Acts 1 Power

 
 

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Have you ever felt powerless? It’s a horrible feeling. Crippling even. To feel like you can recognize an obvious problem, but have limited, or worse, no solution for that problem. We can feel helpless, hopeless; possibly crushed under the weight of disappointment and repair.
But, then we have this word.
These words were Jesus’ final words before ascending back to the Father in Heaven. Truth is, that we all have limitations and that we all may feel over matched and powerless at times, in our flesh but that is solely in our flesh. In our spirit, we can be renewed daily by Him.
The Holy Spirit was a gift from the Father to continually empower us to accomplish that which we cannot in our own limited strength. We have been infused with the grip of Heaven to advance His Kingdom. To love with a resolve that exceeds human limitations. It’s truly amazing to experience the Lord strengthen us beyond capacity and to witness Him accomplish more than we could ask or think on our own. This was the intention of the gift of His Holy Spirit. That we’d submit to His authority and power in order to be His “witnesses” advancing His gospel one heart at a time to all mankind, … even when we feel powerless, His power doesn’t run out. It is eternal and present, just as He is, just as we are in Him.
So today, seek the Power that indwells you, yet also exceeds you. The One that takes the reigns as you hand them over. His power is most evidenced by our humble submission and teachable spirit. Take a deep breath, turn to Him in prayer and turn the page on your own fear to see Him reveal His perfect power through your obvious weakness. Allow yourself to witness His strength; the truth of Who He is and who we are not, …and, then trust Him.
 
Love you-
Justin
 
Justin Lett

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I thank my God

 
 
 
 
 
 


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New Every Morning

 
 
 
 
 


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Dictator or Daddy?

Genesis 4:2b-7 

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.  4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 

 

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 

 

Many of us feel pretty confident that we know the story of Cain and Abel.  We remember that Cain rose up in jealousy and killed his brother Abel, because God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s.  This is accurate, but do we accurately remember what happened prior to the jealousy and murder?  Cain interacted with God Himself.  And what did God say?  This is important because it shapes our perception. 

 

In verses 6 and 7, it says that The Lord inquired of Cain and asked, “Why are you angry?  Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?…”  Translation… “Don’t be upset, I love you Cain, my son.  You already know what to do Cain, just do that.  Do better next time.  Give it another try,…but be careful sin is tempting to overtake you.”  Far more than the judgmental dictator we often interpret God to be in this exchange, He was a loving Parent graciously training His child.  Not heeding this instruction Cain proceeded with the story that we know all too well.   

 

This beckons a question in our lives: How do you see Him; as Dictator or as Daddy? 

 

How often has the Lord lovingly instructed us, but we didn’t listen and suffered consequence?  Even further, we look back and we remember Him, not as a compassionate and wise parental figure, but as harsh and unrelenting.  Possibly even blaming Him for our downfall.  This is true irony.  The Father desires for us to come to Him like children, pure and innocent, trusting and teachable, yet we come to Him blaming and repulsed, screaming out, “I hate you,” like despondent toddlers.   We respond to Him like children, just the wrong type.  Paul distinguished the two, he called the lost world “Children of Wrath,” rather than “Children of God.”  When we respond in anger to His instruction we look like “wrathful” children versus “Christlike” disciples. 

 

So, this morning how will you respond?  It is doubtless that an opportunity for Him to instruct us today is coming.  Will we respond to our loving Father in dissidence, like Cain, or will we respond in compliance?  It all begins with how we perceive God in our lives.  Do we see Him as the dictator we remember Him in Cain’s story, or do we see Him as scripture actually reveals Him,… as our Daddy? 


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Blind Spots

 

 Proverbs 3:5-6 

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart 

    and lean not on your own understanding; 

6 in all your ways submit to him, 

    and he will make your paths straight. 

 

Today I’d like to talk about “blind spots”.  Those places in our lives where we are unaware we are deficient or we have trouble seeing potential threats to our future success.  No, this is not intended to be a “self-help” discussion, nor would many people equate this passage with such a topic.  But let’s look a little deeper at this thought this morning. 

 

This passage is notorious for being utilized to help people make a directional life decision.  Where to live?  Who to marry?  Or where to work?  But what if it were simply intended to mature you and I.  I believe it can be used in those directional life decisions, but what if it were simply intended to direct your life this morning on a growth trajectory towards abundant life in Christ.  What if its aim for you and I this morning is: “more of Him and less of me.”  The goal would then become Christ-likeness, the direction would be the straightest path towards you and I bearing more fruit of His life, and the means to this direction would be submitting to Him.   

 

This would require a prayer like David’s in Psalm 139 in our own lives… it said: 

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;  

    test me and know my anxious thoughts. 

24 See if there is any offensive way in me, 

    and lead me in the way everlasting. 

 

This prayer invites God to reveal to us the “blind spots”.  The places that He sees, that we do not.  It requires our “leaning on His understanding, and not our own.”  It requires trust in Him over trust in our current spiritual condition.  It comes from a desire to grow and seek God’s best.  It denies comfort and continuing in the status quo.  It desires greatness over simply what is good.  It is content in Him, yet unsatisfied with settling for anything less than His dreamed intention of you and I.   

 

So, do you want that this morning?  To be everything that He wants you to be, and nothing short of that?  Then, are you open to His revelation?  To His revealing places of unresolved hurt, places of immaturity, places of resentment, or places of pride?  To His revealing places of selfishness, places of callousness, and places where you have lacked a teachable spirit?  These are the blind spots.   

 

Today, trust that He loves you, and acknowledge that He knows you better than anyone else on the planet, even better than you know yourself. Trust Him to reveal places of needed spiritual growth in your own life.   He may reveal this to you through the scriptures, through silence in prayer, through circumstances, or through the words of a trusted brother or sister in Christ.   

 

To reveal more of His life through yours, your life has to go away…to die.  It’s a death to self, to your agenda, to your thoughts, your perceptions, and your own self-preservation.  It’s a willingness to let all that go, and submit yourself to Him.  It’s relinquishing anything that He reveals and giving Him anything that He asks for.  This morning pray about the blind spots and ask God to bring them to light for you.   


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