bible study, Christian, Christian Church, christian encouragement, Jesus Follower, Uncategorized

Amazing Authority

Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit

Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.

 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! What do you want with us,Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!”Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Luke 4:31-37

I always like to imagine what it would have been like to be in Jesus’ presence on earth. To hear his voice and feel the power that flowed from His fingertips. 

Throughout Jesus’ time on earth, we see many instances where he is able to command an entire crowd, heal someone with simply a few words and cast out demons just with his presence. There is no doubt that being in the presence of Jesus meant feeling an indescribable authority. As described in Luke 4:32, it says that His word “possessed authority.” Those listening didn’t quite know why or how – but they knew that He had a level of authority that was bigger than themselves, bigger than even the Chief Priests they bowed down to. 

Recognizing Jesus’ amazing authority is pivotal for us. It’s pivotal when we read scripture, its critical when we pray, and it’s important to remember when we find ourselves with a tight grip around the so-called “handles” of our life we think we have. Jesus’ authority trumps all. The Lord’s Word trumps all. The authority that Jesus spoke with here in Luke 4 was noticeable to the crowds because it was the mighty power of God that was flowing through Him, touching the deepest parts of each individual’s hearts and souls. 

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home.

Matthew 9:6-7

When we read God’s Word, we mustn’t forget that it still – and always will – possesses the same level of authority that Jesus spoke with that day in Capernaum. When He says “love your enemy,” He commands that with authority. When He says “blessed are those who are persecuted,” He speaks that with authority. And when He says “you must lose your life before you gain it,” He means it. 

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:17-18

All Jesus needed to do was extend a hand and Peter dropped his nets and abandoned everything to follow Him. His presence commanded authority and His voice was one of love, grace and comfort. Authority doesn’t have to mean “dictatorship” – it can also mean trusting, strong, stable and yes, comforting. 

God wants to have amazing authority in your life because He wants to relieve you of the control, the worry, the anxiety and stress in which you toil. He wants to be the guiding light, the north star and compass that shows you which way is right. And when we give God total authority in our lives He does indeed show up in mighty ways. He takes control and leads us down paths we never thought we could venture down. His authority is the greatest thing that is available to everyone and anyone – all we have to do it trust him with our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I am often relieved when I remember that it’s King Jesus on the throne and not myself, not someone else, not idols or things. King Jesus is in control, and I’ve never felt more content in that truth – no matter what may come my way. 

The very word “authority” has within it the word “author. ” An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.

R.C. Sproul
30daysofpraise, christian encouragement, Uncategorized

Love for The King

Day 9

When we say we love God or love Jesus what does that really mean to us? For some, those words may have been only spoken in a song or recitation at church. For others those love statements are added each day to every prayer. For me, I’m really good about making sure those around me know my love for them. But I have to admit that I don’t tell the Almighty how much I love Him. I say my thanks for His power and authority over this world but, love? It’s something this 30 Days has put on my heart.

Our relationship with God is not only the most important one we will ever have, it is also the most interesting. God is King yet He is also our friend. There aren’t too many people out there that can say they are friends with an earthly king. This relationship brings to mind something you may find silly. I’ve always wondered how someone can sit across from Brad Pitt, casually eating breakfast in your pjs, hair messy, bad breath and not stare at him in awe. Would you expect him to do the dishes and take out the trash? Sorry, I’ve always had a soft spot for Brad. What does a relationship with a mega star, on an everyday basis look like? It’s no wonder people like that tend to date and marry others in their same circle. The same goes for kings, queens, princes and princesses. We have a relationship with the most powerful being in the universe. We bring Him our broken and messy selves. But we also come to Him with our joy and love.

Most likely you’ve been asked something like, “What would you say to Jesus if He came to your door right now and joined you for dinner?”  Well, first if I realized it was Jesus, I don’t think I would even be able to speak for a while.  Then, knowing me, I’d probably say something completely inappropriate and goofy.  If Jesus became a regular, physical guest at my house I’d have to figure out how to be a friend yet also remain in reverence of Him.  A King is a regular guest in my spiritual life.  Making sure I pay Him the respect due while also being friends has become a key to my prayers.

Charles Spurgeon has six great tips on coming to God, the King in prayer:

  1. Approach Him in reverence: familiarity there may be but let it not be impertinent.
  2. Come with joy: you have the privilege of being in front of the Throne of Grace!
  3. Be in submission: we don’t pray to tell Him what to do.
  4. Have enlarged expectations: ask for great things!
  5. Expect with staggering confidence: who would doubt the King?
  6. Maintain sincerity: prayer is an elevated act and no light thing

I love God and I honor Him as King.  He is my friend and my Ruler.  He is the vine and I am one of his beautiful branches.  And I praise Him for all that He has done in my life.  

Do you have a favorite statement or prayer of love and reverence for our Lord?