Tag Archives: power

God’s Forgiveness of Your Sin

Sin ruins your life – Who is powerful enough to forgive and renew you?

Written by Hope on 11/10/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: CreationForgivenessPowerSin


God, who raises the dead to life and creates new things…

Romans 4:17b

It’s no secret that we live in a fallen world of sin. From infidelity in relationships, to cheating, to lying, to stealing, sin is everywhere! This sin ruins our life and tears us down.

However, though we live in a world of sin, God is powerful enough to forgive us! But why would he forgive us? And how does he do it? Here are the three pillars to understand about God’s forgiveness of your sins.

God Is The Omnipotent Creator

The Bible teaches us that with His wisdom and power He created the earth and spread out the heavens (Jeremiah 10:12). The prophets praised Him: God said “I am Powerful” (Psalm 62:11) and “Lord God, you stretched out your mighty arm and made the sky and the earth. You can do anything” (Jeremiah 32:17). The Lord says of Himself, “I created everything from the sky above to the earth below” (Isaiah 44:24), and He created all things to be good, in His own estimation – perfect, like Himself, without sin.

God Cannot Stand Sin

But people did sin. And since God “can’t stand sin or wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13a), the sin separated people from God. This is the natural order of Creation, just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of bright light. When you know you have done evil and are disconnected from your Creator, “Your sins are the roadblock between you and your God. That’s why he doesn’t answer your prayers or let you see his face” (Isaiah 59:2).

He Is Powerful Enough To Declare you Innocent

In the book of Exodus 34: 6-7, God declares that He is a fair judge. Just like He is merciful and patient with His people, He also has the power to punish those who sin. “But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away” (I John 1:9). In His great love, He “is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him” (Daniel 9:9).

God promises this miracle through Jesus Christ alone. When you believe in Him, you can pray, “I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me” (Psalm 51:4) … “Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7a). No matter your sin or shame, no matter who has come against you, we can be confident of His power to “keep you from falling and make sure and joyful in His glorious presence. Before time began and now and forevermore, God is worthy of glory, honor, power and authority. Amen.” (Jude 1: 24)


Pray this week:

Dear God, I have sinned against You. I believe that You alone have the power to forgive me and make my life right in Your ways. Please forgive me, in Jesus’s Name, amen.


How do you need God’s power in your life?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God is Omnipotent

The Unlimited Power of God

Written by Dan Lee on 05/07/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AttributesCreationGodPower


O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

Jeremiah 32:17

Don’t be scared when you see a big word like ‘Omnipotent.’ It simply means that God has all (‘omni’) power (‘potent’).

God’s power is all around us! His power is shown in many ways, but here are just three that the Bible tells us…

1. God’s Power in Creation

The ancient prophets praised God for creating “the heavens and earth” (Jeremiah 32:17). King David wrote, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1).

Our understanding of the “heavens” has changed over time. Now we know that there are many galaxies with many stars, separated by great distances. The more we know about the universe and everything in it, the more we can praise God for His mighty power.

2.God’s Power in Resurrection and Redemption

“I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead” (Philippians 3:10).

Jesus was tortured and killed by the Roman and Jewish leaders. But the grave could not hold Him; the Roman seal over the stone could not keep Him back. Just as He had predicted, God’s mighty power raised Jesus to life. We who follow Christ should not fear, because God has the last word – even over death. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55).

3.God’s Power at His Return

“Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26). Many people today don't want to accept God. The day is coming when He will no longer be hidden. What is the result? “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

If you know Christ as your Savior, take comfort and rejoice in the knowledge that you are protected by the same power that created the heavens and raised Jesus from the dead. If you have not made that decision, don’t wait. Every person will bow in worship; will you bow with shouts of joy or tears of regret.


Pray this week:

Lord, I am amazed at Your mighty power. Help me to see more of Your greatness and to be more in awe of You every day.


Do you need help understanding about God’s power, or any of His other attributes?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Hard Sayings of Jesus

Don’t let anything — however shocking — keep you from Jesus

Written by Dan Lee on 12/06/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Confusion, Identity, Jesus, Discipleship, Lord
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew 7:28–29
God’s Word, the Bible, is full of promises and comforting words. But in both the Old and New Testaments we find words that challenge rather than comfort us, or even cause us to be troubled or confused. 

Some of Jesus’ words are hard because His goal was not our happiness in this life, but our sanctification. That is, that we live holy lives that bring glory to Him. 

Let’s allow the difficulty of some of God’s words cause us to praise Him in faith, knowing that His wisdom and knowledge are infinite and perfect. And let us rejoice, knowing that though we see Him only dimly now through a clouded glass, we will soon see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). 

