“Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Paul said that he was overpowered, subdued, and held as in a vise by “the love of Christ.” Very few of us really know what it means to be held in the grip of the love of God. We tend so often to be controlled simply by our own experience. The one thing that gripped and held Paul, to the exclusion of everything else, was the love of God. “The love of Christ compels us….” When you hear that coming from the life of a man or woman it is unmistakable. You will know that the Spirit of God is completely unhindered in that person’s life.
When we are born again by the Spirit of God, our testimony is based solely on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But that will change and be removed forever once you “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). Only then will you begin to realize what Jesus meant when He went on to say, “…you shall be witnesses to Me….” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do— that is basic and understood— but “witnesses to Me….” We will accept everything that happens as if it were happening to Him, whether we receive praise or blame, persecution or reward. No one is able to take this stand for Jesus Christ who is not totally compelled by the majesty of His power. It is the only thing that matters, and yet it is strange that it’s the last thing we as Christian workers realize. Paul said that he was gripped by the love of God and that is why he acted as he did. People could perceive him as mad or sane— he did not care. There was only one thing he lived for— to persuade people of the coming judgment of God and to tell them of “the love of Christ.” This total surrender to “the love of Christ” is the only thing that will bear fruit in your life. And it will always leave the mark of God’s holiness and His power, never drawing attention to your personal holiness.
By: Stacie Ruth Stoelting, Author, and CBN
Today, I waited in an empty room for an appointment with someone. I looked up at the fluorescent light in the ceiling and it hit me: (The light didn’t hit me. A light bulb went off in my head. Just had to clarify!)
Seriously, here’s what I realized: We need to get back to the Greats. What do I mean? The Greatest Commandments and the Great Commission. Have you considered the Greats in God’s Word?
As a young person, I speak for many of my generation: Authentic love in action catches our attention more than the biggest high-tech attraction. Many churches today think we need to copy the world to reach it. But it’s the opposite: copy the Word and God will reach the world.
Outreach is to reach out … not in. It’s not about “What do I get out of church?” It’s about “How do I take church out to the world?” We need to be enjoying Jesus in church and then taking it out to the world.
When I’m at a restaurant, the portions overwhelm me. Just ask people close to me: I usually clutch a take-out box when exiting the eatery.
That’s the way it needs to be at church — feed on God’s Word and then take It out to the world!
Last Sunday, I heard God’s Word at church. (This alone remains something to treasure. So many countries attempt to muzzle Christians!) I savored the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the guest speaker. Amongst other amazing insights, he spoke about the way God is moving in different countries and the need for revival in America. Have you prayed for revival for your country today?
Let’s remember to view things from God’s perspective: Let’s share our Treasure with the lost and rejoice when the lost souls are found! (Wonder if you’re not found yet? Come to Jesus. Accept Him now because later may not come.)
Seriously, if our churches overflow with active love for people, people will overflow our churches. Let’s get back to giving back to God all the glory, honor, and praise. Instead of coming up with a better coffee brew for our church coffee shops, let’s come up to Jesus and receive His living water. When we concentrate on staying concentrated, we’ll see good things happen as the Good News takes action.
When I was interviewed on a national news broadcast, someone at the studio seemed shocked that I wasn’t so focused on getting more money and fame. The person instead seemed interested in what made me different. One word: Jesus.
Let’s let God’s Word have the final word in our lives. Let’s share Jesus. Yes, today let’s pray and obey the Greats. It’s time for church take-out.
The Greatest Commandments:
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
The Great Commission:
“And then he told them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.’” (Mark 16:15
I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth (Isaiah 58:14).
Those who fly through the air in airships tell us that one of the first rules they learn is to turn their ship toward the wind, and fly against it. The wind lifts the ship up to higher heights. Where did they learn that? They learned it from the birds. If a bird is flying for pleasure, it goes with the wind. But if the bird meets danger, it turns right around and faces the wind, in order that it may rise higher; and it flies away towards the very sun.
Sufferings are God’s winds, His contrary winds, sometimes His strong winds. They are God’s hurricanes, but, they take human life and lift it to higher levels and toward God’s heavens.
You have seen in the summer time a day when the atmosphere was so oppressive that you could hardly breathe? But a cloud appeared on the western horizon and that cloud grew larger and threw out rich blessing for the world. The storm rose, lightning flashed and thunder pealed. The storm covered the world, and the atmosphere was cleansed; new life was in the air, and the world was changed.
Human life is worked out according to exactly the same principle. When the storm breaks the atmosphere is changed, clarified, filled with new life; and a part of heaven is brought down to earth.
Obstacles ought to set us singing. The wind finds voice, not when rushing across the open sea, but when hindered by the outstretched arms of the pine trees, or broken by the fine strings of an Aeolian harp. Then it has songs of power and beauty. Set your freed soul sweeping across the obstacles of life, through grim forests of pain, against even the tiny hindrances and frets that love uses, and it, too, will find its singing voice.
Be like a bird that, halting in its flight,
Rests on a bough too slight.
And feeling it give way beneath him sings,
Knowing he hath wings.