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Dear Partner,

Eph 3:20-21   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

All believers know that God can do well anything! Our minds have no problem with the knowledge that the heavens are the work of His fingers, for example. Not only in nature do we see the work of the all-powerful God, but also we see Him working through His Son Jesus Christ in the four gospels. Jesus said, "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." We marvel as we see Jesus cast out devils, open the eyes of the blind, cure all manner of diseases, stop storms, walk on water, raise the dead, cause the maimed to be made whole on and on we see the working of the all-powerful God through His Son Jesus.

But where our minds draw the line of unbelief is in the portion of Eph 3:20 that I have underlined: "According to the power that worketh in us!" Here is where unbelief begins to lay hold of our faith to take it captive. "The power that worketh in us?" We know God has power. We know He worked that power through His Son Jesus. We know He also worked that power through the first apostles. But Paul is writing this letter to a group of simple believers, a church full of normal Christians in Ephesus. A church of normal believers like us. Most likely these were what we would call "lay" people; believers who had normal occupations such as butcher, baker, and candlestick maker. What does Paul mean when He is referring to the "power that works in us" being exceeding abundantly more than we could ask or even think?

While I was meditating on these things while praying softly in the Spirit one day, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper the passage from Mark 4:28 where Jesus was teaching on how the Kingdom of God functions. I heard the phrase, "First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear." Now this next part may seem a little silly to some of you, but it blossomed my understanding in a tremendous way.

Almost in a cartoon format, I saw this elderly, little corn seed walking up slowly to look at a full-grown stalk of corn that was ripe for harvest. In the cartoon, this little grandpa corn seed was leaning on his tiny cane and looking straight up trying to see the top of the corn stalk. In Oklahoma I've often seen corn stalks grow as high as seven feet tall. To the grandpa corn seed, that would have been as tall as the Empire State Building is to a human. He is marveling at this giant, green, magnificent plant and suddenly a voice whispers, "That came out of you."

Grandpa corn seed protests, "No way! No way did that come out of me. It doesn't even look like me. I'm sort of yellow-white in color and that plant is green. And besides that, look at the size of it. Even when I was in my prime I was never larger than a quarter of an inch square. This plant is enormous. Nothing so huge could have ever come out of me. Why I couldn't even have imagined or thought of such a colossal thing."

But the gentle voice continues speaking, "It is true that in your own ability you could never have produced anything so wonderful. But God places an image on the inside of every seed that is bigger than the seed itself. All that is required is that the husk dies in order that the image can be released into the earth. The earth brings forth the image of itself. First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. You allowed the all-powerful God to work His power in you to bring forth the image."

Gal 2:20   I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Each of us is like a seed. Like Paul we can all say, "Christ lives in me." We ourselves are like the husk of the seed. But on the inside we bear the very "image" of Christ! Christ "in us" is way bigger than "us!" That's why the things He wants to do "through" us usually looks impossible to the natural man. Why do they look impossible? Because in our own strength they ARE impossible! My good friend, Pastor LaRue Adkinson says, "Gary, God has never yet called me to do anything I could afford!" Every time all I can add is "Amen! I know what you mean." But just because it looks impossible, is it? No! Christ lives in us! The image within the seed is way bigger than the seed itself. We can do all things "through Christ!"

I was reviewing some of the reports generated by our web site a few days ago. I saw one statistic that illustrated this point very well. I noticed that on one particular day in April, we had more than 900 "hits" at the audio teaching section of the web site. That means I "preached" more than 900 times IN A SINGLE DAY! Not only that, but I preached in many nations THAT SAME DAY because people all over the world were listening to those audio lessons.

How could I have ever even "thought" of such a thing in those early days after I first got saved? I was just a guy holding down a normal job just like anybody else. God has done exceeding, abundantly above all that I ever would have asked or even thought of then. How has it happened? By praying, listening, and obeying one little step at a time. In my own strength, I feel as useless as the little grandpa corn seed leaning on his cane. But by never saying, "That's impossible," the husk continues to die and the image of God (Christ in me) continues to grow bigger and bigger. "THE BEST IS YET TO COME!"

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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