A Great Display of Power

Fireworks. Roller Coasters. Explosions. Great Storms. These things draw our attention because they are powerful and cannot be contained. When we see something beyond ourselves, when we see such a great display of power our attention is captured and we stand and watch. When the power of God is displayed it has a similar affect. It catches the attention of all who witness and they stop and stare.

I am convinced that the power of God is coming and coming soon. Everywhere I turn it seems people are talking about the altar. The place where we encounter God. The place of surrender. The place where we lay down our lives to be crucified with Christ and for His life to placed in us. God is going to restore power to the church!

It’s incredible! The power of God is not confined to a single church. I believe it is about to break out everywhere all at once! I don’t claim to know the mind of God, but I feel there is about to be a great display of His glory for the very intention of drawing in as many as possible.

Recently I was reading in Acts 3 of the time Peter and John were walking by the temple and a lame beggar was asking for money.

Acts 3:4-9 (NLT) Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!”The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God

God’s demonstrated power often attracts attention. The people ran over to see what this man was going on about, and they were shocked to see that it was the same man who always sat outside the gate begging for money. God’s power met a need in the beggars life and then He also used the situation to bring many people to Him.

Peter saw an opportunity to tell them what happened. He boldly told them that this miracle happened through Jesus, YES, the same Jesus you murdered on the cross. He said, hey, I know you didn’t realize what you were doing, but you can make it right. REPENT and turn to God so He can forgive your sins!

The gospel is still the same, God is open and waiting for us to repent and turn from our sins so He can forgive us! The message is simple, but effective. Peter and John may have been temporarily arrested after this moment, but thousands more were added to the church! When they were freed they prayed this prayer.

Acts 4:29-31 (NLT)  And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

I believe many people in the near future are going to encounter God in a powerful way, but it will happen when Christians get bold and start praying a prayer fueled by faith that God will once again send miraculous signs. We must be praying for Heaven to invade earth.

Isn’t that what this whole thing is about? Bringing people to Heaven! Let’s live with heaven in mind. Let’s once again fall to our knees in prayer and intercede for souls to come into the Kingdom. Let’s once again get bold in declaring our faith! Unashamedly laying hands on the broken and those in need.

Let’s believe for provision, miracles and most importantly a great harvest.

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Unleashing the Power of God

What if everyone truly believed they could make a difference? Not only believed, but actively searched for daily opportunities to reach out to others?

Recently I was talking with a student who began sharing with me how the past two days he felt the Holy Spirit leading him to talk to classmates he didn’t normally talk to. So he stepped away from his friends for a few moments and sat down next to a stranger and introduced himself. He asked them where they were at with God.

Sure, their response was a little awkward, but it opened a door for conversation. He also asked if they had any prayer needs and then amazingly he prayed with them right there at school. How many times do we tell people, I’ll pray for you and then we don’t really do it? Maybe we might pray for them privately, but what would happen if everyone began stepping out and right there in the moment, publicly prayed for the power of God to be demonstrated, for needs to be met, healing, provision, freedom.

I began dreaming with this student. What would happen if every Christian at that school, publicly prayed with one person everyday? What about when the day comes that someone who is searching for the truth has two or three people offer to pray with them in one day. How many people would come to know Jesus, simply because Christians started praying and believing God for the miraculous?

We are all called to minister to people right where we are at. We are not all called to be pastors and teachers praise God. Most people are called to be ministers right in the work place where people with the most needs are at every single day. People shouldn’t have to come to church to find someone who can minister to them and pray with them.

I love Ephesians 4:12 because it outlines the work of those in ministry.

Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ

Everyone is called to do the work of the ministry, even you. Everyone’s a minister. We need business leaders who treat their business like a ministry, meeting needs, praying for and with their employees. We need people who have normal jobs to walk in a decide to be a self appointed chaplain, meeting needs, praying for and with their coworkers.

What would happen if everyone decided to live their lives with the sole purpose of meeting the needs of others and ministering to them, encouraging them, praying for them, praying with them, showing them the truth of God’s word at every turn.

