It’s Just That Kind Of Day…

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It was a cold, rainy day, and a busy wife and mother decided she would proudly cross one item from her mile long to-do list right from the get go. She busted out the old crockpot and placed the lovely beef roast with all the fixins’ inside. She pictured the tranquility of 12 hours into the future when her hungry brood would sit down and enjoy the fabulous meal together. Off and running… there were lunches to pack, kids to deliver, laundry to fold, bills to pay, groceries to buy, friends to visit, blah, blah, blah! At least she didn’t have to worry about dinner!

Upon returning home, she walked in expecting to smell a most delicious smell, but there was none. To her dismay, there lying on the counter, next to the crockpot, was its unplugged cord! Noooo! In her busyness she had forgotten to plug it in! That very important detail of plugging the crockpot into the wall resulted in an absence of the power necessary for the crockpot to function as it was created to function. Without power it failed to do what it was created to do… cook dinner, producing nourishment for the hungry and emitting a fragrance any passersby would have loved to smell. [This may or may not have happened. 🙂 ]

Do you have power? Are you functioning the way you were created to function? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior from sin, then He has equipped you with POWER to be His witness here on this earth and spread the fragrance of Christ wherever you go. (See Act 1:8, 2 Cor. 5:15)

 BUT YOU MUST BE PLUGGED INTO THE POWER SOURCE!

In the spring of 2012, I was hungering and thirsting for more of Jesus. I had been a believer for a long time, but I sensed that there was a disconnect… something missing. I read Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians and adopted it as my personal prayer. I memorized it and prayed it daily…

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know him better. I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which he has called me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead…(Ephesians 1:17-23)

And then one day, it was as if all the pieces of the puzzle came together, scales came off the eyes of my heart, and I realized the breadth of truth in that prayer as God faithfully answered it in my own life. That same Power is living in me… and you! He has called us to be conduits of the LIFE-GIVING power of His Spirit.

And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)

You and I have been commissioned by the King of kings to “Go… and make disciples of all nations…”  reflecting His nature and the nature of His Kingdom on the earth.

How shall we go? What does that look like?

This commission requires that we remain CONNECTED to the Source of our power, Jesus Christ. It is through this vital connection we receive the “current” of His Spirit. Remember in John 15 when Jesus referred to Himself as the True Vine and we as the branches? The Holy Spirit is the life-giving sap. It is through that abiding connection that the fruit of the Spirit manifests in and through us.

By His power we can LOVE.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~Jesus (John 13:34-35)

By His power we are able to guard our witness. (See Titus 3:1-8)

By His power we are emboldened to proclaim Jesus, the Source of life now and for eternity! We do people a great disservice if we never get around to telling them about where (WHO) our hope and power for living comes from! We have nothing to lose and the world has everything to gain!

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… 1 Peter 3:15

Are you prepared? Are you PLUGGED IN to Jesus? Take a few moments to check out this week’s podcast and get ready to go deeper on this very subject!  http://www.painesvilleag.com/painesville-ag-messages/?enmse=1&enmse_sid=14

“I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” ~Jesus (Matthew 28:20 MSG)

Spread Good News This Week!
Jenny Gallion

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Nobody Likes A Dead Cell Phone

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By now I am sure you have heard all about the Holy Spirit. Last week, my fellow sister in Christ, Jenny Gallion, shared about waiting on the Lord to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and how that empowers us to be Christ’s witnesses. But what exactly does that mean? What kind of power are we talking about here? What kind of witness? If we’ve been waiting so long to become spiritually alive when we receive the Spirit at Salvation, how do we know what to do with this new life?

First, let’s tackle the concept of “power”. When you read that word, what do you think of? I immediately think of higher authority, maybe my mind wonders to a scene of kings and queens having the ruling power over a whole kingdom. Power, in my own minute definition, is something that comes from a higher being… no, THE higher being. Power gives us the ability to do things that we cannot do with our human selves because we simply are not God. Power is what opens the door to being used by the Spirit.

Now, let’s look at the word “witness”. What do you think of when you read that word? If you’re anything like me you’ve watched too many investigator type shows like Law & Order or Dateline and think immediately of someone that watched something happen- in these cases it is typically bad. The “witness” knows the story, believes what they say is true, and is willing to confess it to others to “prove their point” or “share their perspective of the account”. In essence, this is how we are supposed to witness to the world for Jesus. We are witnesses of the Gospel – we know the “story” and we believe it to be true because of first-hand experiences of what we’ve “seen and heard”. The next step is to share it with the world who often put Jesus and Christianity on trial. They want “proof” from Christ’s witnesses that this good news is indeed GOOD NEWS. In Acts 1.8 when do we become witnesses? “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you and you will be my witnesses in all of Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. We become witnesses when we receive the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us for this task.

Think of it this way, when there is a big storm outside with 60mph winds, lightening, thunder, hail, the works, you might come home from work and realize that you have no electricity. Sometimes we would then say: “the power is out”. In other words, you are lacking what you need to use items like the microwave, television, washer/dryer, and heaven forbid, your cell phone charger. If you have no power, you cannot do certain things. Simply put, if we do not have the power of the Holy Spirit, how can we do what Christ has called us to do? How can we be a witness to the nations and those that have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus? Just like your home in the middle of a big storm when the power is out and not operating at full capacity, we are not functioning at full capacity.

That, dear Church, is why it is so important to stay charged up with the power that our Heavenly Father has promised us. Staying connected to the power-line of Christ through the Holy Spirit is like the charger to our souls – it gives us life and power. It gives us the power to function and do what we’ve been called to do. When we receive the Holy Spirit, it is an everlasting battery of power that runs through us. The more we abide in the Spirit, the more we will operate in His gifts so we can minister to others. Think of it this way, when your cell phone is at 99% are you more likely to use it than when you get that little notification that it is at 20%? How can the Spirit use us to perform miracles and powerful acts when we are operating at only 20%?

To continue my infamous cell phone analogy… when you got your cell phone, the gift of communication, how excited were you to use it? Didn’t you want to test it out? Play games, call, text, download apps, take pictures, listen to music, the list goes on and on and on of the things you can do with a fully charged cell phone. When we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we should be just as excited and ready to communicate with others the greatest news on the planet!

Church, have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? If you have not, I encourage you to ask the Lord for this wonderful gift! If you have, what are you waiting for? Go and let the Holy Spirit within you be a witness to the world! Pastor Aaron, in his sermon series, “Power for Life,” shares some incredible truths that can happen through us when we allow the gift of the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives. You can check out his podcast here: http://painesvilleag.com/power-for-life  Never forget this amazing gift the Lord has made available to us. Why? Because we can’t live and function without it!

Jenny Bushnell,
Writer/Blogger/College Student