The Power of Weakness

"God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." - Matthew 5:3 NLT

Not many people like being broke. Whenever we run out of resources or money, it's usually very embarrassing for us. If this has ever happened to you at a restaurant, or when you were out with your friends, it's a very frustrating experience. 

However, spiritually Jesus likes it when we are "bankrupt" and realize our great need for Him. This is called being "poor in spirit" in some translations. This word "poor" describes a beggar who is absolutely destitute of food and shelter, and who knows he will not survive unless someone helps him. It is a person who is so poor, they are utterly dependent upon the giving of another. This is how we should feel about the Lord - without Him we can do nothing.

MAIN IDEA: 

Jesus wants us to depend on His strength, not our own!

The reason this attitude brings blessing is because it allows you to truly experience God's power in a deeper and fuller way than ever before. When you truly realize, that without His strength, love, and grace you can do nothing, it opens up your heart to receive His true power and enabling for your day. 

This is what I like to call the "Power of Weakness", as it opens up your life to receive an outpouring of God's Spirit like never before. It's what the Lord meant when he told Paul,"My power works best in weakness." (2Cor 12:9 NLT)  It's why Paul said,"That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses... for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2Cor 12:10 NLT)

So what about you? Today will you depend on your power...or will you turn completely to God's infinite strength? Realize that you need Jesus in everything you do, ask Him to empower you by His Spirit, and experience the "Power of Weakness" today!

Comment

Jason Dennett

Jason Dennett is the teaching pastor at Calvary Chapel Puerto Rico. You can listen to Pastor Jason on "Comfort Ye My People" radio program Mon - Fri @ 4:00pm on WBMJ am 1190 San Juan // WIVV am 1370 Vieques // WCGB am 1060 Juana Diaz and Ponce

Living for Christ!

"He arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights." — 1 Kings 19:8

Read these words from Charles Spurgeon on using what the Lord gives to us, for the expansion of His Kingdom and glory:

"All the strength supplied to us by our gracious God is meant for service, not for boasting. When the prophet Elijah found the bread baked on the coals, and the jar of water placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he was not to lay back at ease; far otherwise, he was commissioned to go forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying towards Horeb, the mount of God. 

When Jesus invited the disciples to "Come and dine" with him, after the feast was concluded he said to Peter, "Feed my sheep"; further adding, "Follow me." 

And so it is with us; we eat the bread of heaven, that we may expend our strength in the Master's service. We come to the passover, and eat of the lamb with loins girt, and staff in hand, so as to start off at once when we have satisfied our hunger. Some Christians are for living on Christ, but are not so anxious to live for Christ. 

Earth should be a preparation for Heaven; and Heaven is the place where saints feast most and work most! They sit down at the table of our Lord, and they serve him day and night in his temple. They eat of heavenly food and render perfect service. 

Believer, in the strength you daily gain from Christ, use it to labor for Him! Some of us have much learn much concerning why our Lord graciously strengthens us. 

We are not to retain the precious grains of truth as the Egyptian mummy held the wheat for ages, without giving it an opportunity to grow: we must sow it and water it. 

Why does the Lord send down the rain upon the earth, and give sunshine? Is it not that these may all help the fruits of the earth to yield food for man? Even so, the Lord feeds our souls that we may afterwards use our renewed strength in the promotion of His Kingdom and glory!"

What's Your North Star?

"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” - Revelation 21:1-5 NKJV

As seagoing captains look to the North Star to help them navigate their ships at night time through treacherous and dangerous waters, so the Christian church of the past centuries regularly turned to the biblical doctrine of Heaven, to help them navigate the trials and tribulations of this earthly life. 

The teaching of Heaven was a precious truth that regularly guided, inspired, and motivated believers of the past centuries to live rightly, serve diligently, and prepare eternally for the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God – Heaven!

Unbeknownst to the majority of Christians today, and many Christian pastors, is that the topic of Heaven used to be a main focus in pulpits throughout America's churches centuries ago. A casual reading of older sermons from Reformation preachers like Martin Luther, to the times of Charles Spurgeon in the 1800’s, reveals that the topic of Heaven was a regular theme in many Christian churches.

Listen to a short sampling of some of the words of the “Prince of Preachers”, Charles Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest preacher of the 1800's, and what he had to say about Heaven: 

"If there were no hell, the loss of Heaven would itself be hell!" 

"You remember the story of the three wonders in heaven. The first wonder was that we should see so many there we did not expect to see. The second was that we should miss so many we did expect to see there. But the third wonder would be the greatest wonder of all...to see ourselves there."

