Author: Gene Yaws

Are You Living With The Power of The Resurrection?

Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? – Luke 24:5 The angels at the tomb spoke these words to Mary Magdalene as she was going to prepare Jesus’ body.  In a moment with a single sentence, her world was fully transformed. The resurrection is the very foundation of our faith and source of our salvation. Without it, Jesus was just a man.  But, when Jesus was brought from death to life by the resurrection power of God within him, the world changed in an instant. Too often, we who have experienced the transformative power of God in our lives forget that this resurrection power dwells within us on a daily basis.  This resurrection power breaks chains of addiction, hopelessness, depression, anger and every attack of the enemy that seeks to place us back in the very bondage from which we have been delivered.   Just as this power restored Jesus from death to life it restores our life from one of defeat to victory.  When we sing, “I’m no longer a slave …

Fight Human Nature And Embrace Compassion

Recently, a friend asked me a very poignant question. He wanted to know what I felt was Jesus’ most “Jesus” moment.  I knew immediately what he meant; what moment of Jesus’ life and ministry spoke to me the most. His answer was Jesus showing compassion to the adulterous woman and challenging those who were judging her to throw the first stone if they were without sin (see John 8:1-11). I have always loved the side of Jesus that challenged the established, religious leaders.  As He was extending grace to the sinner, He was scolding and educating the hypocritical aristocracy. I thought my friend had chosen his answer wisely! My answer came to me almost immediately.  When Jesus was hanging on the cross, suspended between Heaven and Earth, life and death, He looked down in His moment of greatest agony, upon the very source of His pain, and uttered “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:42).  Jesus possessed all the power in the universe.  With a word from His lips, a legion of angels would have come to His …

This Week For Sunday: Limiting God

I’m not a man, I cannot lie, I know the plans, for your life, So, I’m asking you to dream again, believe again… And take the limits off of me… No, I’m not a man, I cannot lie, Know the plans I have for you, they’re my design, So, I’m asking you to hope again and trust again, And take the limits off of me… I love this beautiful and compelling song by Israel Houghton.  It is written and sung from God’s perspective imploring us to “Release him in our lives to accomplish what he has promised.”  It is a sobering thought that we can actually limit God’s plan in our lives by our attitude.  If we give way to fear, doubt, complacency or apathy in our lives, we “bind” the Lord’s ability to work in us and for us.  It is basically impossible to reach our potential when we allow our lives to be governed by any of these emotions. The Lord constantly reminds us that as daunting as life can be sometimes, He holds our present …

This Week For Sunday

About a month ago I was made aware of an opportunity that I had been waiting for since Shona and I relocated here 2 ½ years ago.  We came here because Shona was recruited by Southwire for a position that was very exciting and one she absolutely loves!  I left a position that I loved and miss very much.  God was faithful and supplied a job here for me, but my eyes and ears were open for an opportunity to resume the career I had left and was passionate about.  And…here it was!!!! It was perfect; the desired qualifications were a spot-on match for my experience.  In fact, it read like they had written it based on my resume.  I just knew this was what God had for me and I couldn’t wait!  Except one small detail: it didn’t happen.  A “perfect” resume, glowing letters of recommendation, and the kind efforts of local VIPs on my behalf, and I didn’t even get an interview.  “What’s up with that, God?” I have been referred to by friends as …

This Week For Sunday

In 1871 Horatio Spafford, a prominent Chicago lawyer, had recently lost his two-year old son. Still reeling from this emotional weight, He went from affluent to impoverished overnight, as he saw all of his real estate holdings consumed in the great Chicago fire.  Two years later, still suffering from the loss of his son, he managed to recoup enough of his financial losses to book ship passage for him and his family to England in an attempt to ease the family’s anguish. At the last minute, emergency business related to the Chicago fire forced him to delay his travels. Since the tickets had already been purchased he sent his family ahead with a promise to join them shortly.  The ship was just over halfway across the Atlantic when it was struck by another vessel and sank. Spafford lost all four of his daughters in that maritime disaster (ages eleven, nine, five and two).  Only his wife survived.  He immediately booked passage to join his grieving wife on the other side of the Atlantic.  As his ship …

This Week For Sunday

Schedules get crazy during the holidays.  Due to vacation, commitments, and general holiday chaos, I had to miss six out of seven weeks at Southern Hills.  I was surprised at how much this time away from my SoHill family affected me.  I felt this general malaise in my spirit that I really couldn’t put my finger on.  I didn’t go on a crime spree and I didn’t kick my dog, but there was this heaviness that I could feel and a difference that was quite tangible.  Sometimes “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone” is very true!  And time away from God’s body showed me how vitally important it is to my spiritual walk.   We receive spiritual covering and correction by listening to God’s message for us.  It challenges us and motivates us.  Sometimes it holds our feet to the fire, but it is through the fire that we are shaped and molded. Spending time with our fellow believers provides us with the connection we need to take the next step the Lord …

This Week For Sunday

 A couple weeks ago, my wife Shona and I took our three year old, Aidan, to Disney World.  It was so much fun to see his enthusiasm, excitement and passion for Mickey and all his friends, especially at the Character Meet and Greets.  As we stood in line, getting closer, the excitement on his face built and then he would joyously run into the arms of his favorite characters. As parents, we live for moments like these ourselves, moments when our child will melt into our arms and embrace us with their entire little being.  In Mark and Luke, Jesus says we should receive the kingdom of God as little children.  I also believe this is the way God wants us to worship Him; to just throw ourselves wholly into Him and embrace His holiness, goodness and limitless love for us.  When a child embraces her parent like this, she feels sheltered, protected and unconditionally loved.  This is exactly what we feel when we engage in worship like this as well.  We can feel our fears melt away.  …

This Week For Sunday

What is the absolute lowest point that you have ever fallen? For me, it was nearly eight years ago. It seems like yesterday… and like a lifetime ago.  Through selfish, sinful decisions and actions, I lost everything; a marriage, a home, a job and virtually every person I considered a friend… all gone. I remember that morning, pulling out of the driveway of my home for the last time, not knowing where I was headed. I remember thinking, “How did I get here?”  I was totally lost, defeated, lonely and scared.  In desperation, I turned back to the faith of my childhood and early adult years.  And there, at the foot of the cross, God’s power began a work in my life. I brought brokenness and sin to the cross, and God brought grace and restoration.  God showed me that His mercy and love are FAR greater than His wrath.  I deserved nothing, but He offered me everything.  Through the hope I found at the cross, I learned that there is no depth that our sin can take us to that God’s …