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A Holy Way to Handle Power

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When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick…So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. (Luke 9:1, 6)

Cooperating with the Process

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We’ve lived in Colorado now for more than twenty years, but I’ve never really learned to snowboard. I mean, I’ve tried. But it was always a messy, hazardous, hesitant affair. Like a dog on roller skates. There wasn’t a lot of joy in it for me. I was tense, apprehensive. My basic problem was this: I couldn’t get myself to commit, to lean into it. You have to lean forward; you have to lean down slope. If you fight that, you end up constantly battling gravity and balance and the downward pull of things.

The Ifs

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Our life of faith is uncertain, but we can be expectant of good. Because we belong to God, we can rest in knowing his promises to us are true and he is faithful. It’s not a question of if God is going to show up but how and when. It is not a question of if he is going to move on our behalf but how he will. It isn’t even a question of if he is going to continue pursuing and wooing us deeper into his heart filled with affection for us but if we will recognize him. We can live with joyful uncertainty and expectancy. There are no ifs with God. The only ifs relate to us. 

The Stream of Healing

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For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them. (Matt. 13:15)

The Brilliant Truth

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And he is still doing it. Jesus is alive today and living his life through you. Remember, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Paul says the whole mystery of the gospel comes down to this: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

The Only Safety Net That Will Hold

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We have fears below the surface that we don’t consciously know we have. God wants us to be free of them. How can we be? Well, he has made a way for us. It is the way of his love. His perfect love for us casts out all fear.

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.… The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:16–18 NIV 2011)

A Shared Loneliness

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Jesus enjoyed people. Not everyone does, you know. Many stories find him feasting with a rowdy crowd. He invited twelve men to spend day and night with him for three years. His longing for companionship intensifies to a crescendo in Gethsemane: “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him. . . . ‘Stay here and keep watch with me’” (Matt. 26:37–38). Don’t leave me alone, not now. How urgently human. Yes, Jesus knew loneliness. He’s not pretending.

Restored Holiness

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I think if we could recover a vision of what holiness actually is, we would be absolutely captured by it. I think we would see it as not only completely desirable, but attainable as well. King David was a man who knew well his character flaws, felt the anguish of regret, spent many a tormented night wrestling with his failings. And yet, in Psalm 119, David wrote this:

“I run in the path of your commands, because you have set my heart free.”

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