Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Power and Authority

This week Michael writes that in Luke 9 Jesus sent out the twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out demons to heal diseases and to preach the gospel. He instructed them that whatever house received them to stay there, but if they did not receive them to shake the dust off of their feet and move on to the next house. Jesus gave them power and authority to get the job done. The power is the Holy Spirit. The authority is in the name of Jesus, for at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God, the Father. What does discipleship mean? He sent them on a faith trip so that they could learn by experience the meaning of discipleship. You learn how to be like Jesus by spending time in His presence and by obedience to His Word. The power of God is manifest by those who do and speak in the name of Jesus.

God has called each of us with the power and authority to do the job that He has called us to do. The power of God is the ability to do the task. Our responsibility is our response to His ability. Jesus said that apart from me you can do nothing that will impact lives ... nothing that will last into eternity. A pastor's first assignment is to preach the gospel and to let the chips fall where they may. We're called to plant and water, but God gives the increase. The second calling of a pastor is to spend time in the presence of the Lord. The first and great commandment is to love God above all ... that there shall be no other gods between our face and His face. A man and woman of God serves Christ from a heart of love. In Luke 10, the apostles along with seventy others that Jesus sent out returned with a joyous report saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” And He said unto them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”  Satan falling like lightning from heaven must have been a spectacular revelation for the seventy. However, Jesus admonished them, "rejoice not because you have the power to cast out Devils, rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

God blesses obedience. Jesus related a parable about a master who had two servants. One said that he would do the master's assignment, but the other man said that he would not. However, the only servant who carried out the master's will was the man who had originally refused to do it. Which man do you think that the master blessed? God doesn't bless our promises, rather, he blesses our actions according to His will. The blessing is not in agreeing to perform but in the performance itself. For it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. He is a rewarder of those who are obedient to His commands. The abundant life is living life without regrets. The greatest sins are the sins of omission (not doing the things that I should); "I could have walked in fellowship with my Lord, but didn't." The more abundant life is lived in proximity with our Lord. We were not called to "bury our talents in the ground." Rather we were called to invest our talents in service to Him ... for great is your reward in heaven. Jesus said, if any man says he is my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me. Following in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus is true discipleship. This is what it means to let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which which is in heaven.

Jesus has called us to be men and women of prayer. Prayer is aligning our heart with God's heart. Prayer focuses our will on His will so that we can will and do of His good pleasure. Prayer is God's force multiplier ... praying always with all saints in the power of the Holy Spirit.

According to Psalm 19 the expanse of the universe was created for the glory of God. He reminds us that we are significant when we align our hearts with the Creator of the universe. Otherwise, we are insignificant in the vastness of God's creation. We, who are born again of incorruptible seed, are the purpose of God's creation. He has given us all things richly to enjoy when we serve our risen Savior. God has called us to the church of the “living” God so that we can draw our hearts together as like-minded Believers in service to our Lord. We're in this together. He has called each of us as individual fittings within the body of Christ, fit for the master's use. For we have this treasure in an earthen vessel that the excellency of the power may be of Him and not of us. Our assignment is to walk with Him and to have no other God's between our face and his face ...  For what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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