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This article is a bit of a walkabout. It reminds me of a tourist group out for a sight-seeing adventure. Not every sight will be for everyone, but each one will find something here to encourage, edify and equip them for the good work we have all been created to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

Every Jesus follower is responsible to be (or become) a faithful steward of God’s mysteries (1Corinthians 4:1-2). So why do we so often play the mystery card to avoid our responsibility as stewards? For example, the fact that we have been made one in Christ Jesus is a mystery (Galatians 3:28). We would rather keep it that way than commit to the hard work of agreeing with Jesus’s prayer for the manifestation of that reality (John 17:23). And another: The Bible suggests that church discipline is necessary for strong healthy fellowships. Rather than search out its proper application, most church leaders treat it as a mystery – avoiding it altogether for fear of running off the wrong people.

God’s expects us to steward His mysteries for the advancement of His kingdom. Playing the mystery card for our own motives (e.g., to avoid difficult responsibilities, or excuse error in our teaching) is rebellion; many times unintended, but nevertheless adversarial to the purposes of God.

We must search out the mysteries of God. To the best of our ability? Yes, and no. With the help of others? Again, yes and no. Under the anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit? Yes and yes.

With the anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we search out the mysteries of God with our whole heart and the help of others – the purpose of our search being His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

Let’s practice our searching with Ephesians 6:10:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Paul is encouraging us to be strong in two distinct ways. We are to be strong in the Lord, and we are to be strong in the power of His might. In my humble opinion, this is the most power-filled verse in the entire Bible. Three of God’s “power” words are included:

  1. Be strong (endynamoō): The root is dynamis – the explosive power of God.
  2. Power (kratos): The dominion of God – the power of His authority to reign.
  3. Might (ischys): The ability and force of God – to accomplish what He intends.

This is what Paul is talking about when he goes on to encourage us to put on the whole armor of God. This is what it takes to stand against the wiles of the devil. Get your head around that!

As leaders in the Workplace – that includes all segments (business, religion, education, government, etc.) – we are responsible for leading others into this kind of radical life. Note carefully: This is the normal Christian life!

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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

To the beloved, whom I love in truth:  I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers; just as you walk in the truth.

I have learned (from one who has discipled me) that giving away books can be one of the best ways to encourage, edify and equip someone.  I am constantly on the lookout for opportunities to meet a spiritual need with one of my favorite books.  I encourage you to do the same.

Each year, God introduces me to one or two books that are particularly encouraging and edifying.  This year, I have been exceedingly blessed.  Here are a few recommendations for your reading pleasure: Read the rest of this entry »

light-handsHave you ever noticed that The Model Prayer does not end with “in Jesus’ name”? It is interesting to me that the only time I remember praying, or hearing someone else pray, without that closing phrase, is when The Model Prayer was prayed… and when I purposely tried to close my prayer without it.

Yes, I have tried to close my prayers without “in Jesus’ name”. You may wonder, “Why would you do such a thing?” I will attempt to explain; but first, let me ask you: Why do you add “in Jesus’ name” to the end of your prayers? What does it mean to you?

Based on a small survey of my Christian family and friends, I have discovered five general motivations for this practice:

  1. It is the way they learned to pray (not that they were taught what it means).
  2. They are handing the prayer off to Jesus; to be the mediator of their prayer, with the Father.
  3. They are submitting their prayer to Jesus’ will; in essence praying, “your will be done”.
  4. They believe there is power in the name of Jesus; power necessary for the accomplishment of their prayer.
  5. They believe their prayer has been offered in alignment with Jesus’ will (and that of His Father).

I believe there are several good reasons for praying in Jesus’ name. Some are better than others; and some are only good to a point. Speaking of points, the point of this article is to encourage everyone that uses this phrase, to consider what it means and why they are using it – if for no other reason than to avoid disobeying the third commandment.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7

It should give us pause that coming to Jesus, in His name, does not mean He know us; and that many will prophesy, cast out demons, and do many wonders, in His name – and still not enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). So, let’s pause and consider the motivations listed above. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is Coming… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power (dynamis) toward us who believe, according to the working (energeia) of His mighty (ischys) power (kratos) which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:17-23

There is a power that has exceeding greatness towards those who believe; the power of God towards the church. Consider for a moment the Greek words used to describe that power:

Dynamis – the strength and power of God;

Energeia – supernatural working;

Ischus – force and strength; and,

Kratos – the might to reign.

This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the Father’s right hand. It is the same power that works in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13); and the same that is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

The power that God has toward the church is the power that will prepare you for the storm; and empower you to help others prepare!!

Jesus exercised this power and commissioned His followers to do the same (John 14:12; 20:21). As we submit to His power, the Holy Spirit transforms us into instruments and weapons of righteousness; for the transformation of those in our spheres of influence. In so doing, the glory of God is manifested.

Do not be deceived. His power is not given out like rechargeable batteries, requiring us to go back and get recharged. It is not something we own, to carry around in our independent selves. The power of God is in the life of Jesus; indwelling us for the glory of our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Be strong in the LORD, and in the power of His might; for our God is exceedingly greater than we can imagine!!

Humbly yours and forever His,

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