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The Spirit of Power that we receive is not like the human power that we recognize as strong. Itís a power unlike anything we can do on our own.
A young man growing up in the wrong part of Houston became a bully. He would get in fights in school, in the neighborhood, and began mugging people to get spending money. He even beat up people just for the sake of doing it.
He learned to box, and became pretty good at it. He began to make a lot of money and could have almost anything he wanted. One day, during his training session for an upcoming bout, he heard his mom talking to his sister on the telephone about his favorite nephew. The young boy had had a seizure and now lay in a coma in the hospital. Doctors said he would probably die, but that if he came out of the coma he wouldnít be able to move his limbs, or speak, or do any of the human functions we consider part of living.
He ran into the room where his mom was on the phone and shouted, ďMomma, call the hospital and tell those doctors to give him the best of everything. Tell them Iíll take care of all the bills, to fly in the best doctors from wherever they have to. Tell them who I am, and that Iíll take care of everything ó whatever it costs.Ē
His mom spoke to the doctors, and then told him, ďSon, youíre just going to have to pray.Ē
He realized then how grave the situation was. When someone tells you the only thing you can do is pray, things are looking pretty bad.
Then it hit him. All of his money, his fame, his influence, his friends ó none of that could solve this problem. It was out of his hands, out of the doctorís hands, out of everyoneís hands. For the first time, he was totally powerless.
And for the first time, George Foreman dropped to his knees and prayed.
He wasnít sure God existed, but he knew that when all else failed, people prayed. He asked God, if he really existed, to help his nephew. Then he got back in bed. A few seconds later, he got back on his knees and offered to give up all his wealth if God would heal his nephew. Then he got back in bed again. A few seconds later he got back on his knees a third time and got angry at God for letting this happen to his nephew, a child who hadnít experienced life yet. George told God to take his life instead. Let the boy live and take Georgeís life instead.
The next morning Georgeís sister called from the hospital. His nephew had woken up and could move his eyes, but the doctors said he wouldnít ever walk again.
She called later that day, and the boy had begun moving his toes. The next day the boy was talking, and a week later he was on his way home, ďwalking, talking, and back to normal.Ē The doctors had no logical explanation. But George Foreman knew God had just given him a miracle.
Three months later in March 1977, George Foreman died in his locker room after fighting Jimmy Young. He collapsed in a heap, and entered what he describes as ďa deep, dark void, like a bottomless pit.Ē
In his book, God in My Corner ó A Spiritual Memoir, George wrote ďI knew I was dead, and that this wasnít heaven. I was terrified, knowing I had no way out. Sorrow beyond description engulfed my soul, more than anyone could ever imagine. If you multiplied every disturbing and frightening thought that youíve ever had during your entire life, that wouldnít come close to the panic I felt. Ö
ď I screamed with every ounce of strength in me, ĎI donít care if this is death. I still believe in God.í
ďInstantly, what seemed to be like a giant hand reached down and snatched me out of the terrifying place. Immediately, I was back inside my body in the dressing room.Ē
George accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and devoted himself to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. He realized his human power, his money, his prestige, were worthless in the next life, and meant to be used as tools to lead others to Jesus during this one.
He went on to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World twice. He was ordained as an evangelist in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and became pastor of a small church. He also became involved in prison and hospital ministries.
You probably know him best for the George Foreman Grills that continue to sell around the world. And he recently baptized his own 23-year-old daughter who finally decided to dedicated her own life to Jesus.
Thatís Godís idea of power.
16. Our Thinking vs. Godís Promises.
a. We say- Itís impossible. God says- All things are possible with Me.
b. We- I canít do it. God- You can do all things through Christ.
c. We- Iím too tired. God- Come to Me, I will give you rest.
d. We- Iím always worried and frustrated. God- Cast all your cares on Me.
e. We- I canít go on. God- My grace is sufficient for you.
f. We- I canít figure things out. God- I will direct your steps.
g. We- Iím not able. God- I am able.
h. We- Itís not worth it. God- It will be worth it.
i. We- I canít manage. God- I will supply all your needs.
j. We- Iím afraid. God- I have not given you a spirit of fear.
k. WE- I donít have enough faith. God- Iíve given everyone a measure of faith.
l. WE- Iím not smart enough. God- I give you wisdom.
m. We- I feel all alone. God- I will never leave you or forsake you.
