Power of God vs. Power of Nature

Look at Paul’s prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places  Ephesians 1:17-20

Power of God

As Christians, we have the same power that raised Jesus Christ fom the dead living on the inside of us. Paul was praying that God would grant us understanding of this truth.  God is all powerful but He has chosen to work that power through us.

I Have a Question, If Jesus needed miracles in His ministry, don’t you think we need miracles in ours?
Mt. Redoubt eruption
Mt. Redoubt eruption

Power of Nature

Let’s look at something like a volcano eruption.  This is sudden, powerful, uncontrollable but it nothing compared to the power of God.

When you look at pictures of the power of a volcano, hurricane, tornado and how devastating they are to the affected areas,  please know, this is nothing compared to the power God has placed on the inside of you.
Why is there so much resistance in the church in operating in the power of God? I believe it is Satan inspired and here is why; Satan has no more power to stop the Holy Spirit than you have of stopping a volcano from erupting.
Since Satan can not stop the power of God, (See the book of Acts for examples) his only defense is to stop it before it can get started.  He uses  weapons like deception, division, pride etc. to decieve believers into thinking they do not have any power, or they are not worthy, can’t be trusted or my personal favorite, the power ran out and is not needed anymore.

 I love what Jesus did in Mark 2:5-12, He used the power of God (healing) to convince everyone listening to Him, He also had the power to forgive sins.  

My Prayer

I am seeking the wisdom and the revelation of the power of God.  I pray my understanding will be enlightened and when I see the power of nature, I will think, “that is nothing compared to the power of God on the inside of me”.

One last question, “Are you His disciple?”  Since Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever,  don’t you think something He told His disciples applies to you today?  Jesus gave His disciples power Matthew 10:1, then told them to use this power in Matthew 10:7,8 and I believe He expects us to do the same thing today.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he that believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12

Where is the power in the church of the United States?  Remember faith comes by hearing the word of God.  Many in the USA go to church every week and hear the word of God but most of these believers walk around powerless.

Why?

Well, my opinion is, we Americans have too much going on all around us, we get so distracted by stuff.  For example, my current distractions are between my March Madness brackets and my trying to understand Twitter and Facebook.

So, I am not hear to tell you I have my Bible open all the time, but I do meditate on the word of God daily to grow my faith.  By doing this, my faith is growing and my relationship with Jesus is better today than it has ever been.

This is what I do, I read the Bible until a verse “jumps out at me” (some call this the Rhema Word) and instead of trying to finish the book I’m in or moving on to bigger and deeper truths, I stop and study that verse. (I am in no hurry, I have the rest of my life to understand all the different baptisms)

The verse I have been thinking about is John 14:12.  I have been here for a long time now and what I am finding out, the longer I study, meditate, pray and even fast about this scripture the more uncomfortable I get with my own walk with Jesus.

I have taught and have been taught that I am a follower of Jesus.  If I am to truly follow in my Lord and Savior’s footsteps doesn’t John 14:12 come into play?

Forget about greater works for a minute, and concentrate on the first part of the verse;

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also;

Wow… Jesus is talking to me (I say to you), he who believes in Me (That’s me again) here is were He is stretching my faith… the works that I do (Some of Jesus’ works are: healing the sick, opening blind eyes, calming the sea, raising the dead etc…) he will do also.

Jesus is speaking directly to me, a believer, and is telling me I can do all the things He did.  Why am I not doing the works that Jesus did? The short answer is because I don’t really believe it.

If I truly believed John 14:12 wouldn’t I start praying for more people, expecting the same results that Jesus got?  For those of you who know me, you know that I have started doing that very thing. 

Meditating on one scripture will get you enthusiastic, excited, expectant (I know I can find one more word that starts with “e”) and empowered.  You will get off of the pew and into the game of life where you belong.

Jesus lived His life and met people where they were.  He did not expect everyone to come to the synagogue (some did) but He came to them.  I recently read a post from Brad Abare of  Center for Church Communication  and he said:

I want to be a part of a growing church that measures its significance not by the size of its building, but by the size of its giving. I want to win the attention of people not by clever sermon series but by incarnate living. If the woman at the well had attempted to come to church (temple in her day), she would have been stoned. The closer someone wanted to get to the Holy of Holies, the more death was risked. So Jesus comes to tear down the temple and access to God is now incarnate. So what does God do? He goes TO the woman at the well. I don’t want to be at the temple when my neighbors are at the well.

That is what I have been doing, taking Jesus to the people, praying for the sick and hurting, teaching what Jesus taught… forgiveness, love, salvation.  I know the works will come if I just believe… I believe.