Here are a few of Jesus’ hard sayings, with a short explanation of each. I trust they will help you know and follow Him better.

No. 1: Eat His flesh and drink His blood
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:53-54)

This is one of Jesus’ most famous hard sayings. Many of his followers left him after hearing it, and the disciples even said, “This is a hard saying” (John 6:60). 

We also know that some critics, taking the words literally, accused Christians of being cannibals. So what did Jesus mean when he said these words?

Jesus was not instructing people to literally eat his flesh and drink his blood, but that his body and blood, broken and shed for us on the cross, were going to be life-giving and nourishing for all who believed in him. Later, during the Last Supper, He explained further:

“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said,  ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:26-28)

So in saying that His followers were to “eat his flesh” and “drink His blood,” Jesus was telling us that we must take Him – His very life – into ourselves to receive His forgiveness. And to this day, we celebrate Holy Communion as a remembrance of His sacrifice.

No. 2: Hate your family and yourself
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

Is Jesus, the God of Love, really telling us to hate? No! Jesus here is using hyperbole, or exaggeration, to make His point. We know that He never endorsed breaking any of the Ten Commandments, including “Honor your father and mother.” 

Jesus is saying that, in comparison to the love and devotion He deserves, any other love, including for ourselves, should look like hatred. He calls us to learn to love Him so deeply and to obey Him so completely, that any human allegiance, even the desire to preserve one’s life, looks like hate in comparison. 

Jesus told us in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one this, than that someone lay down his life for his friends.” And of course, He demonstrated this when He went to the cross, laying down His own life for the forgiveness of mankind.

No. 3: Tear out your eye
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29)

Here’s another use of hyperbole. Jesus is telling us here that if anything keeps us from following him, it requires drastic action. Our very eternal destiny may be at stake. 

In practical terms, it means that I may need to end that dating relationship that keeps drawing me into sin. Or, I may need to quit my job if my boss demands that I cheat. To avoid sin, God might ask me to enroll in a different school or even move to another city. That’s how important that is to Him. We should be desperate to live holy lives, in the power of His Holy Spirit. 

Were Jesus' teachings hard, radical, even shocking? Yes! They still have great power to give us reason to worry about indifference toward Him. As Missionary Hudson Taylor reportedly said: "Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all." As you encounter other difficult sayings in God’s Word, always trust that He, and His words, are faithful and true. And as you dig a little deeper and ask for His wisdom, He will teach and guide you, enabling you to live a life that glorifies Him. 

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, as your disciples said, who else would I turn to? You have the words of eternal life. However challenging your call is to me, I will love and follow you, because you are my only hope.

For you, what is the hardest thing about following Jesus? Write for prayer and help.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Power of a Testimony

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria.

Written by Hope on 06/10/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: EvangelismFaithJesusTestimony


 

“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece — throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7).

 

One Person's Story

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria. We are not told her name, and so she is known simply as "The Samaritan Woman" or "The Woman at the Well."

When Jesus asked her for a drink, she must have been shocked. It was highly improper for men and women to converse in public. Not only that, but all Samaritans were despised by the Jews for their idol-worshiping and mixed blood. Jesus reached across both those divides with His love.

Despite their vast differences, Jesus began to tell her about God's love and plans. He said to her, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water" (John 4:10). He explained that "those who worship [God] must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and revealed to her, "I Am the Messiah!" (John 4:26).

Repenting of Sin

Jesus then challenged the woman about her lifestyle, shameful even by Samaritan standards: "You don’t have a husband — for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you’re living with now." (John 4:17-18). No normal person could have known all this about her–she realized He was a prophet, and believed His teaching.

God's people had been instructed that sinners should "Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!" (Ezekiel 18:30). In Jesus' day, John the Baptist had been preaching for people to "repent of your sins and turn to God" (Matthew 3:2).

Many Believed

Jesus's words so excited the woman that she "left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!'" (John 4:28-29). "Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because [of what] the woman had said" (John 4:39).

In a few minutes’ time, the Samaritan Woman had gone from being a great sinner, to being greatly forgiven. She believed in Jesus not just as a prophet, but as The Messiah, and was unashamed to tell everyone she could about Him. Her story — her testimony — inspired her fellow villagers to worship Him too.

What story helped you decide to accept God's Salvation through Jesus Christ? Has telling your own testimony ever brought someone to a point of decision?

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus

Using Your Testimony

Scripture: Thessalonians 1:7-9

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul points out how important the testimony and example of the Thessalonians were to other people. He also says that our example speaks more loudly than words. As a believer, your testimony is one of the strongest tools you have for telling others about Jesus.

