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The Word That Changes Everything

 

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Acts 22:12–21

“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

“Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

“When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’

“‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

CONSIDER THIS

This must be one of the most shocking, unlikely stories in all of Scripture. God chose a religious terrorist to be one of the single most important people in the history of the world. God chose a man who hated God’s Son to become his Son’s chief witness. Had Paul been in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’s crucifixion, he would have been at the head of the parade.

Paul is doing his dead-level best to let this angry mob know that he was one of them. He did not have to become a Jew to the Jews. He was a Jew’s Jew. He would have been recognized as a rising star in the movement, a shoo-in candidate for high priest one day. Something so unbelievably impossible happened to Paul that to call it a reversal of course would be ridiculous.

When I think about Paul, a particular phrase comes to mind. It’s a declaration that appears throughout the Bible. It may be one of the most important declarations to get out of the text and written on our hearts and minds. From Abraham and Sarah’s angelic visitors to Jeremiah to Mary to Jesus and on, the declaration rings all the way back to the creation of the world and all the way forward to the present day.

We should create a secret society and forge rings, inscribing this declaration on the inside. Anyone who could witness to the truth of the declaration could join. We need to collect the stories that tell this truth and tell them to one another over and over and over again.

You are wondering what the declaration is, aren’t you? I’m praying it will hit you with fresh force as you read it below.

Okay, here it is . . .

Nothing is impossible with God.

Say it out loud now. Nothing is impossible with God. Do whatever it takes to get this phrase into the vernacular of your everyday life. It is the genetic code of faith. Get in the habit of writing it down anywhere and everywhere. Doodle it. If you are a singer, sing it. Meditate on this declaration when you rise in the morning and when you lie down at night.

How about we bring the phrase down to a single, positive, forward-facing word? It’s the word that changes everything: possible. 

Yes, that word can change everything. 

Now here’s the T-shirt and tattoo design: Impossible. 

THE PRAYER OF TRANSFORMATION

Lord Jesus, I am your witness. I long to be like you. 

I receive your righteousness and release my sinfulness.
I receive your wholeness and release my brokenness.
I receive your fullness and release my emptiness.
I receive your peace and release my anxiety.
I receive your joy and release my despair.
I receive your healing and release my sickness.
I receive your love and release my selfishness.

Come, Holy Spirit, transform my heart, mind, soul, and strength so that my consecration becomes your demonstration; that our lives become your sanctuary. For the glory of God our Father, amen.

THE JOURNAL PROMPTS

What situation have you faced or are you facing or are you aware of that seems impossible with God? Are you ready to strike the first two letters?

THE HYMN

Today we will sing “Only Trust Him” (hymn 506) from our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. Get your copy here. 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. Honestly, I’ve never considered anything impossible with God. What I have lacked in the past was the faith to actually to actually live this out. At one time in my life I considered that the tradition that I’d been raised in was the one true interpretation of Scripture, that all the other guys had it wrong, and therefore avoided interaction with other believers outside of that tradition. Through a series of trials of faith, I came to realize that many of these self imposed barriers were the result of human pride, and were erected by the enemy of our souls to foster disunity within the Body of Christ. A few years back, I prayed that God would lead me to a place where I could experience the fellowship of the Spirit with a diverse community of believers. He has blessed me with that possibility on multiple occasions. Yes, as Jesus once said in response to, “Then who can be saved?” “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19-25b-26)

  2. By “fixing our eyes on Jesus,” “the Righteous One,” and hearing what He says within us we can be witnesses of what we’ve seen and heard. That’s the testimony that overcomes the power of darkness. (See Revelation 12:11.)

    What are you waiting for? Call now on His name. Look now with the eyes of your heart. Listend now with the ears of your spirit. Begin now to be led by His Spirit throughout each day. Resolve right now to ever speak and testify to what you’ve seen and heard the risen Jesus say and do.

    (Leave a reply and testify now. I know that nothing is impossible with God because . . . Complete the sentence.)

    Here’s mine. I know that nothing is impossible with God because He puts thoughts in my mind and when I obey the inner promptings of His still small voice amazing things happen. He recently told me to “Trust more and try less.” Since I’ve been actively seeking to trust and rely on Him no matter what, instead of trying to make what I want to happen, I’ve been experiencing the most inner peace I’ve ever had.

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