Resurrection Power–Right Now!

Harry Durgin Facebook

Resurrection Power—Right Now!

He is risen!

[Jesus Christ our Lord] was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness. (Romans 1:4

Christ died for our sins, and was raised to save those who believe in Him.

He … was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:25

God made us, believers, alive in Christ.

[God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:5–6

Because we are alive in Christ, we have the guarantee of glory! 

Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27

This is beyond comprehension. Instead of the hell we deserve, we, believers, are promised heaven. Rejoice! Praise Him!

But wait, there is more!

Resurrection Power is in those who believe in Christ

Since Christ was raised, He sent the Holy Spirit. And, for believers, the Holy Spirit dwells in us.

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. (Ephesians 3:20

The same power that raised Christ from the dead works within us!

His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.  (2 Peter 1:3)

We have been made right with God. He will hear our prayers. We can come into the Father’s presence with confidence. (Hebrews 4:16)

We can walk, RIGHT NOW, in newness of life. (Romans 6:4

We can walk, RIGHT NOW, as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8)

For believers, eternal life has started RIGHT NOW!

Rejoice!

Practice! Now!

Practice Now!

Pilots practice various emergency procedures to get us all safely on the ground in case something happens. Airline pilots are regularly tested on their ability to handle them.

This paid off recently in Denver when an engine failed. Passengers got a thrill, especially those who could see the engine, but safely deplaned after landing.

Pilots have written emergency check lists, but memorize and repeat the initial critical responses in order to promptly and correctly respond.

Practicing emergency procedures is a discipline that applies to us as well. 

Practice

We need to practice trusting God and turning to God now, while the pressure is off. If we know, in advance, what to do when times are tough, how to rely on the Lord, and automatically trust, turn, and rely, we can sail through the trial. 

Challenge yourself this week to put God in the picture whatever comes your way. In times of blessing or trial, be aware that God is there. Thank Him. Turn to Him for wisdom and direction. 

At the end of the day, review and determine to see the Lord in the events of your daily life. 

Practice turning to God, learning from Him, and doing what He says.

Through practice, you prepare for inevitable difficulties. 

Stay ready

Stay ready rather than scrambling when something bad happens.

As a child of God, you have the Holy Spirit in you. The same power that raised Christ from the dead works within you. Practice! Stay ready!

Loud Voices Prevailed

Loud Voices Prevailed

Pilate found no guilt in Jesus and wanted to free Jesus. He then said he would punish Him and release Him. 

The crowd cried out. “Away with this man.” “Crucify, crucify Him.” 

They were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. (Luke 23:23) 

Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, granted their demand.

Pilate sinned.

What about us? What about our nation?

There are many loud voices, repeating, over and over, their version of reality, and insisting on their way. It appears that their loud voices are beginning to prevail in some quarters. 

Only one voice, Pilate’s wife, countered the crowd , saying: “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man …” (Matthew 27:19) 

Are we speaking out? Resisting? Praying?

And what about loud voices directed at us personally? You might have a difficult co-worker, or acquaintance, or…. What impact does an insistent loud voice have on you?

Overcome

We must be centered in the word of God. We must have a Christian view of reality and current events. We must be able to counter, internally or out-loud as the Spirit directs, falsehood.

These are challenging times. To overcome, we must be walking after our Lord.

And God will strengthen us. 

Strengthen Your Heart

Hard times are here and worse times are coming.  I want to be steadfast. I don’t want to falter, or faint, or turn aside. I don’t want to let Him down. I want to be stronger.

A stronger heart is not only possible, it is promised!

Paul prayed that God would grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. (Ephesians 3:16)  

God tells us in His word to us, the Bible, that our adequacy for doing His will comes from Him. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6)

Apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5); but with Him, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

But HOW?

A strong heart is not automatic. 

Here are keys to strengthening your heart:

Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you (Colossians 3:16).

Strengthen me according to Your word. (Psalm 119:28

We need to know what God says and be able to apply it to the situations we face. We can’t dabble in it. I heard someone say we have to drink the word of God, not gargle. 

We must mediate on God’s word. (Psalm 1:2)

We must guard our minds, relying on God’s word, not the lies of so many. 

Decide to believe God, to trust God

Make permanent, firm decisions about your life based on the word of God. Determine to want God more than something apart from Him. Want God more than people’s approval. Want God more than apparent safety or escape from pain. Want God more than anything. 

Don’t fear those who can kill the body. Fear God. (Matthew 10:28)

Decide to walk according to God’s word, even if scared

Let God’s word flow out of our minds and into our thoughts, words, and deeds.

If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (John 13:17)

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it. (Luke 11:28)

As we act in God’s strength, according to His word, we become stronger. It will be easier to do the right thing the next time. Do it scared, if necessary, knowing that obedience brings the peace of God.

Have fellowship with believers, helping them and letting them help you.