"There is a crown there which nobody's head but yours can ever wear. There is a seat in which none but yourself can sit. There is a harp that will be silenced till your fingers strike its strings. There is a robe, made for you, which no one else can wear, waiting for you...So they are waiting and watching for you." 

"I suspect that every saved soul of Heaven is a great wonder, and that Heaven is a vast Museum of wonders, grace, and mercy, a palace of miracles, in which everything will surprise everyone who gets there." 

"I believe that Heaven is a fellowship of the saints, and that we shall know one another there... I reckon on meeting David, whose songs have so often cheered my soul. I want to meet with Martin Luther and Calvin, and to have the power of seeing such men as Whitfield and Wesley, and walking and talking with them in the golden streets." 


If that short sampling does not impress you, then listen the words of other great Christian minds down through the centuries, speaking on this fascinating topic of Heaven in their own words: 

"Our way to Heaven lies through the wilderness of this world...Earth is embittered to us, in order that Heaven may be endeared" - Matthew Henry
"I do not know how near it may be to us; it may be that some of us will be ushered very soon into the presence of the King. One gaze at Him will be enough to reward us for all we have had to bear. Yes, there is peace with the past, grace with the presence, and glory for the future."
- D. L. Moody
"Heaven is as near to our souls, as this world is to our bodies; and we are created, we are redeemed, to have our living in it." - William Law
"Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself."  - C. S. Lewis

"I want to know one thing - the way to Heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore."
- John Wesley

Though these earlier and powerful preachers seem to have regularly taught about Heaven, this is the exception today in many of our modern churches. Sadly, Heaven just isn't something that many Christians regularly think about in their daily lives.

However, I encourage you to be an exception! Today, I challenge you to be different than the status quo. Choose today to allow the reality of Heaven to drop down deep into your soul, and let in soak into your mind. 

Take some time right now, read our verses again, and pause in prayer to reflect on the glory and beauty of your eternity in Heaven with Christ! Choose to make Heaven your "North Star" today, and it will keep you on a straight course over the sea of life, and thru the midst of your storm!

Comment

Jason Dennett

Jason Dennett is the teaching pastor at Calvary Chapel Puerto Rico. You can listen to Pastor Jason on "Comfort Ye My People" radio program Mon - Fri @ 4:00pm on WBMJ am 1190 San Juan // WIVV am 1370 Vieques // WCGB am 1060 Juana Diaz and Ponce

Hungering for Heaven

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

- John 14:1-3 NKJV

In 1952, Florence Chadwick was in the process of setting a new world record: swimming 26 miles in the open ocean. You see, Florence Chadwick was one of the world's most famous "open ocean" swimmers. By this time in 1952, she had already set world records by crossing the English Channel in record time...twice. 

Her first time she navigated the English Channel from the shores of England to France in just over 13 hours. The second time Florence accomplished this amazing feat, swimming against the current, she crossed from France back over to England in just over 16 hours. This double achievement made her the first female swimmer in history, to cross the English Channel both ways.

But now, Florence Chadwick was about to embark on another jaw-dropping feat: performing a 26 mile open ocean swim, from the west coast of California to the island of Catalina. To make matters worse, the waters off the coast of California can be bone-numbingly cold and shark infested! 

But none of this deterred the iron-willed athlete, Florence Chadwick. For months on end she had been training to prepare her body for the frigid waters and the dangerously grueling swim to Catalina Island. She was determined to conquer the water, and to set a new world record yet again.

When the fateful day of her record-breaking swim arrived, she embarked into the water surrounded by a team of paramedics, medical professionals, and was even followed by her very own mother in the floating entourage. The purpose of this medical and support team was to protect Florence from any possible shark attack, but also to give any medical assistance necessary over the course of her grueling swim.

After Florence had been swimming for over 15 hours, things took a turn for the worse. A huge bank of fog rolled over the water and was so intense that the entire team was disorientated, and Florence was no longer sure of her position relative to the shore. As if this wasn't bad enough, she began to be overcome by muscular exhaustion, fatigue, and possible hypothermia. She was utterly confused in the water, not sure of her position or direction, and her emotions began to crack under the strain of the mounting circumstances. Eventually, Florence began to cry uncontrollably, fearing that she no longer had the stamina to complete her swim, and terrified that she wouldn't be able to make it to the finish.

