Saturday, August 31, 2013

130901 The Light of the World

The gospel of John is different from the other three gospels.  Matthew, Mark and Luke are very similar to one another and seem to present a chronological life of Christ.  John’s gospel was written last, near the end of the first century.  The other three were written a relatively few years after the events depicted.  I can imagine John, in the later years of his life, thinking about the marvelous events he had lived through during the days of Jesus’ life.  Rather than beginning at the birth of Jesus, or the beginning of his ministry, the Holy Spirit led John to begin writing “In the beginning” meaning the beginning of everything.
John tells us that Jesus is the creator of the universe and the light of the world. He also has one of the strongest statements about the divinity of Jesus Christ. In verse one, John tells us that, “the Word was God”. In the original language (Greek) the word order is different. It says, “God was the Word”. Now let’s read our text for today:
John 1:9-18,  The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
“The true light, which gives light to everyone,” does not mean that everyone is saved. It does mean that everyone has been exposed, somehow, to the light and are consequently guilty of rejecting the light. It is no excuse that mankind lives in…
The darkness.
Philip P. Bliss wrote a hymn more than one hundred years ago the first verse goes like this…
The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin; the light of the world is Jesus! Like sunshine at noon day, his glory shone in, the light of the world is Jesus!
Come to the light, ‘tis shining for thee; sweetly the light has dawned upon me; once I was blind, but now I can see; the light of the world is Jesus.
Darkness ruled when Jesus was arrested. Judas led the gang of thugs to the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives where he knew Jesus would be. He knew this was where Jesus went to pray. In fact, you can go to the Mount of Olives today and see the same olive trees that were there when Jesus was.
Immediately his disciples began to resist. In fact, Peter cut off the ear of one of the gang! Jesus quickly stopped that, put the ear back on, and then he said, Luke 22:53,  When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
Several times the authorities had tried to take Jesus captive. At the beginning of his ministry the people of Nazareth took him out to the brow of the hill to throw him off of the cliff. Luke’s account, which probably came from Mary, says that he passed through their midst and went on his way. Later, he would tell a story about the wicked tenants who refused to recognize the owner of the vineyard or his son. Recognizing that he told the story against them, the Pharisees wanted to take him but they were afraid of the crowd.
Later Jesus recognized the time had come for his departure. He told his disciples at least three times that he would be turned over to the Gentiles and be crucified. Then he said that on the third day he would rise again.
In Matthew’s account of this event Jesus said that he could’ve asked the Father who would immediately send more than twelve legions of angels to his defense. He could not do that because he came into the world to defeat death by dying and coming back to life.
Jesus recognized the authority of the Prince of darkness in the garden of Gethsemane. It is true today that…
The moral world we live in is in darkness. Let’s see what Paul wrote to the Ephesians in, Ephesians 6:12,  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Our struggle is not against people. That is sometimes hard to remember. It certainly looks — and certainly feels — as though people are the problem. But they’re not and we must remember that. Our struggle is against the rulers and authorities — the spiritual forces of evil in this present darkness.
The very first thing that God did after the creation of the universe was to call light into being. Adam and Eve came into a world of light. A world that had no spiritual darkness. For months, and perhaps years, the two of them live in glorious fellowship with the living God! Then sin came into the world in the form of a serpent with an accusation against God. Adam and Eve fell into his trap and spiritual darkness covered the earth.
Death ruled the world for generations. This sin of Adam was passed down from age to age. The Bible tells us that we are born in sin. But remember we are not alone in our struggle against the evil forces of darkness. In fact…
Christians are delivered. Look at Paul’s prayer for the Colossians found in: Colossians 1:11-14, May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We need to pray this prayer for each other today. We need to be strengthened with all power for all endurance and patience with joy. We need to give thanks to the Father because he has qualified us to have a share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Please remember that we are not qualified, in ourselves, in any way to share in the light. The Bible describes mankind as being darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God. In fact, before we come to Christ, we are described as being dead in trespasses and sins. I suppose that nothing is darker than dead.
The Father has qualified us to share in the…
The light. The Bible is filled with examples of the goodness of light. James describes God as the Father of lights. John, in his first little letter, tells us that…
God is light.
Listen while I read, 1 John 1:5,
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
In the beginning of creation God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light! Of course there was light! God himself is light! Wherever he is seen in his glory he is light. When Paul met Jesus on the Damascus Road he was blinded by the light from heaven. Toward the end of the book of Revelation, heaven is described as being lighted by God no longer have need of sun or moon. God is light, and being part of the Godhead…
Jesus is light. The officers of the chief priests and Pharisees were sent to arrest Jesus and bring him back to the Council. They had returned without him! When they were questioned as to why they had not brought him back, they replied, “No one ever spoke like this man!” This angered the opponents of Jesus causing Nicodemus to ask why they were trying to condemn Jesus without a hearing.