We can strengthen ourselves. (1 Samuel 30:6) 

We can help strengthen others. (Luke 22:32, Isaiah 41:6)

Know that you CAN

Know, really know, that you are in this situation because God has you there. If you are there by the will of God, know this: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

God has made us sufficient to face it. Our adequacy is from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6)

Pray. And Pray. And Pray!

~~~

Father, thank You that You are our almighty, loving, accessible Father. Thank You that You have us here are Your lights in the world, giving us opportunities and hard times to make You known to others. Thank You that You have made us adequate for the work You have for us. Please help us know You better and better, and consistently apply Your word to our circumstances. Please strengthen our hearts according to the richness of Your grace. 

Bad Motive?

Bad Motive?

Martha was distracted with all her preparations, and spoke to Jesus. 

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40) 

Martha linked whether or not Jesus cares with whether or not He would tell Mary to help her. 

So, according to Martha, if Jesus doesn’t tell Mary to help Martha, He doesn’t care.

How often do we do something similar? 

When something bad happens to us, do we question God’s love for us? 

Yep. Too often.

Let’s determine to remember:

God is our loving sovereign.

All things, including Satan, are under His control.

He promises to work everything for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Trials produce good in us.

God is good. He is a righteous judge. For those of us who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are saved from sin’s penalty, we are being saved from sin’s power (sanctification), and we will be glorified, saved from sin’s presence.

Rejoice!

Rejoice through apparent good and apparent bad.

Rejoice that your name is recorded in heaven! (Luke 10:20)

Not My Fault!

Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed God who gave him the woman.

I’ve heard this called the second original sin. Certainly, casting blame is second nature.

One time I walked with a friend and her young son. He tripped over a rock … and blamed the rock!

You laughed! But I bet this isn’t unfamiliar.

When someone blames another person or situation or God rather than him or herself, that person is not taking responsibility. This leads to lack of repentance, failure to confess, and inability to grow. It is deadly. Without repentance and belief, people die in their sins.

The US currently has many people, and large groups of people who blame their current lives on others, or the system, or God. They demand their “rights,” but, instead of accepting any responsibility, they blame. This harms our county as well as themselves. We blame a person for … We blame a system for ….  We blame God for … And on and on. And on.

What to do

For ourselves, believers in Christ, we must take responsibility for our own sins. We must never blame (James 1:13-15). We must abjectly confess (Psalm 51). We can rejoice, knowing God, when we confess, forgives our sins (1 John 1:9).

As the Holy Spirit prompts us, we can help others take responsibility and stop blaming.

And we must continue to pray for our country.

Pray

Father, thank You that You are our Holy Judge and Savior. Thank You that You hate sin. Thank You that You see everything: motives, thoughts, words, and deeds. Thank You that in Your timing, You judge. Thank You for saving those who have repented and believe in Your Son. 

Thank You that You are using for Your glory and our sanctification the mess we are in. Please show us our sin and lead us to repentance and belief. Please strengthen Your church that we might be Your light in this dark world. 

Live Out Love

God loves us. We are to live out the love God gives us. We are to be known by our love.

God Loves

Our God loves the world, sending Christ to seek and save, and giving eternal life to those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

God gave us, believers in Christ, the capacity to love. (Romans 5:5)

We are to love

God gave us, followers of Christ, the command to love. We took in God’s love, we are to live it out.

Who are we to love?

Love our neighbors

Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)

Love our brothers and sisters in Christ

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34–35

Love our enemies 

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44) … and do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27

Are we known by our love?

Valentine’s Day is a logical time to take stock. 

Do we know God’s commands about love?

Do we want to follow His commands?

Are we known by our love?

Prayer

Father, thank You for loving us. Thank You for showing us and telling us about love. Thank You for giving us a heart to love You, to walk in Your ways, and to love others. Forgive us for our failure to love as You would have us. Help us be marked by love, showing others we are Your disciples. Help us know specifically what to do in love towards others. 

Consider it All Joy

Consider it All Joy

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials… (James 1:2

How?????

Decide

“Consider it all joy” is a command to us, believers in Christ. It isn’t a suggestion. It is God’s command.

The first step in obeying God’s command (any command) is to decide to do so. 

Deciding is a big deal. Following His command can feel like a huge impossibility. 

But without deciding to obey, we’ll get nowhere. 

Believe

To consider our trials joy, we need to believe God. We believe in God, but we must believe what He says. 

God tells us, in His word, the Bible, that He will work all things for good for us. 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28

“All things” includes our trials.

Jesus, James, Peter, and Paul all tell us of good things that result from our trials. We must believe God. (Matthew 5:12; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Romans 5:3-5.) 

We must believe what He says. We must believe He is our all-powerful, loving God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). We must trust Him.

Look Beyond

This command tells us why we can consider our trial a joy: there are good things coming.

the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:3–4

Our trial, whatever it is, produces endurance in us, perfecting us, and completing us. 

If we focus on the trial, if we focus on our misery, we won’t be joyful. If we focus on how our loving, all-powerful God is perfecting and completing us, we see reason to be joyful.

Look at the flower, not the thorns.

Test of Faith

Do we believe God is in control of this trial and that He loves us? Do we have faith?

Our faith is being tested by fire in this trial. Decide to believe our loving Savior in this trial, which will result in praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)

~~~

As usual, this post is for me. I, too often, grimly endure, trying to do the right thing, but not with joy. I have decided to be joyful in my trials. Pray for me!

Thank God!

“Thank God!”

I’ve said this. You’ve said this. Most likely, we’ve heard unbelievers say: “Thank God.”

We definitely thank God for blessings and rescue. But how often do we thank Him for a hardship, or for a less-than-desired outcome? I bet unbelievers never do.

We are told to thank Him in everything, apparently good things, and apparently bad things.

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18

always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father … (Ephesians 5:20

Why we can thank God

We can confidently thank God in all circumstances because we know Him. We know He is sovereign, and we know He loves us, believers in Christ.

His love guarantees He wants the best for us. His sovereignty ensures His best happens.

Becoming more thankful

As we know Him better and better, and trust Him more and more, giving Him thanks becomes a way of life. 

Reminding yourself to be thankful helps.

But to fundamentally develop a character of thanks requires knowing Him and trusting Him. Let’s resolve to learn what He says about Himself (the Bible), believe what He says, and trust Him.

In everything give thanks.