Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Monday, July 23, 2012


I sure do hope things are going well for you this summer.  With work and the things that make up life it seems that I have had much less time to blog this year.  Plus, I really do wait on the Lord to prompt me when the time is right.  It's hard for me to believe that I started "Right on the Mark" over two years ago.   I just want to take a moment to say, "thank you" for giving me the opportunity to speak into your life.   I also pray that over this two year period that you and I are better followers of Christ than we were in the summer of 2010.  It's important that we continue to grow in Jesus and not be afraid when God calls many of us to be leaders in the time in which we are living.  May we represent the Lord well.  God bless you!

I decided to start reading the book of Romans this week, but to be completely honest with you I can't seem to get out of chapter one.  That's not because I don't want to, but there was a verse that struck me in a most fascinating way and I can't stop thinking about it, nor do I want to.  It's hit me in a pretty heavy way and  I believe this is one of those "right times" to talk with you again.  This has to do with a power that lies within us that should never be dormant.

.........."concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead."  (Romans 1:3-4)  As I read this my mind immediately jumped to another verse in regards to power that is given.  In Romans that power is found in Christ.  In this other verse the power is found to be in us, but I believe God has been showing me that there is an important connection to the two that is often overlooked,  taken lightly and for granted.  This second verse is found in Ephesians.  "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,.............."

Notice that in both sets of verses that you see the words "power" and "according."  This is very interesting, so stay with me now.   I have felt compelled to really study these two verses this week and one of the things that I was drawn to especially was the word "power."  That same power (dynamis) that declared Jesus to be the Son of God is found to be working, or should be working, in us.  What an amazing thing!  I also find it intriguing that one of the ways this power is described when looking at it in the Hebrew is as a moral power and excellence of soul.   This power is testified to be in Jesus "according to the Spirit of Holiness."  Jesus, operated as a man when He walked the earth.  Even though He walked here in flesh, He walked in complete holiness doing only what He saw the Father do.  Because of that there was a power that was manifested in Him according to the "spirit of holiness."  As we conform ourselves more and more to the likeness of Jesus and as we walk more in holiness, doing only what Jesus did, that verse in Ephesians really becomes alive.  I become so excited when I think of how the same power that testified of Jesus and was given to Him is also available to me.  The world teaches us that if we can obtain power it makes us strong and we can begin to use that power to our advantage.  Jesus, however used that power, not for Himself, but for the benefit of others.  He transformed lives with it.  He loved with it and healed with it and showed people the kingdom of God with it.  Because of this, everyone understood there was something different about  Jesus.  Whether they loved Him or hated Him, people took notice of the man named Jesus and they all recognized that He was to some a Savior and to others a threat.  So how am I doing and how are you doing with this same power that resides in us?  Is it lying dormant?  Sadly, in many Christians I believe it is.  We need to change that.  For the sake of people that need a Savior, we need to change that.  And if others want to view us as a threat, so be it.  If they  feel threatened by the love and goodness of God, let them feel threatened.  In time it might do them some good.

Jesus didn't abuse His power even though He had a whole lot of it.  He was the perfect example of meekness.  Jesus instead was a compelling man to so many.  People were drawn to Christ to find love, forgiveness, healing, peace and answers to life's problems and those are only a few reasons.    I pray that I imitate Jesus to the fullest of my ability.  It's why when I am out even in the stores I try to look people in the eye with the love of Christ.  They need to know that I am part of the solution in these crazy times.  I do not say that in an arrogant way, but in a compassionate  and loving way.  People NEED TO KNOW that you and I are different, the way people knew that Jesus was different.  They need to know that through us, Christ will be their Healer, whether they need healing physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  I want to be so compelling and Christ-like that it can be expected that I can do the things that Jesus did.  After all, it was Jesus who said that we would.  It's in John 14 if you don't believe me.  God certainly can work without us if and when He chooses, but He desires to work "according to the power that works in us.........."

May I be so bold to say that people SHOULD  be able to see Christ in us.  I've wrestled with what I'm about to tell you, but I believe that God keeps telling me to testify of what happens when we become driven to be just like Jesus.  Now I realize that there are days when I fall gravely short, but with God as my witness, I try hard and I try with passion.  I tell you this ONLY to glory in Christ, but recently I have experienced  3 specific times when someone recognized the power of the Spirit working in me.  I will tell you about two of those times.  The other is more of a personal experience with the Lord that will remain in my heart, at least for now.   One day on an errand for work a lady suddenly blurted out asking me, "Are you a pastor or something?   Every time that you come in here there is a presence of peace that comes to me."  This from a woman who often seems to be stressed out and discouraged about life.  The working power of the Holy Spirit was working in me to release a piece of the Kingdom of God to an often troubled woman.   Recently, on another errand for work, I was in a hospital needing a doctor to sign something.  At first she didn't respond to me until she realized why I was there.  She suddenly looked at me and said, "Oh, I thought you were pastoral care."    In both instances I wish they would have just asked, "Are you a follower of Jesus," instead of saying the "pastor" word, but when things like this happen the door suddenly swings wide open for a time to minister to someone.  God will also begin to give you a boldness that will overcome the fear of praying for someone even in public so that you can show the love of Jesus in a non threatening way.

I'll never, ever forget the joy that flooded my soul walking out of a hospital after praying for a pregnant doctor and for the health of her baby right out in the middle of a hallway.  She even allowed me to put my hand on her shoulder as I prayed.   As I was walking out the door,  I very clearly heard the Holy Spirit say to me, "You have no idea of the life that you just released on that floor because of your obedience."  Again, God used the power  that was at work within me.  You see, I've come to EXPECT things like that to happen.  If I take the words of Jesus literally, things like that will happen.  I've also come to EXPECT physical healing to take place when God gives me a chance to pray for someone who needs it. Why else would God grant that opportunity?  In most of the cases I have later heard of a healing, or at least some kind of improvement even if it's minimal.  Not long ago my wife was having some problems with one of her eyes. It was really irritating and would hurt her badly.  It was like it had somehow been scratched.  As I knelt and was praying for her I heard, "Blow on her eye."  That surprised me greatly as it was the first time the Lord instructed me to actually do something physical to someone when praying for them.  Believe me, I sure was glad it was my wife that this happened with.  I've learned to be obedient if I want to see God move.  The only thing that I did differently was that  I asked her to close her eye, but then I breathed on it.  She told me it felt better instantly and never bothered her again.  Remember.................

                           ....."according to the power that works in us......"

Again, please, please, please just know that  I only tell you of these things to encourage you and to spur you on to even greater things in the Lord.  If you haven't yet discovered it, or if you have allowed it to become dormant, you have this power within from the Lord that can even make the difference between life and death for someone.  It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  You and I are a team and we need to be driven for God in bringing His kingdom to earth.   We need to help each other to better understand how to do that.

If you already know of this gift and operate in it, God bless you and keep on keeping on.  Even greater things are yet to come.  I know I am speaking destiny into someone's life right now.  I feel the Holy Spirit confirming that to me, telling me to call that destiny out and into your life.

Let's go do this thing!  Let's take God at His word.  Let us make sure that we are allowing this power within to be operational. Most of all let us be driven for Christ.

Until next time and with much love,
Mark S.