John Williams III
To be Godís property mean that we are owned by God. There is a powerful story about an English missionary whose house was being looted. "An English missionary died in the early part of this century [the 20th century]. Immediately after his death his former neighbors broke into his house and started carrying away his possessions. The English Consul was notified, and since there was no lock on the door of the missionaryís house, he pasted a piece of paper across it and affixed the seal of England on it. The looter did not dare break the seal because the worldís most powerful nation stood behind it". (Billy Graham. The Holy Spirit. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1988, p. 74). To be sealed means that we are Godís property!
GOD IS EVERY WHERE
A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. Here are some of the results:
GOD is like a FORD ... Heís got a better idea.
GOD is like COKE ... Heís the real thing.
GOD is like HALLMARK CARDS ... He cares enough to send His very best.
GOD is like TIDE ... He gets the stains out that others leave behind.
GOD is like GENERAL ELECTRIC ... He brings good things to life.
GOD is like SEARS ... He has everything.
GOD is like ALKA-SELTZER ... Try Him, youíll like him.
GOD is like SCOTCH TAPE ... You canít see him, but you know Heís there.
GOD is like DELTA .... Heís rea...
God is like...
written by a 12 year old
God is like tide- he cleans all our stains
snapple- Heís the best stuff on Earth
coke- Heís the real thing
car- Heíll take you places you couldnít go
daddy- he loves me
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviorís love.
We fear men so much because we fear God so little.
A GLIMPSE OF MEóCOMMUNION MEDITATION
In Mel Gibsonís Movie, ďThe Passion of ChristĒ there is an obscure detail in the crucifixion scene that probably goes unnoticed by most people, but it is a detail that says so much.
When Jesus is being placed on the cross, the camera comes close to watch as a large spike is positioned in the middle of Jesusí hand. Then, a mallet comes into focus, and a rugged hand swings it to drive the spike. Those are all things you expect to see.
But there is something you donít see. You never see the face of the one who drives that nail. You never get a glimpse into the eyes, or heart of the one who so assuredly pounds away until the spike has passed through Jesusí flesh and comes to rest in the wood of the cross.
You might be interested to know that the person who plays that role in the movie is the director himself, Mel Gibson. But why does he never show the face of the one who put Jesus on the cross? Why does he not give us the identity of the one who had the gall to put the Son of God to death?
He didnít show us that face because that face was his. It was ours. We are the ones who put Jesus to death. It wasnít the Romans. It wasnít the Jews. It was our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14 says: ďWhen you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all...
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The story is told (by Ernest Hemingway) of a father and his teenage son who had a relationship that had become strained to the point of breaking. Finally the son ran away from home. His father, however, began a journey in search of his rebellious son. Finally, in Madrid, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in the newspaper. The ad read: “DEAR PACO, MEET ME IN FRONT OF THE NEWSPAPER OFFICE AT NOON. ALL IS FORGIVEN. I LOVE YOU. YOUR FATHER.”
The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office, 800 “Pacos” showed up.
A man by the name of Max DePree related the following heart-touching story:
Esther, my wife, and I have a granddaughter named Zoe, the Greek word for life. She was born prematurely and weighed one pound, seven ounces, so small that my wedding ring could slide up her arm to her shoulder. The neonatologist who first examined her told us that she had a 5 to 10 percent chance of living three days. When Esther and I scrubbed up for our first visit and saw Zoe in her isolette in the neonatal intensive care unit, she had two IVs in her navel, one in her foot, a monitor on each side of her chest, and a respirator tube and a feeding tube in her mouth.
To complicate matters, Zoe’s biological father had jumped ship the month before Zoe was born. Realizing this, a wise and caring nurse named Ruth gave me my instructions.
"For the next several months, at least, you’re the surrogate father. I want you to come to the hospital every day to visit Zoe, and when you come, I want you to rub her body and her legs and arms with the tip of your finger. While you’re caressing her, you should tell her over and over how much you love her, because she has to be able to connect your voice to your touch."
God knew that we also needed both his voice and his touch. So he gave us not only the Word but also his Son. And he gave us not only Jesus Christ but also his body, the church. God’s voice and touch say, "I love you."