It is a humbling experience to ask for help. Have you ever had to admit you didn’t know everything?  Well… I have a confessing to make… I don’t know much about Christian fundraisers. We want to create a fundraiser that will help youth groups and Christian organizations raise money.

This is what I am thinking… Our logo has no words or letters, it does not have a church name or message but what it does have is, incredible power to help proclaim the Good News in a non-threatening way.

Since we own the company and logo, we have no middlemen, which means, we can sell our clothes to organizations for wholesale prices. What does that have to do with your group you may ask? Let me answer that with an example.

One Drop of Blood Fundraiser Example:

Clothing Item

 

# Sold

 

Sales Price

 

Cost of Item

 

Profit for Group

 

T-Shirt

 

100

$15.00

$7.00

$800

Polo Shirt

 

25

$25.00

$12.00

$325

Baseball Cap

 

25

$15.00

$7.50

$187

Car Emblem

 

50

$10.00

$5.50

$225

Totals

 

200

   

$1,537

Did you notice the profit on the T-shirts and Polos for the selling group?   Your group will get more than our Company.  Combine that with free shipping and tracts and we believe this can be the best Christian fundraiser available, but we would like some input.

How do you select a Fundraiser

Our question; When you select a fundraiser, are you interested only in raising money, or would you like to combine your fundraising efforts with spreading the “Good News” at the same time? 

One Drop of Blood’s main goal is to empower believers to share the Gospel.  While our main goal is to spread the Good News, our secondary goal is to give back into the kingdom of God. 

Fundraising seems like a perfect fit, but if the only motivation for starting a fundraiser is to make money, selling our products would be much more difficult than let’s say… selling chocolate. 

We have started researching and developing a plan, creating a fundraising kit that includes prizes/rewards for overachievers.  We have some really exciting plans but we would like your input and suggestions before we unveil the final product. 

Again, I know very little about fundraisers, but I am willing to learn.  Your comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Who knows, maybe God will use your insight to expand His Kingdom.

How Great is our God

Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Another way to handle your fear is to know how great is your God.  Forget about yourself for a while and concentrate on your God.  I hope this helps you.  It is Louie Giglio in the first of a 4 part message. I was given the DVD and thought it was awesome.

Louie Giglio on How Great is our God

Building your Faith Weakens your Fear

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Fear is being served up on a daily basis, what should you do with this fear? There are many opinions on this topic but what does the Bible have to say about fear?

I have been told (I have not researched it but it works in really well for this post.) the Bible tells us to have no fear 365 times. When I heard this, I immediately thought, since there are 365 days in a year and the word of God tells us 365 times not to fear, we have a word from God to start each day, “FEAR NOT!”

OK, that sounds good, but what should you do with all the fear you have today? The Bible tells you in 1 Peter 5:7… casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you. In this verse the Greek word for care is merimna and it means; anxieties, distractions, burdens and worries.

This is clear instruction to give Jesus all your care now, give Him all your worry and fear. Don’t pick it back up, read Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Leave it with Jesus.

This means you do not have to know all the answers or know how God is going to turn your situation around. You need to believe God’s word is true and meditate on His promises. Concentrate on our title scripture; So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith Comes from the Word, Fear comes from the World

If Faith comes by hearing the word of God, where does fear come from?  Fear, like faith, comes from hearing, not hearing the word of God but hearing the word of man. How many times in one day do you hear people around you or the news, talk about how bad things are getting?

Why do you listen to all that negativity? I use to listen because I thought, “I need to keep up”. Or maybe you think, “What if something bad happens and I don’t know it”? Trust me, if it is bad enough, everyone around you will tell you about it.

One of my favorite scriptures is Revelation 12:11; “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life to the death.”  (We have built our Company around this scripture.)  Let me give you my testimony, I watch very little TV and almost no news.

I still wake up every day and even though I am not as “informed” as I once was, I no longer walk around worrying about things I have no control over.

The problem I have found with watching the news is; they cover mostly bad news. I’ll admit, there is an occasional “good news” story, but would you dig in the trash bin of a fancy restaurant looking for an occasional piece of “good food”?

Not me, so here is what I suggest, turn off the TV news for a week and instead of soaking up all that garbage, read what the Bible says about something your have been fearful of in the past. You will begin to be set free, and whom the Son sets free… is free indeed.

With God, There is no Fear

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Many in the United States today are afraid. Some worry about their job, others their health, retirement, you name it, the first thing that usually comes to mind is fear. This is a natural reaction.

Look in your Bible, every time an angel appears to men or women one of the first things out of the angel’s mouth is, “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid”.

We know the natural reaction to changes in the world around us is fear, what is the unnatural or supernatural reaction? Is it not faith?

