"He answered, "I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?" (John 9:27)
When you think about "power" what do you think of? The 'horse power' of your car or truck? What kind of machine you are going to need to move this most recent snow? How strong the earthquake was in Ecuador? How much strength you need to get from point A to point B? What about the "power" of the Holy Spirit in each, and all, of us? A number of us have been reading the book "Dynamite Power" during this Lenten season. It is a book about changing our prayer lives to remember the "Dynamite" power of the Holy Spirit. How often are you talking about it? Is anyone listening? Are YOU listening?
The power, the strength, of God is what today's readings are reminding us of. Samuel is anointing David to be king of Israel "and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David." (1 Samuel 16:13 emphasis mine) Paul is reminding all of us of how we "are light in the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8) I must admit.... I really like the response of the young man in the Gospel reading. The Pharisees have called the young man back, a second time, to question the healing. He responds "I have told you already and you did not listen." How often do we feel that way? "I've told you but you didn't listen." How often have we said it? How often have we heard it?
This has been an interesting Lenten, end of winter (maybe) season, with everything from winter storms to various people struggling through illness. As Caregivers are we talking about where, how, when we have felt God's POWER with us - getting us from point A to point B? Is anyone listening? Are YOU listening?
Strength even when.....
"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage." (Psalm 84:5)
We are getting more snow, where I live AND, from what I see on the news, in CA. Where I am it is difficult to get out of the driveway let alone think of a "pilgrimage." Where would we go? How would we get there? Leaving the snow, and the cold, sounds like a good idea but the accomplishment is another story.
At the same time it is Lent and many of us are trying to follow where God is leading, do what God is asking and, when possible, share how we have felt God with us. This can also be a pilgrimage - especially if we aren't used to sharing how we KNOW God is with us.
Thankfully we ARE blessed because we DO have God's strength. God's gifts of God's Son, and the Holy Spirit, do FILL us - giving us strength "for the pilgrimage." Even if the "pilgrimage" is only as far as our desk to study God's Word.
Thank you, God, for Your strength even when we are trying something new. Thank you for your strength even as we struggle with snow and winter weather. Thank you for your strength even when......... Amen
strengthen our hearts
16 "Now may our Lord Jesus Christs Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word." (2 Thessalonians 2:16 & 17)
Paul is writing to the people of Thessalonica but also to us. A prayer reminding us of God's love and comfort by grace - a free gift from God. The rest of the prayer is for comfort but also to strengthen our hearts in every good work and word. An awesome reminder of God's strength in all we do and say. These people were believing false teachers. They thought the Lord was returning "now." Paul is encouraging them as they waited.
We are still waiting, have very busy schedules and, in many ways, are still being persecuted. It can be hard to talk about, let alone live, our faith. These words of encouragement help us to both remember and focus - remember God's love and focus on keeping our relationship, with God strong.
How do you keep the relationship strong? Where do you get the words of encouragement? Who can you encourage?
Presence and strength....
"I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him." (Ephesians 1:19a NLT)
Talking with friends, and family, is something we do pretty much every day. How often do we talk to, with and listen to God? I saw an interesting post, recently, about how God had invented the first cell phone........ Prayer. How often are we actually praying? We pray on Sundays in worship, at other worship services and (maybe) we say a prayer at meal times. Some of us have special God "times" when we make sure to be in God's Word and are in prayer. How often do we really stop to talk to, be with and listen for what God is saying to us?
The Scripture readings today are about listening to, and following, what God is saying to each of us. The Old Testament reading is in Genesis 12 where God is sending Abram "to the land I will show you." (12:1) So, at 75, "Abram went, as the Lord had told him." Paul is pointing out, in the Ephesians reading, about the power of God in EACH (and all) of us if we pay attention. The same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead." (Ephesians 1:19b-20a NLT) The Gospel reading (John 3) is Jesus answering Nicodemus' questions about believing and following where God is leading. The strong relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
How often are we listening and following? How often are we talking to God? Prayer! We are ALL called to prayer!! Emmanuel - God WITH us - as we feel not just His presence but also His strength. Something to think about......
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.