there’s just not much I can realistically say “no” to in this season.

Under the weight of it all, even my times of rest seem rather ineffective.

I have a lengthy list of things to-do at all times, but don’t have the energy to address most of it, so I do the bare minimum of what’s required to get through the next day, and instead of acknowledging that something is better than nothing, I then continue to feel guilty for all of the things left undone … the areas where I’m failing.

The cycle is endless.

But the words from the song that struck me in such a fresh and powerful way on Sunday morning seem even more powerful now:

“No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.”

No guilt in life.

THIS is the power of Christ in me.

Even if I have failed at much (and I have), the resulting pervasive feeling that I am a failure … it’s not of Him. It’s not living in the Spirit, walking by faith, or claiming the truth that I am His child.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 (ESV)

So in this Holy Week, as I reflect on the cross, the suffering, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of my Lord and Savior, I will be imperfectly purposeful in remembering that He is my peace and my freedom.

“For the words of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)

Freedom is mine not because of anything I’ve done, but because of Who He is and what He has done.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

So I let go of the failure. Because I am free.

It doesn’t make my schedule instantly manageable, it doesn’t make a shift in priorities easy, and it doesn’t make my responsibilities disappear.

And because it doesn’t come easily or naturally, it’s a message of truth that I must preach to myself over and over again.

It’s the truth of the Gospel.

I am free from the guilt and free from the failure because this life is mine by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

I don’t have to prove my worth. I am simply free to stand in it.

Fully alive. Fully justified. Fully His.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.”
Galatians 2:20 (ESV)

{Day 29} I Don’t Serve a Small God…

“…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'”

Isaiah 46:9-10 (ESV)

I don’t serve a small God … so why do I act like it?

When I think I have to write the details of my own story, I act like I serve a small God.
When I act like taking a wrong turn on this faith journey is the end, I act like I serve a small God.
When I worry so much about and agonize over which direction is right, I act like I serve a small God.

But just because His timing is different than mine, just because He allows me to make mistakes that ultimately draw me into deeper dependence on Him, just because I don’t perfectly understand what He’s doing or where He’s leading, just because I can’t see the whole picture, doesn’t mean He’s a small God.

Quite the contrary.

He’s such a big and mighty and powerful God that He knows each detail from beginning to end. He knows how all the pieces fit together because He sees the big picture … the whole picture … while I can only see one very small miniscule part.

He knows the eternal story because He wrote it.

I’ve spent far too much time worrying about what comes next in my story.

But this quiet confidence.

It doesn’t worry.

Because there is peace in His presence and confidence in Him who holds tomorrow.

Astonished by Common

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.”

– Acts 4:13-14 (English Standard Version – emphasis added)

Jesus has been taken up into heaven after His resurrection, the Holy Spirit has come on believers at Pentecost, Peter has preached a powerful and truth-filled sermon to the masses, Peter has healed a lame beggar and then used the opportunity to again proclaim Christ to those around him, and Peter and John have been jailed overnight by the priests and Sadducees because the message of Jesus Christ was found disturbing and threatening to their power.

That’s a lot going on in a rather short amount of time, but Peter is neither beaten down nor deterred by this series of events.

As Peter and John stand before the council of rulers and elders and teachers, a council in a position to determine whether Peter and John should be kept in jail, Peter again speaks boldly of Christ, of “this Jesus” (see Acts 4:11), of salvation. But not because Peter just has a desire to do so or because he has simply determined to be bold or because he has somehow resolved to be strong.

In contrast to such human effort, Peter – a common and uneducated man – was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:8).

It is this power, the power that comes from the Holy Spirit alone, that leaves the council astonished. Because even they recognize that the boldness exhibited in these common and uneducated men means that Peter and John had been with Jesus. The power and boldness could come from no other source. And in the wake of this encounter with truth, “they had nothing to say in opposition,” and ultimately release them {at least until the next chapter}.

And as Peter and John share this account, their fellow believers pray this prayer together:

“…now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant, Jesus.”

– Acts 4:29-30 (ESV – emphasis added)

Oh, how I long for that prayer to be granted in my own life as I pray along with them … that others would be astonished … not because of me, but because the power of the Holy Spirit is evident in my common life by the way I live and boldly proclaim the message and truth of Jesus Christ.

Join me in this prayer today?