People you’re sharing the gospel with may disagree with the message. But as the Samaritan Woman showed, a life radically transformed by God is compelling, and very hard to argue with.

Here are some suggestions for sharing your testimony:

  • Write it out.
  • Keep it short (3-5 minutes).
  • Practice with friends and family.
  • Divide it into sections:
    • Section 1 – How was your life before you met Christ?
    • Section 2 – How did you become a Christian? (you may summarize the gospel message here)
    • Section 3 – How has your life changed since you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Your story is unique and amazing. God will use your faith stories in powerful ways to change lives! Let the Holy Spirit work through you.

It might be difficult for you to answer Section 1 of sharing your testimony. Maybe you accepted Jesus at a very young age and have always been close to Him. You can share why you love and follow Jesus. You can also describe an experience where Jesus intervened in your life and use this point to then share the gospel.


Pray this week:

God will use testimonies of believers everywhere to help people know Jesus.


We all have a story of how we came to know Christ… could you share your story with someone who asked? Practice sharing your story by sharing it with us in a message. We would love to know your story!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Fully Facing Our Fears

Learn how to face your fears and live in peace

Written by June Hunt on 01/05/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithFearGodTrust


Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

If I am walking down a path, and spot a rattlesnake at my feet, I should feel fear. But, reacting rashly could cause me to be bitten. If a bee were to land on me, I must not react to it to avoid being stung. The bee sting and the snakebite are defense mechanisms designed for their own self-protection.

Fear is a God-given response to danger. Sometimes it’s clear where the fear is from, but other times, it is hidden—causing a deeper emotional impact. God created us to react to fear in a protective way with a fight, flight, or freeze response. While fear is a natural, God-given emotion, fearfulness is not. Fearfulness causes us to live as prisoners, in constant worry over a threat that may or may not exist. We can live in a state of fearfulness when we feel threatened—either physically or emotionally—in these three areas: love, significance, and security.

Your love from others feels in danger.

Do you ever fear losing someone important in your life? Maybe you’ve thought, “If I lose the dearest person in my life, I won’t know what to do or how I can go on living.” You might fear losing relationships if your performance, talents, or abilities are not “good enough.” Or maybe it’s about declining physical attractiveness, fearing that if you start looking older or put on weight, you will lose the affection of others. The solution to the fear of losing love is to know that the Lord loves you beyond measure.  “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him…” (Psalm 103:11).

Your significance feels in danger.

Do you find yourself fearing that you might lose your sense of identity? Perhaps you’ve thought, “If I lose my job, I’ll lose all I’ve worked to achieve.” You fear losing a sense of fulfillment, thinking that you are a failure if you don’t reach your goals. Or you’re concerned about your reputation, fearing that others will lose respect for you if they get to know the real you. The solution to overcoming the fear of losing significance is to understand your value to God. He chose to save you and has planned a future for you. …   “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).  

Your security feels in danger.

Do you worry about financial security? Perhaps you’ve thought, “If I don’t do well on this project, I might lose my job. Then I won’t be able to support myself or my family.” Maybe you fear losing your home and having nowhere to live, no means for survival. Or perhaps you have fear about your declining physical health; maybe you constantly worry about getting sick or dying. The solution is in knowing that true and lasting security is found in a personal relationship with the Lord. …  “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11).  

God can help when we experience fear and danger. Turn to God and take this verse to heart … “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).


Pray this week:

Dear God, I thank You that You are my Shepherd. You guide me … You protect me … and You give me Your peace. You are the One who restores my soul. You know my weaknesses and the times I’ve caved in to fear. Now, in my weakness, I choose to rely on Your strength. By Your power, move me from fear to faith. As I turn my fear over to You, use it for good in my life to remind me of my need for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 


What in your life is currently causing you to fear? What would it look like to trust God and move in faith in your situation? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/7spkUy2WinM

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God. The life-giving power of the Spirit is seen at creation. We are told in Genesis 1:2 that the “Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" and that God said, "Let us make man in Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), demonstrating the equality of the God and the Spirit. We receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ. Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

"Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20:22-23

Power to Love and Witness
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give? Paul tells us two important things. The Spirit gives us the power to love others as God loves us and to be witnesses for Jesus. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Ask and Receive
Where do we begin to access this power? We begin by asking God to fill us with His Spirit and confessing areas where we have ignored God. Jesus said, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you love others as God does and be a great witness to Jesus in the world. You will begin to experience the abundant life God has for you as you do.

"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." Acts 4:31

Can we witness to others without God's love in our hearts? Can we truly love others but not share Jesus with them? Do you have fears about witnessing? Talk to a caring Christian about them.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member