I want to encourage you today, let them see you. Let them know you’re a Christian. Not a Christian debating theology and arguing doctrine, but a Christian who believes God is a God who loves and meets needs and longs to draw people to Himself. Be a praying Christian, not just a Christian who prays privately, but publicly, giving God an opportunity to demonstrate His power!

Luke 4:40 (NLT) As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one.

Jesus prayed for the needs of people and God supernaturally met those needs. We need to remember that everything Jesus did, He did as a human operating under the power and leading the Holy Spirit.  I am convinced God is wanting to demonstrate His power just as much today and that everything Jesus did we are empowered to do.

Mark 16:17-18 (NLT) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

I believe when we truly live by faith and believe God is a God of miracles and we willingly step out and publicly pray and give Him opportunities to meet needs and display His power, people in our nation will once again be drawn to Jesus and we will see lives transformed by the power of God!

That’s Not Normal

What is NORMAL? I am pretty sure the concept doesn’t exist. I’m also pretty sure many people have looked at me and thought to themselves, or said out loud, “This dude’s not normal.” Guilty, I know am a bit unusual at times. 

Our definition of normal, is conditioned upon our culture. What we consistently see we eventually believe to be normal. If you hear a lie long enough, you will believe it. We have lots of tv personalities to tell us what normal is and what it is not. I am convinced however if we are ever going to truly impact this world for Jesus, we have to give up on the idea of being normal.

Jesus doesn’t care about what our culture, considers normal. Jesus cares about Kingdom culture. He isn’t looking for those who blend in, but for those willing to live a life according to the principles of His Word. People who are willing to pursue Jesus at all cost, even if it means people look at them and think, “That’s not normal.”

In Luke 19 we find an unusual story about a corrupt tax collector named Zacchaeus who wanted to see Jesus. The problem? Jesus was kind of a celebrity at the time, so whenever He came into towns, huge crowds flocked to Him. Zacchaeus also was vertically challenged. He was short and he couldn’t see over the crowd!

Now, I’m not a fan of huge crowds, so I would have taken one look at the throng of people and said, “Nope, not worth it.” I would have gone back inside and made lunch, but Zacchaeus had a desire to see Jesus that was bigger than his disposition.

Luke 19:4 (NLT) So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

The scripture tells us that Zaccheus was a wealthy man. As a wealthy man, he likely would have worn a nice robe and culturally it would have been uncommon for a wealthy man to run. Yet, Zacchaeus not only ran ahead of the crowd, the dude climbed a tree. I can imagine the shop owner across the street, trying not to stare at the short little robed man making his way up the tree. It was not normal, but he didn’t care. He wanted to see Jesus.

Luke 19:5-7 (NLT) When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name“Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today. Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

I LOVE that Jesus calls Zacchaeus by name. If I were Zacchaeus, a tax collector who had likely ripped off many people, I would have been a little worried. “Jesus knows my name. He probably knows my reputation too.” Yes, Jesus knows all about your past, but when Jesus comes to us He doesn’t come with an accusation, He comes with an invitation!

That invitation ticked off the people, “Why would Jesus dine with this wicked man? I am more righteous than Zacchaeus and surely more deserving! This isn’t normal Jesus!” Again, Jesus isn’t concerned with normal.

How many times when people question our motives do we shrink back in fear? Should we be concerned with those who think we have impure motives or with God who truly knows the motivations of our heart?

Why the crowd was complaining Zacchaeus was having his life transformed by the power and presence of Jesus.

Luke 19:8 (NLT) Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

I hope that when God is moving I am not on the side complaining because He didn’t move like I expected. I don’t want to be a part of the crowd, I want to be a part of the movement. It turns out God doesn’t need the approval of the crowd to move. I am convinced If you wait to have the approval of the crowd then you will miss out on the best God has for your life.

We’ve got to step out in faith and be willing to break cultural norms and do what Jesus did. Reach out like Jesus reached out. Remember, Jesus hasn’t called us to do the normal thing, He called us to pursue His plans! He called us to go into all the world and make disciples!

Don’t try to be normal, after all how can you change what you are a part of? The world doesn’t have the power of God within them. You do. I pray today that God will lead you to people and opportunities to demonstrate His power. Pray for people and believe that when you break the norm, His power will transform lives.