The next time Jesus spoke to the Pharisees as a group is recorded in, John 8:12, Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
This only made them even angrier but his time had not come yet to be arrested.
God is light, Jesus is light and…
Christians are light. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus was speaking to his disciples when he said, Matthew 5:14-16, You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Jesus did not say, “You should be the light of the world.” He said, “You are the light of the world.” You see, when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit comes to live in them. I compare the Spirit to light because of the other things said about him. We’re instructed not to quench the Spirit. Quench is a term used for extinguishing a flame and putting out its light.
We have a responsibility to let our light shine before others. There’s a poem the goes with the familiar chorus. It goes like this:
There’s a little flame inside us all; Some shine bright, some shine small,
The rains will come and the waters rise; But don’t you ever lose your light,
In this life you will know Love and pain, joy and sorrow,
So when it hurts, when times get hard, Don’t forget whose child you are.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! (Addison Road)
Take note of the fact that you don’t “make” a light shine. However, you do “let”
a light shine by not hiding. Get out of the way! The light will take care of itself! We should cultivate the light letting it shine wherever we are because someday we’re going to be in heaven and…
Heaven is light. During his praise and worship the psalmist had a vision of God and it looked like this! Psalm 104:1-2, Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
What the psalmist saw was a God lifted up and clothed in splendor and majesty. He saw God covered in light.
In the year that King Uzziah died Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and his robe filled the temple. I believe that robe was a garment of light.
Paul had the same vision he described in, 1 Timothy 6:15b-16, he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
Paul saw the King of kings and Lord of lords dwelling in unapproachable light.
In our human condition, living in the world of darkness, the light is unapproachable. But the time is coming when we will live in that light and rejoice in it.
Our God is light; the Lord Jesus is light; Christians are light; and heaven is light!
Darkness cannot win. Watching the news this day it would appear that the darkness is winning. That appearance is caused because…
People love darkness. Look at the words of Jesus found in, John 3:19-20, And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
It’s not a matter of people being in darkness and therefore unable to come to God. The condemnation is that the light has come. And John has already told us that the true light lights everyone. Again, this does not say that everyone is saved. This says that everyone is guilty who does not come to the light because they have been exposed to the light and they have turned away.
Mankind is dead in trespasses and sins but the light has shined in darkness and most people have loved the darkness rather than light.
As Isaiah said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” All have gone away even though the Lord has made arrangements for our iniquity. One reason mankind remains in darkness is that…
Satan seeks to keep them in darkness. Listen while I read, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
The majority of mankind do not believe because they love the darkness and lust after it. Just look around you can see! The world we live in is increasingly dark. Not only that, the god of this world, Satan — or the devil, has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.
Take the time to read Romans 1:18-32. You will see that they knew enough about God to turn to him. But they did not honor him as God instead they became futile in their thinking. Three times in that passage you will find the words, “God gave them up”, because they turned away from the light — loving the darkness.
Please Lord, do not give me up to what I would be without you.
Praise the Lord!
Jesus overcomes him. Let’s read on, 2 Corinthians 4:5-6, For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! While the god of this world has sought to blind our minds and keep us in darkness the Ruler of the universe has come to let the light shine out of darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus’ first victory over Satan, as a man, was in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry. After fasting for forty days Satan came and tempted Jesus. In every temptation our Lord quoted Scripture to defeat the enemy. One of the reasons why we should know Scripture is so we can use it as an offensive weapon on our enemy.
Jesus had victory over Satan hanging on the cross. There he said to the thief hanging beside him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” But the real victory came inside a garden tomb three days later.
Some of the disciples went to the tomb to finish preparing Jesus body for burial. They did not believe what he had said to them at least three times during his ministry. They did not find the body of Jesus. Instead they found the living Lord risen from the dead in a resurrection body having achieved final victory over death and hell.
The light had shined in darkness and the darkness had not overcome it. Praise be to God he has called us out of darkness into the Kingdom of Light and someday we will be all together in the light of heaven if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
A lot of things are explained by the fact that the world lives in darkness. When Jesus was born, the light came into the world. Satan did everything possible to stop the light from coming and now he does everything possible to keep the light of the glorious gospel from shining in this world. First of all, are you walking in the light? It is very important that you be certain that you are in the light. Secondly, are you doing anything about spreading the light where you live? You know that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that the wages of sin is death! But thanks be to God he has given us the victory in our Lord Jesus Christ! Everybody needs to know who Jesus is.

