All Posts Tagged: power

Means of Life – Connection to Jesus

God gave us eternal life; this life is in His Son.
“So, whoever has the Son has life;
whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.
 

1 John 5:11-12

 


Imagine a solid gold table lamp. It has a cord at the end of which is a plug designed for connection to an energized receptacle. However, the expensive lamp is UNplugged. It can be seen and handled. But, from the perspective of purpose the gadget is LIFE-LESS! It merely exists. Everything changes when the cord is plugged in. Energized the lamp fulfills its purpose. The conclusion is simple: connection means power for purpose whereas separation signifies a lifeless existence.

God gave us eternal [living at 100% satisfaction] life; this life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:11) Provided by the Maker, Jesus is the source of power uniquely generated for humankind. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry….(John 6:35)  “God invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline. It would not run properly on anything else. God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn,” (Mere Christianity, p 50)

So, whoever has the Son has life….” (1 John 5:12) Jesus said to the fishermen, ‘Come, follow ME!’ At once they left and went with Him.” (Matthew 4:19) “When we are called to follow Jesus, we are summoned to an exclusive attachment to His person” (Cost of Discipleship, p 49)

“Jesus came into the created universe, bringing with him new life. Everyone who gets it gets it by personal contact with Him” (C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity). (Mere Christianity, p 221)

Getting connected to others via phone, computer, car, train, or plane is costly. Attachment to your Maker is free of charge! Just get connected to Jesus. But wait! There’s more. You’ll also receive LGS without charge! It’s an offer you can’t refuse!

Easter Impact – Part 6

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to a God-like life
through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
1 Peter 1:3-4

The impact of EASTER is Energy.

The impact of EASTER is Attitude.

The impact of EASTER is Success!

The impact of EASTER is Transformation!

The impact of EASTER is Excellence!

Remember, the focus of our attention is the impact of Jesus resurrection NOW!

Peter begins: “His divine power ….” This is the same Greek word (δυναμεως) with which we began our Easter journey. The scope of this power is “all things that relate to the God-like life.” In other words, everything one needs to become Chirst-like is available NOW via the indwelling power of God.

What’s the purpose of this all inclusive power? We are “called (HERE AND NOW) to God’s own glory and excellence.” Read those words again. You are called to reflect “God’s own glory and excellence” in your being! CITATION TO PREVIOUS POST)Calvin said: “[The Creator] intends for human beings to do [that which is directed] to the full revelation of His glory.” Your Creator has high expectations for you! You are to be a soaring, monarch butterfly not a ground hugging caterpillar.

However, most followers of Jesus live like caterpillars, far below the destiny to which God has called them. Hailed as the most quoted person in the Christian Church today,” George Barna stated: Common success measures, such as church attendance and program completion, showed little correlation with transformational progress.”  Furthermore, for those who identify themselves as “born again“, Barna makes these assertions:


We confuse salvation with transformation. We confuse presence with connection. We confuse acquaintance with relationship. We confuse participation with integration.  We confuse intellectual knowledge with faith.
We confuse busyness with significance. We confuse emotional happiness with joy. We confuse regularity with passion. We confuse physical comfort with divine reward.”

Most often the word excellence is conjoined with the word pursuit. Here’s a few examples! 

Excellence is a pursuit! (Aristotle)
Those who attain any excellence, commonly spend life in one pursuit; excellence is not often gained upon easier terms. (Samuel Johnson).
My philosophy all my life has been the pursuit of excellence. (John Kluge).
The pursuit of excellence is the proper vocation of man. (Cassius Keyser).
The pursuit of excellence is a continuous process through life. (Elaine Chao)

I discovered this creature outside our garage door. I enlarged the photos so that you can see the detail of design! Commencing as a caterpillar, this creature pursued excellence that ended in the demonstration of the Creator’s glory. Calvin said, “The created order bears abundant witness to a Creator who is a masterful designer.” Granted, in this creature the power of pursuit is automatic. In us, however, it’s a matter of persistent passion for God. So, life is not about your money, your status, your degrees, your power, your occupation, your breed! It’s about our passion (unlimited power is within us) to pursue excellence of being so that God’s glory is enlarged. Easter is Excellence!

John McKenzie on the person who brings meaning

“We recognize that the person whom we have encountered speaks to our innermost being, supplies our needs and satisfies our desires. We recognize that this person gives life meaning. I do not say a new meaning simply, for we realize that before we encountered this person life had no real meaning. We recognize that this person has revealed to us not only himself, but our own true self as well. We recognize that we cannot be our own true self except by union with this person. In him, the obscure is illuminated, the uncertain yields to the certain, insecurity is replaced by a deep sense of security. In him we find we have achieved an understanding of many things which baffled us. We recognize in his person strength and power which we can sense passing from him to us. Most certainly, if most obscurely, we recognize in this person we have encountered God, and that we shall not encounter God in any other way.”

