Posts Tagged ‘Power of God’

Power of God at work in us

July 9, 2018

Ephesians-3-20-21

The Verse of the Day for July 9, 2018 is the benediction from the prayer found in culminating verses of Chapter 3 of Ephesians:

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.

That powerful prayer reveals our Heavenly Father’s intent toward believers that they might demonstrate  the exceeding greatness of God’s power or ability recorded by Paul in those two verses which shine as crowning jewels in that exquisite revelation of God’s ability. Verse 19   precedes the powerful declarative statement, reminding believers of God’s desire that we might experience the fulfillment of all that He intends us to be:

The Fullness of God

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;

that you may be filled with all fullness of God

Ephesians 3:19

 

In wisdom God gives power to loose and to bind,

To enlighten souls and open eyes of the blind.

All the promises of God are “yes and amen.”

God’s Word is true today, just as it was back then

When Christ first spoke the truth to those with ears to hear.

We walk in the spirit of love and have no fear.

We have been empowered by the spirit of might.

To serve the Lord, to please Him is our soul’s delight.

Secure, knowing nothing can snatch us from His hand,

We shall know fulfillment of all that God has planned.

Filled with all the fullness of God that we might see:

The riches of the glory of this mystery.

We walk by faith and not by sight, for we now know

God sealed us by a covenant, and it is so.

Every day we confront challenging circumstances that seek overwhelm our souls, but we must remember that we are powerful people. Literally we are full of power, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. There is no greater power, and by exercising that power, God is able “to do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,

The opening phrase of verse 20 brought to mind the expression that “God is able,” which in turn caused me to think of the lyrics to this song:

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the brokenhearted and set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.

With this awareness of who God is in mind, we acknowledge that no matter how challenging and insurmountable any situation may appear to be, we recall that nothing is too hard for God, who reminds us: “I am the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?” In fact, the old gospel song reminds us,

“Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?

Got any mountains you cannot tunnel through?

God specializes in things called impossible,

And He will do what no other power (Holy Ghost power) can do.

We close with the magnificent benediction from Jude, a further reminder that God is able:

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever. Amen.

We conclude as Shannon R. Linville offers Ephesians 3:14-20 as a Scripture Song:

Displaying the power of God

June 4, 2014

1 Chronicles 29--11

Without question, the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. The Verse of the Day for June 4, 2014  from 1 Chronicles 29:11 also brings to mind the concluding words of the Lord’s Prayer which expresses similar sentiments in Matthew 6:13 in the Amplified Bible:

13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

As I reflected upon those verses, I thought of a scientific discovery that occurred five years ago which provided a clear demonstration of the awesome power of God. Thanks to NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope,the eyes of the world focused on Saturn, the second-largest planet in the Solar System. According to CNN, “Scientists at NASA have discovered a nearly invisible ring around Saturn — one so large that it would take 1 billion Earths to fill it.”

The bulk of the massive then newly sighted ring in 2009 starts about 3.7 million miles (6 million km) away from the planet and extends outward another 7.4 million miles (12 million km). The ring’s orbit is tilted 27 degrees from the planet’s main ring plane. With Saturn’s diameter being nine times greater than Earth’s, the diameter of the supersized ring is equivalent to lining up 300 Saturns side by side. Most amazingly its entire volume can hold one billion Earths.

Reading about these discoveries in outer space and other current events caused me to see and appreciate the magnitude of the creative power of God in a new way. This information is staggering in light of the demonstrated power of God manifested through the Spoken word of God recorded in Genesis where “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Later the account indicates, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. . .” Then almost as a modest aside, we learn “He made the stars also.” All the starry hosts with its millions upon millions of stars God made, each of which He numbered and called by name.

With this awareness of who God is in mind, I acknowledge that no matter how challenging and insurmountable any situation may appear to be, we should recall that nothing is too hard for God. He asks, “I am the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?” In fact, the old gospel song reminds us,

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?

Got any mountains you cannot tunnel through?

God specializes in things called impossible;

And He will do what no other power (Holy Ghost power) can do.

One of the most powerful expressions of the exceeding greatness of God’s power or ability is found in the prayer recorded by Paul in Ephesians 3:16-23. Ephesians 3:20 shines as one of the crowning jewels in that exquisite expression of God’s ability:

And God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.

The recent discoveries in outer space also helped to see in an even more profound way that, indeed, “God is able.” I thought of the lyrics to this song:

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the broken hearted and set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.

I close with the magnificent benediction from Jude which is a further reminder that God is able:

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever. Amen.

Listen to Chris Tomlin, who offers this powerful declaration in a medley of “How Great Is Our God” and “How Great Thou Art.”

 

Beauty for Ashes and the Power of God: Part 1

October 20, 2012

Part I—Beauty for Ashes

Recently as I reflected upon God’s amazing ability to transform the most horrific circumstances into a glorious display of His wisdom, power and might, I thought of the expression “beauty for ashes.” Isaiah 61:3 offers a series of such transformations or exchanges that only God can give. I used that particular verse as the epigraph or introduction to a poem with that title:

Beauty for Ashes

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3

Beauty for ashes–you are transformed to testify

Of a life radically changed that you might glorify

The God of Heaven who touches the earth with His love

That overflows with bountiful blessings from above.

You are blessed and highly favored–no one can deny.

That you should be chosen by God some may wonder why,

But none can fathom God’s grace, no matter how they try.

Ascend into God’s presence on the wings of a dove:

Beauty for ashes.

Many times it may seem as if life has passed you by,

But God is faithful; on Him you can always rely.

Nothing in this life surpasses God’s unchanging love;

It is far beyond all that you could ask or think of.

Remember that God is not a man that He should lie:

Beauty for ashes.

 

About a year later, I completed another poem containing a reference to Isaiah 61:3.  Shortly after writing the poem, I was asked to officiate at a funeral service and do the eulogy for someone who had not been affiliated with a local church. It was an unusual service for me in that for the first time the individual being eulogized had been cremated. On a table in front of the mortuary was an urn that contained the ashes of the deceased.  As it turned out, this was perfect occasion for sharing the poem which has a line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.” The poem also contains a theme related to God with whom all things are possible and with whom nothing is impossible.

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them saith,    

With men it is impossible, but not with God:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              for with God all things are possible. 

Mark 10:27

                                                                                         

For with God nothing shall be impossible.          

Luke 1:37

                                                                               

There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say “With God nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As one who observes the times, I wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life.

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise,

I boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

 Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

I seek to walk in wisdom and number my days,

Humbly discerning that your ways are not my ways.

In addition to reading the poem as part of the eulogy, I also commented about the beauty of gemstones that are formed from volcanic ash. Did you know that ashes in volcanoes under extreme heat and pressure provide the perfect conditions to form certain precious stones, such as diamonds?  As the volcanoes erupt, they push the gemstones to the surface where they can be seen after the site has cooled.  So, indeed, God both figuratively and literally “gives beauty for ashes.”

Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly offer a tender rendition of the song “Beauty for Ashes.”