Her mother and her personal doctor tried desperately to encourage Florence and buoy her hopes, but to no avail. Florence, after being disoriented by the fog, and overcome by physical exhaustion, made the difficult decision to quit her swim. She was pulled out of the water, placed in the medical boat, and lovingly wrapped in a blanket. The team, still lost and confused in the fog bank, now attempted to determine their position and distance from the shoreline.

As her team navigated their way through the dense embankment of fog and mist, they finally managed to emerge from it. They discovered to their horror, that Florence had quit her swim within only 1 mile of the shoreline! Surrounded by the fog, and unable to keep the shore in view, she had given up within the reach of her ultimate goal.

Later, when Florence attended a press conference covering her attempt at a new world record, she made this comment regarding her decision:

"I think I could've made it, if only I could have seen the shore."

This story from the life of Florence Chadwick, adapted from Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven", aptly illustrates the struggle that many Christians are facing today: they also feel like quitting and giving up, since they can't truly see the shoreline of Heaven.

Surrounded by the fog of life, and engulfed in the mists of problems and tribulations, many Christians simply feel like they should give up on their walk with Christ, and throw in the spiritual towel. Discouragement, depression, spiritual warfare, seem to afflict a large number of Christians to such a degree that they feel despondent, detached, and apathetic towards the things of God. 

I believe that the solution to the dilemma is partially found by rediscovering, or perhaps discovering for the very first time, the biblical truth and amazing reality of Heaven!

So today, read again the words of Jesus in John 14 on Heaven. His encouragement for the disciples, is also for you today. Heaven is real, and Jesus will return soon to take you there forever! Let His promise sink down deep into your heart...and keep your eyes on the shoreline of Heaven today!

Comment

Jason Dennett

Jason Dennett is the teaching pastor at Calvary Chapel Puerto Rico. You can listen to Pastor Jason on "Comfort Ye My People" radio program Mon - Fri @ 4:00pm on WBMJ am 1190 San Juan // WIVV am 1370 Vieques // WCGB am 1060 Juana Diaz and Ponce

ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE!

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse..."  – Romans 1:18-20

The modern day atheist or evolutionist has no excuse for not believing that GOD exists.  Paul tells us in Romans that the evidence for God’s power and being is all around us in the natural world. If this was true about 2,000 years ago, it is even more so today.

Whether we look through the telescope or microscope, the signature of GOD is all over the created objects that we see in nature around us. Like evidence at a crime scene, the fingerprints of our Great Designer have been left for us to discover, and lead us to a personal relationship with Him.

KEY IDEA:

The evidence of God’s existence is all around us,
proving that He is real and our loving Creator.

Take for example the Universe. Since the beginning of the 20th century we know that it had a point of beginning. Einstein’s famous equations, and many other scientific evidences prove that the universe came into being suddenlly.  If it had a beginning, then it needs a cause as well.  What is sufficient to bring all time, space, matter, and energy into existence? Only GOD.  (Read Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-4)

We can also see that the Universe is incredibly designed for human life to exist on earth.  If the laws of nature were slightly different, such as gravity or the speed of light, no complex life would be possible.  Just like Goldilocks and the porridge that she ate, this universe's laws are “just right” for human life to exist. Why? Because GOD designed them “just right” for us to be here.

We can also look through the microscope and see GOD’s signature very clearly.  Each of the 50 trillion cells in your body is a nano-scale “spaceship” of complexity.  Each cell contains a master computer system within it, and thousands of molecular machines which all work together as a micro-sized automated factory, every minute of every day.

Your DNA is also masterpiece of evidence for GOD’s existence.  It is the most densely packed information system in the universe.  It is the genetic blueprint for everything in your physical body from your eye color, size of your ears, down to your brain’s construction.  The DNA molecule is over 3 billion pairs long, and is an information storage and retrieval system, that has automatic error-correcting features. It is far too complicated for us to design ourselves.

Inside your DNA there is an actual language that has been discovered.  This language is mathematical and digital.  Doesn’t every language need a Linguist to design it?  How is it possible that every cell of every creature on earth “speaks” the same DNA language? They all were created by GOD. (Read Psalm 8 and Psalm 139)

The Lord has left such strong evidence all around us, in order that we would seek Him, find Him, and come into a relationship with Christ the Lord.  Look for His fingerprints in the world today…and share them with those around you as well!

Comment

Jason Dennett

Jason Dennett is the teaching pastor at Calvary Chapel Puerto Rico. You can listen to Pastor Jason on "Comfort Ye My People" radio program Mon - Fri @ 4:00pm on WBMJ am 1190 San Juan // WIVV am 1370 Vieques // WCGB am 1060 Juana Diaz and Ponce