—John McKenzie

The Fingerprints of Jesus > a Seed

 Unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest.    

 John 12:24

Thus far, we’ve discovered that our Creator Father employed Jesus both as the Agent and Tool of Construction. So, his fingerprints of power and wisdom ought to be found everywhere. Wernher von Braun, the rocket scientist that made lunar exploration possible, said: “The universe as revealed through scientific inquiry is the living witness that God has indeed been at work.” So, as “spectators of this beauteous theatre” (John Calvin) we’re going to look at a few examples of Jesus’ fingerprints. We’ll begin with a seed.

 

Do you like green beans? They’re one of my favorite vegetables and they make a great illustration. Pop open a bean and you’ll discover future seeds. The bean is nothing but a package of potential. Transfer one of the seeds to the palm of your hand. Kook at it and ask: “How many seeds are in this one seed?” I’ve often thought about this experiment: plant a single seed just to count the number of seeds in the harvest of one plant. Clearly, the reproductive power is incredible, especially considering the unimpressive appearance of the seed.

 

The wisdom and power of the seed, however, is contingent upon one factor. The seed must be planted in soil wherein it undergoes a “death-like process.” In biology it’s called “germination”. In response to water and warmth the outer shell of the seed breaks opens, releasing an embryonic root downward. After the root absorbs water the embryonic shoot emerges upward, eventually breaking through the soil. You know “The Rest of the Story”!

A short time before the Cross Jesus spoke of his impending death in a peculiar way. He said: “Unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest.” In effect Jesus claimed to be a “human being seed.” As such, germination was possible only if Jesus was “planted in the ground and die”. He struggled with the necessity. “My Father, if it can be done, take away what is before Me. Even so, not what I want but what You want.” (Matthew 26:39) In His own life Jesus exhibited the wisdom and power which He invested in the green bean seed. The green bean seed bears the fingerprints of Jesus!

QUESTION: If Jesus placed such wisdom and power in a lowly green bean seed, what possibly has He invested in YOU who bear the image of God? Here’s a hint!  “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20).

EASTER IMPACT – PART 2

I pray that God will give you spiritual insight to know how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God. That power is the same divine power which was demonstrated in Christ when he raised him from the dead.

Ephesians 1:18-19

Since the beginning of time nobody saw it. Then, in 1905 a school dropout, working at a patent office, saw it through the lens of mathematics. Einstein concluded that mass (m) and energy (e) are equal, since the speed of light (c2) is constant. In other words, mass can be changed into unbelievable amounts of energy.

 

 

Then, on August 6, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb exploded over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 5 sq/mi of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. For the first time the power of E=m2 was physically seen by mankind.

 

 

Paul employs three different Greek words for power. The first is δυναμεως which means inherent power, that is, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. The second Greek word is ενεργεια which means power in action. Finally, we have κρατους which refers to the effect of the released of power. At Hiroshima the inherent power of uranium was released in the dropping of the atomic bomb, the effect of which was the domination of destruction.

Paul asserts that the Father released his inherent power the effect of which was the resurrection of Jesus. “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)

 

Note the object of Paul’s prayer: “spiritual insight to know how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God.” Einstein saw but the number of others who saw was minuscule. It would be years (1945) before what Einstein saw was successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico so that others saw and believed.

 

 

Paul sawhow tremendous is the power…” that is inherent (δυναμεως) in the followers Jesus. However, he also knew that it would only be released (ενεργεια) via “spiritual insight”. Consequently, He prayed “that God will give you spiritual insight to know…” Peter saw the inherent power in Jesus’ word, “Come!” Therefore, “he got down out” (ενεργεια) of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus.(Matthew 14:29) Peter’s inherent power was released, the result of which was his water-walking!

Easter means energy that is present NOW!

However, this inherent power is available only to those whose insight has been enlightened so that they will take action that is a mystery to “normal” people (think of the Noah story in Genesis 6.

Two questions:

  1. Have you been connected to Jesus by faith? This is the greatest experience of power you will see!
  2. Have I ever done a Peter? Have I ever been a water-walker? If you attempt to dodge the question with your theology or what’s commonly accept as normal, let me quote John 14:12: “I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You do even greater things now that I am going back to the Father.”