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The Intersection of Love and Power

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At Vertical Church in Maple Grove, we've been digging into Ephesians 3:14-21 over the past 3-4 weeks. There are two unbelievable, earth-shattering truths in this passage.
First, there's the life-changing truth that God loves us with a love that is infinitely greater than our desperate need to be loved. Our need to be loved is beyond words; hard to describe and yet clearly felt and known and longed for internally. 
The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 3 that God's love is so grand that no human can fully understand it with human senses or human intelligence. God's love can't be measured and yet it is able to satisfy our inner need to experience perfect love. 
Think about it. 
The height of God's love is able to take us to heavenly places. The depth of God's love is able to rescue us from the greatest darkness. The width of God's love is able to forgive the worst of sinners. The length of God's love is able to to last for all of eternity. 
The love of God is more valuable and insanely more necessary than you could ever know. 
Second, there's also the power of God. The power of God is more, far more, abundant than we could ever think or ask. It's not possible for us to even imagine how powerful is the power of the powerful ability of God. 
God's power is limitless. 
And thankfully, God's ability to be powerful in our lives doesn't depend upon what we think about God's power. It doesn't depend on our intelligence. If we can't fully grasp, intellectually, how much God can do it doesn't stop God from doing stuff, great stuff. 
God's ability also doesn't depend upon our imagination, our creativity. If you can't begin to imagine how great God's power could be in your life, that's okay. You could never fully imagine it anyway. 
Lastly, even if you don't personally ask the Lord to fulfill all the great possibilities in your life, God is remarkably still able to do immeasurable things. Why? It's because the greatness of God's power doesn't depend upon your will but His will. 
As Christians, we live at the intersection of LOVE and POWER every single moment of our lives. We are given a love that is all-satisfying and we are influenced and changed and victorious because of power that is limitless. 
So, stretch the limits. Remove boundaries. Choose to starve the doubts and feed the possibilities. God is able!
You Are Loved!
Pastor Brent 
Part of the Into the Depths series.
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

The Strangest, Greatest Gift

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What's the strangest gift someone ever gave you? I'll never forget the anticipation I had opening a present from my aunt after my brother had first opened his. His was a brand-new Chicago Bears winter hat. It was special. He immediately placed it on his head as if it were a trophy of sorts.
My gift was going to be just as good, maybe even better. After all, I was older and I was quite sure I loved the Bears more than my brother at the time. I ripped open the present and lo and behold...what?? A cardboard tube full of cheese puffs?! You've got to be kidding me. Did she just pull this out of her pantry as she realized there were two boys and not just one walking up the front steps?
My brother laughed. I was disappointed. It was so strange. 
God sometimes gives the strangest gifts as well. One of the strangest and yet greatest gifts He gives to His children is REPENTANCE. 
Weird, huh?I No, I know. 
It's true, though. Repentance is a special gift from Heaven. At first it doesn't appear to be, right? I mean, when God clearly shows us an area in which we've been falling short it can really hurt when we finally see it. 
Hear me out on this for a moment. So, you've been living with this pattern of sinful behavior for a while but you don't see it. You're blind to it. It's possible that others see it, or are maybe even being negatively affected by your sinful pattern. Either way, it hasn't been good. 
One day, though, God opens your eyes to the sin. Ouch! Oh wow. Really? This is me? This is what I do? This hurts. 
Then, there's the potential flood of guilt and shame that rush through our spiritual veins. It hurts!
How could this be a gift? It seems so strange. Well, it's one of the greatest gifts God can give us because he's showing us He has something better for us. He's ready for us to move beyond the sin that's hurting us (and possibly others) to something better. It's God wanting to give us new life. 
What's repentance then? Repentance is simply a turning away from something that's not right and toward a godliness that is infinitely right. It's a decision to move toward deeper righteousness. And it becomes a gift when we see our sin, agree with God that it's wrong, grieve the fact that our sin grieves a holy God, make a decision to change our attitude or behavior or whatever, and then sink into the grace and mercy of God for forgiveness, renewal, and change. 
If we were to attempt to give a synonymous meaning to the word and concept of repentance it would be SURRENDER. And surrendering to the Lord every single day is a gift that knows no limits. Surrendering is the secret to new life and new direction. 
So, surrender right now. Do it. God's been working on some area of your life. He always is. Agree with Him and watch Him work!
You are Loved!
Part of the Into the Depths Series
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

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