Tag Archives: power

Trust God to Take Care of the Powers that Be

chick in dcLuke 2:1-4

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” and each day that the Lord allows me to continue serving and studying His Word the more those words come to life. I see God’s purpose in the intricate threads woven through my day, people, conversations, events, all playing their part in the Lord’s purpose for each of us. A different purpose for different people heading to the same place. Heaven.

Prior to Luke 2, it was prophecy… but there in Luke’s telling of the events of the birth of Christ we see prophecy fulfilled and a few notable players that had no intention of helping. He was born at the time when the fourth monarchy was at the height of its glory and was known as a powerful, universal monarchy. It was called ironically (or not) Terraram orbis imperium – The empire of the whole earth. Luke called it “all the world,” and there was scarcely any part of the civilized world that wasn’t dependent on it. I could imagine that being the breeding ground for government arrogance.

Sound familiar? It likely does if you’ve watched the news lately.

Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 2:44) said that this would be the time the Messiah would be born. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

The kings Daniel spoke of were the Kings of the fourth monarchy, those in control in the days of Joseph, Mary and their soon to be Son Jesus, the Son of God Who would reign in the everlasting Kingdom of God. Mary lived in Nazareth, but for God’s prophecy to be fulfilled He needed her in Bethlehem as foretold in the Old Testament book of Micah 5:2 

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

And so it was that the seed would be planted in the mind of Ceasar, let’s tax the world and make everyone return where they came from. Who cares about the hardship on the people, we own them! Bwahahaha. I added that for effect. Ceasar wasn’t a man of God, he was man of his own power… and yet…. Unbeknown to him, God controlled his buttons like a remote control car under the Christmas tree. And for such a time and purpose, the very expectant Mary packed her purse and climbed on board the donkey, and she and her husband returned to Bethlehem and prophecy became the person of Baby Jesus.

The last prophecies to be fulfilled from the Bible are the end time prophecies and the same arrogance of Caesar (who thought himself god) and Herod who feared the baby King Jesus so much that he ordered boys born of that time period to be slain are alive and well today. The political factions of our day believe they are in full control of our fate, they tax and govern with haphazard results and all the while God sits on the throne with the remote, waiting in His time to push the buttons that finish what He started on that Bethlehem night. Although the political players are big in their own mind, it’s no game; it’s serious business. And the obscure people in the scenes of the story that is unfolding, are us! We are God’s people with purpose which is to present the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

Nobody was expecting God to use a little virgin girl to bring the King into the world. So to the little churches up the hills and hollers of West Virginia and other places across the globe, keep on keeping on… you have purpose, and it’s our time. Trust God to take care of the powers that be. He did it with Caesar Augustus, our leadership should be a cinch!

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We Speak of Him

somethin

“Why on earth did You allow that to happen?” A question posed to God on a pretty regular basis with me; especially in the wake of the recent news reports. I don’t even watch the news but it’s so horrific that it’s a part of the conversation in every venue of life. So I’m pondering that question again today… “Why God? What could possibly be the purpose?” We know Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  We know the breakdown of it (all things work) not all things are. All things are not good. When people are born sick, killed in a senseless act of terrorism, there is no good in that. So this morning I ponder again, “Why?”

It took me 3500 years to get it… I guess I’m kind of slow.

Romans 9:17-23

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Three types of news spread like wild fire on a dry windy day.

  1. Tragedy
  2. Miraculous epic events
  3. Absolute lies.

So to Pharaoh God said (to Shari quote it) “I made you who you are, because people would tell your story, even though technically… it’s My story.”

The history of the Exodus and the continual provision for the Jewish Nation of God is an ongoing saga and one that captivates the world. Saved and unsaved alike have a fascination in the lives of Israel because they are the chosen people of God. Their story has been filled with tragedy and miraculous epic events that are worthy of sharing… and in so doing… there are conversation of God.

So what does that have to do with the tragedy of the day in the news?

Read on weary pilgrim…

Vs. 18-23

Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

The news:

  1. Tragedy
    • In tragedy we seek God to make sense of the unimaginable and we speak of Him.
  2. Miraculous epic events
    • In miracles we acknowledge God for the unexplainable and we speak of Him.
  3. Absolute lies
    • God may be unexplainable, but He is most certain undeniable. And we speak of Him.

If the world were rotating in perfect harmony, no sickness, no heartache, no unexplainable or unimaginable events…. Would we seek Him or speak of Him? No. Adam and Eve are proof. So in the heartache of it all, God allows (He does not create the chaos – we do that) but allows it so that we will see the only steadfast controlling factor of the universe is He Who created all. And we’ll speak of Him.

Speak of Him today…

chick encourage 2

That’s What Makes You Strong

CHICK STRONG

James 1:1-4 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Not once have I ever said to a friend going through trouble, “Wow, your life is a mess and this is a reason to party! We should break out the pop and chips because today is a celebration day. You’re in trouble!” Not one time have I said it, it’s absurd is it not?

But James is telling his friends who are facing trials, tribulations and persecutions the likes of which we have never known to celebrate the day. He doesn’t stop there, he at least tells them why; because that’s what makes you strong. There’s a Claire Lynch song that I’ll post below that I love it because the words are powerful

If you love somebody, Then that means you need somebody
And if you need somebody, that’s what makes you weak
But if you know you’re weak, And you know you need someone
O it’s a funny thing, That’s what makes you strong

That’s what makes you strong, That’s what gives you power
That’s what lets the meek come sit beside the King
That’s what lets us smile, In our final hour
That’s what moves our souls, And that’s what makes us sing

That’s what makes us sing! Nobody likes trials, but man alive I love the other side of them. Because it’s there that we discover the provision, the power and the plan of God. It’s there that we’re made stronger through the exercising of our faith muscles. If we never had to depend on God, if we never needed Him, we’d never appreciate Him. The truth of the matter is, in this wicked world, we’re lion bate. Satan is just waiting to devour us. But God’s swoops in, in His supernatural ways and delivers us out of the mouth of the lion and stands us back on safe ground.