All scripture quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

130825 Spiritual Strength

Paul sends out this letter to a group of people – a church – made up of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are already Christians! This part of his letter is a prayer offered on their behalf. Many would take this out of context and use it to talk to someone about salvation. What Paul is talking about here is for people who have already admitted they are sinners, they have believed that God sent his Son to take their sins to the cross and have confessed with their mouths that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Something has happened in their lives and they no longer feel close to God in Christ.
This is a beautiful prayer and can be used for someone you know who needs spiritual strength.  Listen while I read…
Ephesians 3:14-21, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
We’re all in serious need of spiritual strength.  We need to pray this prayer for each other knowing that it is not our strength, or riches, but instead it is…
According to the riches of his Glory.
It is his Glory and his riches—not ours.  He is always willing to supply every need that we have.  I don’t know about you but I have lots of needs in my life.  It is wonderful to know that it is God who is…
Supplying every need.  This is a verse everyone should know by heart or if not by heart then by head.  Listen while I read, Philippians 4:19, And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Most of us operate as though God supplies “some” of our needs!  But this passage says that he supplies “every need”.  Now we must remember not to take passages of scripture out of their context.  This promise is in connection with the Philippian church showing concern for Paul’s needs by sending him a financial gift.  They gave to him and, as a result, they had needs themselves.  The promise that God would supply grew out of their giving, not just their need.  We need to remember that it is impossible to out-give God.  God has unlimited resources and can meet all of our needs both spiritual, and financial!
I know that God is going to be blessing some people in this church because they have increased their giving.  And many times the blessings come in spiritual growth and spiritual strength.  I praise God for this church because a large part of what he gives to us is…
An inheritance in the saints.  Going back to Ephesians we find Paul’s earlier prayer.  Listen while I read  from it. Ephesian 1:15-23, For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
I read the entire passage because it is all connected together around the phrase, “the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,”.  His power is often released because of the gathered church.  Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.” That’s the gathered church.
Do you ever watch Animal Planet on television?  When the predator begins to seek prey it looks first for the weak, or the young, and then works to separate it from the herd.  Once the target animal is separated from its herd it can be brought down, killed and eaten.  Well, our enemy, Satan, is a roaring lion looking for any believer he can devour.  He follows the same pattern as the lion would in the television show.  He looks for the weak, and/or young, Christian and then works to separate him, or her, from the Christian herd and then he sets out to destroy them.  They lose the spiritual strength that comes from Christian fellowship. 
The hope we have of strength is found in the fellowship of believers. Don’t ever let the enemy separate you from Christian fellowship.  Jesus promised to be with two or three.  I am not saying that he is not with us when we’re alone or that he doesn’t hear the private prayer.  He does hear us when we’re alone.  In fact, he said that we are to go into our private chamber and pray as well as to join with others in prayer.  It is not either-or it is both-and.  That is…
Our hope of glory.  Paul wrote to the Colossian church about our hope of glory, Colossians 1:27-28, To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
The mystery that was kept secret for generations is pretty simple.  It was something that could not be known until Christ walked on this earth, took our sins into his own body, died on the cross and was raised again.  The mystery of strength and maturity is, Christ in you, the hope of glory.  We cannot make it on our own strength.  Alone, we will not grow to maturity but instead we will be “baby Christians” until he works his strength in us.  We have no hope of growing in spiritual strength until we are strengthened by fellowship with other Christians and fellowship with the indwelling Christ.  All of this is necessary so…
That you might be strengthened with power.
Spiritual strength doesn’t come about because we are smart.  Nor does it come about because we have been a Christian for a long time. 
When there was a great need in Zechariah’s day God told him, it is, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.”  Power comes from God…
Through his Spirit.
 Jesus made it very clear before he ascended into heaven.  Listen while I read, Acts 1:8,
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
The power we need doesn’t come from ourselves.  The power we need comes from our God!  This power doesn’t come by some special experience we have after salvation.  This power comes along with salvation.  Yet, many times, Christians live as though we have no spiritual strength.
Jesus promised power for his disciples that would come with the Holy Spirit.  The same Holy Spirit that brings us to salvation.  Paul reminded the Corinthians that in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.  In other words, the Spirit causes the new birth that makes us Christian.  Some seem to think that with salvation comes peace and prosperity.  The truth as that with salvation the struggle begins and…
We struggle until he delivers us.  Paul gives his own experience in Romans 7:21-25, So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
It should be encouraging to know that the man who was used by God to write most of the New Testament also struggled with the law of sin that dwells in our members.  We don’t struggle until we win.  We struggle until he delivers us.  Not just once for all time, we are delivered again and again. Sometimes from the same enemy, or problem, that we were delivered from before. He delivers us…
And daily renews us.  Listen to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
I love this passage.  The first time it had a real impact on me I was watching a Billy Graham Crusade on television and the guest who came to share her testimony was Jonie Eareckson Tada.  She was injured in a diving accident when she was 17 years old leaving her a quadriplegic with limited use of her hands.  In the years following she has become a powerful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.
She sat on the platform that night in her wheelchair and quoted from these verses while slowly raising her hands by the use of a device manipulated by her neck muscles.  It was very powerful, and emotional, to see this young woman praising God from her wheelchair.  To hear her refer to her affliction as light and momentary was amazing.  She was able to refer to her condition as visible and temporary and the things that could not be seen as eternal.  She could see herrself being renewed day by day by the loving God who had sustained her life and given her salvation.
That same God will give us the spiritual strength we need day-by-day.  All of this is done in order…
That Christ may dwell in our hearts.  Dwell in our hearts?  Is the Apostle talking about what people call, “Accepting Christ as Lord and Savior” and asking him into their heart?  No, absolutely not!  He is writing this to Christians who have need of spiritual strength.  Christ is already in their life but they need to grow in grace.  This can only be done…
Through faith.  Listen to Philippians 3:8-11, Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Part of Paul’s prayer in our original text asks that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.  The righteousness we need does not come from outward activities such as: following rules or joining a church.  The righteousness we need comes through faith in Christ.  It is the righteousness from God that depends on faith.  Paul certainly was not talking about his coming to salvation when he said, “that I may know him”.  He was talking about growth in grace as a Christian.  This is not based on good works or family history.  It is based in faith and…
Foundationed in love.  Listen to 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Our foundation is to be “rooted and grounded in love” in order for us to have strength—spiritual strength!
Perhaps the most important part of a building is its foundation, or the ground upon which the foundation sits.  I grew up in Central Florida where there are many problems with foundations.  I recall some 50 years ago when a subdivision of ten houses slowly sank into the ground before they could be sold.  Recently a man lying in bed suddenly felt the ground shift under his house.  He called out to his brother for help and by the time the brother arrived at his door he was gone into the ground.  Never think that the foundation is not important! 
This is true also of spiritual foundations.  Paul prays that the Ephesian Christians would be foundationed in love.  That love will give us the strength to deal with anything that comes our way, so long as we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The love of Christ controls us.  So many times I have read the stories of missionaries who suffered, and many died, bound by no other obligation than the love of Christ.
Frederick Martin Lehman wrote a song about 100 years ago that goes like this:
The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave his son to win;
His erring child he reconciled, and pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!  How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure the Saints’ and Angels’ song!

