Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Serving God Requires Faith Plus The Power Of God

He said to them, "This kind [of unclean spirit] can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." —Mark 9:29

{CHAMBERS}  ““His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ ” (Mark 9:28). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. […] We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him. When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? […] Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)“

{ELGIN} You cannot do anything for God unless it is done by faith in God.  Oh, you can do things in His name, but it really amounts to work accomplished by your own effort.  Ephesians 2:8,9 says we are saved by grace through faith not of works lest any man boast that somehow he had saved himself by his own effort.  And so it is when you step out for God.  There is nothing I can do that pleases God in terms of effort, what God wants from me is a broken and contrite heart and a willingness to pick up my cross and follow Jesus.  But God I am so smart. Who gave you your intelligence?  When you serve God you must lay a spiritual foundation.  If you say “yes” God will take you places that would crush your spirit and cause you to feint in the intensity of the circumstances. Whether it be a lion’s dens, a fiery furnace, or ministering to a difficult person in a difficult situation, God is sufficient to meet your needs. (Philippians 4:19) “… my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Have you ever wondered what the difference was between a Christian giving someone a drink of water and a non-Christian doing the same thing?  The person receiving the water has their thirst quenched either way.  Sometimes we are guilty of thinking that only Christians can do “good” things.  Not true.  But the is something supernatural going on when a Christian serves others.  Jesus told the woman at the well that He had living water to give her.  He could offer water to her soul … and so can you.  You must have the Spirit of God in you to do that.  There are organizations involved in disaster relief that have the  reputation for being “spiritual” but, in fact merely have a religious veneer. They will not allow Christians to share their faith in their desire to be “ecumenically correct” and not offend people of other beliefs or no belief at all.  Disasters are not an opportunity to take advantage of people’s vulnerability.  But they do give opportunity for the Church to rise up and be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them. (1 Peter 3:15)  There are no spiritual strings attached to our serving others, but there is spiritual power behind it.  God uses circumstances to speak to the lost.  Sometimes He whispers and sometimes He SHOUTS!  In any case we must be ready to shine the light of Jesus whatever the situation and circumstance.

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