Trials prove the Power of God

Who but God could prove to Satan that trials only draw us closer to the Creator, not further away. Satan heaps trouble upon us in hopes of us being angry at our lot in life, but to those of us who know Christ it just causes us to cleave tighter to the Lord knowing that it is He alone that will bring us through.

Trials prove the Plan of God

It is often times through the trials that our course in life changes. Putting us on a path of greatness that we never imagined. Sounds almost like a Hallmark Card, but it’s truth. Often times we’d never even look in a direction for another way out if God hadn’t blocked off the way we were traveling.

Trials prove the Provision of God

The wanting of nothing. When you’ve made it through a real hardship, the illness or death of someone we love, our own health or financial struggles, whatever it is… once you’ve made it through you realize that God truly provides everything we need. And it’s not possible for any person to provide it. He alone is the Giver and Maker of life.

I hope you’ll listen to this Claire Lynch song… she’s a dandy!

The Power of a Name

Tonight my friend Gloria and I will be traveling to the Mountaineer Opry House in Milton, West Virginia to hear Doyle Lawson and Quick Silver. If you’re into the bluegrass genre of music you likely know the name; if you’re not, you’ve deprived yourself of one of life’s greatest treats. Gloria and I joked a few days ago about what we planned to wear hoping not to clash with Brother Doyle (He is a Christian) when we had a photo op, so I told her I’d message him on Facebook and ask. Right now you think I’m Shari the stalker girl… nope, I just like to see how truly personable an artist is. And sure enough Doyle messaged me back, although he wasn’t sure what he was wearin’. So I’m going to try to dress relatively neutral in hopes of getting that perfect pic. My point of this conversation is I’m a fan of Doyle’s but he’s not a fan of Shari, and that’s okay if he never remembers my name because the One who knows my name, never forgets.

Yesterday morning as I was blogging about allowing a past hurt to keep me awake and continue to burden my life another Facebook message popped up from a lady I hardly know. We’re Facebook friends, I’ve met her a time or two, we’ve shared testimonies and she sings beautifully, but other than that I know very little about her, and she knows very little about me. But the message popped up saying “Shari, good morning! I don’t know why, but your FULL name was in my mind when I woke up and I can’t shake it. I am praying for you.”

I was stunned and humbled that God had laid my name on the heart of uncommon friend and so very grateful that she was a faithful servant who hearkened to what He had ask. It served to remind me of how powerful God is and the power in a name.

Jesus told the disciples in Luke 10:20

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

As many things as God has allowed me to do, sing, speak, artistry and so much more, as awesome as those gifts have been to me, they pale in comparison to the fact that my name is written in Heaven. Those gifts may or may not fade someday; but my name is in indelible ink. Nothing can blot it out or cause God to forget that I am His. If you are a child of God, don’t put credence in who you think you are because of what you can do or cannot do. For even the unsaved have great talents and gifts. But the greatest thing of all is that the Creator of the Universe knows your name. “So what,” if Doyle Lawson doesn’t know who Shari Johnson is, He who created Doyle Lawson knows who Shari Johnson is and has my eternity planned with things I cannot even fathom. Man! You thought the bluegrass shindigs were great down here, wait ‘til we get there! Now that’s worth rejoicing in!

You have power in His Name. Are you Ready?

Acts 3:1-16

I shared with my youth over the weekend how it was for me as a young person when I had to stand before my peers and give an oral report. I would absolutely go into hysterical, uncontrollable laughter until my teacher would see that it was futile, give me a mercy grade for my attempt and allow me to return to my seat. So imagine my surprise when God called me to sing and speak! He has such a sense of humor!

When Peter and John arrived at the gate called Beautiful a lame man sat begging, waiting to receive the mercy of provision. I highly doubt he sat in the arrogance of entitlement that many sit in today; he most likely sat in humility for having to rely on others for his livelihood. So imagine his surprise when Peter said in verse 6 ~ “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And then he did! He didn’t just walk, he got leapt up! He went into the temple, leaping and shouting Glory Hallelujah!

The Name of Jesus gave him Mobility

Acts 3:16a  ~ “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong.” He on his own went into the temple. He may have never been in the doors of the temple before, but this time he went in shouting the house down! When God laid it on my heart to sing and speak I had to move on it! I began studying the word of God, making it known that God had called me into this field, because just like the beggar, I was so thankful that I no longer had to  but was now in the service of the Lord. If God has called you to do something you have to get mobile! Start moving on it. Sometimes it happens all at once, but other times it’s a slow process, but get moving!

The Name of Jesus gave him Reliability

Acts 3:16b ~ “Whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness.” Soundness can be defined as reliability. They knew what he was, but now they could see what he is. This man no longer had to depend upon them for sustenance and survival but he could now provide for himself, and so can you! If God has called you to it, He will  walk you through it

The Name of Jesus gave him Ability

Acts 3:16c ~ “in the presence of you all.” There he stood on the porch with Peter and John ministering to the people. I love where it says in Verse 11 says  “the lame man which was healed held Peter and John.”  They didn’t hold him, he held them. He was no longer dependent upon someone to hold him up but he could hold up someone else. The people were in awe at the miracle, but Peter and John quickly reminded them, it’s not the miracle, it’s the Master! Don’t be surprised at what you can do when the Lord’s in it. If He can breathe the very life into our bodies, why are we shocked when He can place ability in them?

All Jesus requires is Availability

The beggar was at the gate ready. Are you?