The love of God is the only foundation to build your spiritual life on.  It is a love that goes beyond our understanding.  The bible says that we cannot even imagine the things that God has prepared for those who love him.  His love is so great that it overcomes all of our sin and rebellion.  That love foundation is provided so that we can be…
Filled with the fullness of God.  This is an amazing statement!  Paul prays for the Ephesian church, and, I believe for us, the following words: to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  To be filled with the fullness of God is a breathtaking thought.  There is another example of that term being used and is found in Colossians 1:18-20,  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.  The “him” in this phrase is Jesus, not us!  But Paul prays that we will be rooted and grounded in love and be filled with all the fullness of God.  That fullness is nothing other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself.  It’s an amazing concept that we should be strengthened with power in our inner being so that Christ would dwell in our hearts through faith.  And this happens so that we will be grounded in love and have the strength we need to live the Christian life.
We must remember that all of this is done by him and not by us.  In fact, we cannot do anything spiritually in ourselves.  We have no spiritual strength.  Before we came to faith in Christ we were spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.  So our hope lies in one who is able to do far more abundantly than we can even imagine.  I’m so glad that God does not depend on our ability!  We are called on to do the impossible and that can be very discouraging!  We may be often disappointed but we are never to be discouraged.  The Bible tells us that he who calls us is faithful; he will surely do it!  Not we will surely do it!  But HE will surely do it!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Have you put your faith in him?  Are you daily asking him to strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit?  He is willing to fill those who come to him by faith with all the fullness of God.

All scripture quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.