Power of the Resurrection

...And the power of his resurrection… Philippians 3:10

Resurrection power. The power that raised Jesus from the dead. The power to heal and mend and protect and loose from bondage. The Apostle Paul sought to know this power, to know the “power” behind the power.

In a real sense, the power of the resurrection is that 2000 years removed from the actual event, people are still coming to know the One who was Resurrected! Lives are still being changed. Marriages are being restored. Addictions are being broken. Proud men are being humbled. Truly evil men are changing their lives completely. The world is changed each and every time someone believes in Jesus.

Yeah, it’s that resurrection power.

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I Want to Know Christ

I want to know Christ… Philippians 3:10

Paul’s passion after his dramatic conversion experience was that he wanted to know Christ. Period. Nothing else seemed to matter. Sometimes that meant that he had to preach the Gospel. Sometimes he had to teach. Sometimes he just had to fellowship with his fellow believers. In all of those actions, he was learning more and more about Christ because God was using those people to teach him.

Obviously we know that people can teach us what to do and what not to do by their actions and words. But I think we need to be receptive to hearing and learning. “What can this person teach me about Christ?” is probably a fairly common prayer we should have. Even the vilest of people can teach us great things about Christ.

One such man in my past would call me to task every time I did something that he thought that Christians shouldn’t be doing. He didn’t know Christ but he did know that we as Believers didn’t have to stoop to his level to prove a point. In his own way, he was teaching me that Christ cared even in my speech and course jesting.

I’m not saying that every single person you come across will teach you something about the nature of Christ.

Or maybe I am.

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The Tower

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The Righteous run to it and are saved. Proverbs 18:10

I used to work in the Hancock Tower in Chicago. It was 95 floors straight up. There was an express elevator that went from the Ground Floor to 95 in about 45 seconds. When you looked out over Lake Michigan to the east, and the city and suburbs to the north, south and west, you felt invincible, like nothing could ever shake your world.

The name of the Lord is like that. You don’t have to defend it; it’s solid. You don’t have to excuse it nor do you have to run from it. In fact, this verse tells us that we should run to it.

When you’re afraid, it’s your safe harbor. When you’re lonely; it’s your friend. When you’re hurt and wounded, it’s the salve that will heal.

Run to the Tower of the Lord; run often.

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Central Character

And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Mark 9:4

So much could be said about the Transfiguration: the dazzling brightness, two Bible characters we have read about all our lives, His disciples’ reaction, and The Voice.

To be certain, all of those are important and could cover many in depth lessons and sermons. I could see myself as one of the three disciples who came with Jesus, looking in awe at the Elijah, Moses, and Jesus after Jesus was transfigured.

The important entity in this story isn’t Elijah, Moses, James, John, or Peter. That’s right, the most important person in this passage is Jesus himself. We lose sight of that when we’re in the nitty gritty of the Bible.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the central character in the Bible.

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Scattered by Persecution

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Acts 11:19

Church history books are filled with stories of the growth of the Church because of persecution. It’s a paradox that Satan himself must still be puzzled over. If he persecutes and kills many in the Church, it should die. He couldn’t be more wrong. The more the Evil One persecutes and kills those in the church, the more there is growth, and sometimes in great numbers!

We have this idea that those in the early Church were filled with the Spirit and tirelessly proclaimed the Gospel far and wide. They did. But in some instances, they were forced to go (and persecution is what drew them out).

We in the Western world find ourselves in a similar situation. For the most part, we’ve become lax and lazy. We don’t sense the urgency. We like our creature comforts. A day will come, though, when we may be persecuted for what we believe. I don’t wish it to happen; I don’t want it to happen, but it may nonetheless happen.

It will also be a time when those who are true followers will be weeded out from those who are religious and have no desire to be persecuted for him. When will that time be? I don’t know, nor does anyone know. Pray that when that time comes, we’ll hold strong and steady to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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