How do you go from the operating in the natural, to the operating in the supernatural? For starters, you need a basic understanding of how the natural and supernatural both work.

Satan uses the carnal (or your five senses) to trap or ensnare you into being fearful. God uses your faith to change the natural, supernaturally. Which one do you use most?
Look again at our title scripture, from 2 Timothy 1:7, God does not give us a spirit of fear, so where does fear come from? Fear is something you are born with, it comes natural to most people. Some fear is good and healthy, for examlpe these fears can help you avoid taking risks with out first counting the costs: fear of the unknown, fear of falling, etc.

The fear I am talking about is the one mentioned in 2 Timothy, “the Spirit of Fear”. Yes, there is a spirit of fear and its’ primary purpose is to take your eyes off of God and on your current situation.

What is it we as believers must learn to do, to combat this kind of fear? We need to learn how to walk by faith and not by sight. With faith you receive power, love and a sound mind. Now that is more like it.

I will elaborate more on this verse later, but for now, I wanted to encourage everyone reading this it is possible to learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

So, the $100,000 questions is, “How do you get faith”? Read this out loud, “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Believe it or not your faith just grew. “How”, you might ask? Know this, the word of God is true, and if you did what I asked, you heard the word of God and your faith grew.

As you study and read the word of God, your eyes are on the things of God and not the things of this world. This will increase your faith which will, as a side benefit, decrease your fear.

When I start to fear I ask myself, “Would a child of the King be afraid in this situation?” I will almost always say “no”! This not only gives me strength, it eliminates my fear. Try this for yourself, instead of reacting in fear, do what the angels say, “Fear not.” Remember God is not a respector of persons, if it works for me, it will work for you.

Humor is Good Like Medicine

Thought with all the doom and gloom going around we might need a laugh.  I know this has been viewed 5+million times but I thought you might want to see it again for the first time.

If My Nose was Running Money

 This is a powerful message from Larry Stockstill of Bethany World Prayer Center.   He was the guest speaker at Gateway Church.

Gateway Church

Gateway Church

If you have ever wondered about the seven candlesticks mentioned in the Bible, Pastor Stockstill gives an incredible teaching that blessed me and if you are seeking wisdom and knowledge, in this area, this will bless you. 

This link may give you the most recent messages at Gateway, so if Pastor Stockstill’s message is not showing up you may need to search for it, it will be worth your trouble.

Seven-Fold Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

Larry Stockstill of Bethany World Prayer Center

Larry Stockstill of Bethany World Prayer Center

I have included a link because you may want to buy this DVD. (yes, it is that good)

Not everyone is an evangelist

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Have you ever noticed the person usually with the most enthusiasm for a project or assignment is the one who can do it the best?  We have an evangelist come to our church to tell us all how to evangelize.  They are

Tiger Woods hits his driver

Tiger Woods hits his driver

usually the best of the best.  It would be like having Tiger Woods tell you how to hit a driver and then show you videos.   Are you then going to be able to hit the ball like Tiger? No, not even if he takes you outside and teaches you everything he knows, you still will not hit the ball like Tiger. Tiger has a gift, and his gift makes things easy for him that are harder for you to do.   I’ll bet you struggled to witness like the evangelist also.  Have you ever thought, “maybe that is not my gift”.  Have you ever asked the question, “What about us average non-gifted believers”?  What are we to do?

Since becoming a Christian over 16 years ago I have been told repeatedly, “you need to fulfill the Great Commission”.   How many times have you gone door to door?  I have never read in the Bible where Jesus went door to door. (So why do we?)  His fame, love or reputation brought the people to Him.

Feeling a little frustrated and maybe even a little guilty, I prayed for help to be a better witness.  My goal was not to save the world, I wanted to be able to talk to friends and family about Jesus.

One on One witnessing

One on One witnessing

God gave me an idea over 6 years ago and it has changed my witnessing life forever.  This idea was so simple, even I could do it.  The first time I tried this simple idea, two people asked me about Jesus.  Over the last 5 years I have told hundreds of people about Jesus and I still do not consider myself an “evangelist”.

If you have ever struggled with witnessing, we have discovered an amazing tool… your clothes.  Clothes were invented by God to cover sin, (Gen 3:21)and God gave us a logo to use, to help tell people about Jesus.  Here is the best part…you don’t have to say a word until someone asks you a question.

We have coined the phase Effortless Evangelism.  Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.  So with that scripture in mind, we developed Wear Christian Clothing, a company created to empower/help the body of Christ fulfill the Great Commision.
You do not have to be a good witness, you need to only cover your nakedness with clothes that will solicit a question.  You will be blessed and amazed at how much easier it is to answer a question than it is to start a conversation about Jesus… Effortless Evangelism

Mardi Gras and the Stimulus Package

Because I am in Louisiana and have first hand experience with Mardi Gras, I thought I would share with you my opinion and observations on the Bail-out/Stimulus  package.

Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade

It seems “throw me something Mister” is not only echoing on city streets in Louisiana, I here many mayors and governors screaming something very similar in Washington.

First, I must confess, I have not been to a parade since a grown man ran over my 4 year old daughter many years ago for a plastic cup.  That’s right, he weighted about 200lbs to maybe 25lbs. Not much of a match for my daughter ( and it took everything I had and a little help from a friend not to “level” the idiot/playing field.)  He was obviously thirsty, his beer was gone and he wanted a new cup to pour up the next one.

What is going on in Washington is eerily similar to my experience. Governors,  mayors, lobbists and insiders (people who know how politics are played) are lining up along side average citizens (who have heard there are “free goodies”) to catch what is coming out of Washington.

Can you see the similarities?

Now let’s talk about the “throws”. (This is where there is a distinct contrast)Each float is responsible for supplying the “free throws”.  In a Mardi Gras parade, if you ride on the float, you have to buy the throws.  The good news here is, if you buy them, you throw them.

Money falling from the sky

Money falling from the Stimulus Package

The government, like the floats, have just finished gathering their “throws”. The government did not buy their throws, they took them from people that probably did not vote for them.  That’s right, most producers probably voted for smaller government and lower taxes.  They lost, so the winning side has decided to reach into the future and grab as much money from the producers as possible and start throwing to the people that got them elected.

Welcome to the reality show called, “America picks Socialism”.  Elections have consequences.  I like the quote I read by Dr. Adrian Rogers who was the President of the Southern Baptist Convention three times. (I received this from an email)
You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friends, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

While waiting on the Mardi Gras parade, if you ever step back and ask yourself, “why am I here?”   And if you answer honestly, you might not ever go back.  The question to ask concerning our government is, “how did we get here?”  If you answer honestly, you probably thought everybody in Washington wants the same thing as you;  Safe streets, Good schools, Protected borders, Free speech, Freedom to worship etc. so you took it easy and didn’t care who won the elections because you thought, “it really doesn’t matter politicians are all the same.”

We are learning a painful lesson, not all politicians are the same.  Some actually want to change America into something the Constitution never intended it to be, an Oligarchy, where only a few chosen ones rule over the masses.

Back to the parade…

The people standing on the parade route come from anywhere, it costs them nothing to stand there and scream.  Many parade goers partake in adult beverages while they wait, usually from daybreak until the parade starts let’s say 4:00 or 5:00pm.  This sets the stage for real “excitement” when the parade finally starts.  Imagine if you will, the electricity, when alcohol and “friendly” competition for throws come together.  The little ones don’t stand a chance if you get a “real man” in your area.

A similar free-for-all grab is going on today in America, but it did not start with the Stimulus Package. No, the grown-ups in this parade have been taking money for a long time and like the drunk that will knock a little girl down for a plastic cup, these men (and women) are drunk on power and money and they do not care who or what they knock down.  Read the Housing market, Stock market, Banking system, Global economy etc. everyone in this parade will do anything to get money and now their actions have upset the masses.  So to calm the masses down they have to throw a little money their way.

Enter the great stimulus package, our new government  “throws” the money to the people that got them in power.  You can’t pay your bills?  Here is a little something.  You don’t want to work?  Catch!  The line goes on and on and on.

What does this have to do with a Christian Clothing Company you ask?  Nothing really, except as someone who follows Jesus Christ, it is sad to see many in the church choosing government over God

It did not happen over night.  It didn’t even happen since the last election. The church has bowed the knee to government.  We now look to the government to solve our problems.  You can’t pay your bills?  You are sick and have no insurance? You are old and have no retirement?  Call the government, we will pray you get the right department.

The church must now be reminded there is no recession in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus became poor so that we might become rich.  God gave us the power to create wealth. There is no sickness in the Kingdom of God.  By His stripes you were healed.  This list also goes on and on but you are required to walk by faith and not by sight.  Remember the just shall live by faith and it is impossible to please God without faith.

1 John 5:4 speaks to the power to overcome dependence on the world or in our example, the government.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith.

How do we get the faith we need to get through? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  The church is at a crossroads, we can scream to the government to “throw me something Mister”, or we can believe God’s word is true. Plant His incorruptible seed deep in your heart and start watering it with His word.

Faith in God or faith in man, that is the question.  I go to the book of Joshua, his answer is now my answer: Read Joshua 24:14,15

“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and Egypt.  Serve the Lord!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

It is time to make a choice, I chose to follow Jesus.  I pray you will do the same.

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