Sought by Saul, David lived a life on the run. His enemies were powerful and determined to snuff out his life. But David had the only ally that matters. Looking back on the deliverance that God accomplished and the salvation that God won for David, the king of Israel praised the King of all creation.
“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:1-3 ESV).
David describes Jehovah as “my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.” To David, God is a “shield” and a “stronghold.” We have no trouble visualizing those illustrations. We can envision God as a fortress built upon a high mountain. He is impenetrable. “None of those who take refuge in him will be condemned” (Psalm 34:22).
The phrase “the horn of my salvation” is more puzzling to us. Only twice is the phrase found in the Old Testament and both are the words of David (see 2 Samuel 22:3). What does David have in mind? Continue reading “The Horn of my salvation”
Power corrupts. We all know this in the world of mankind, but it’s also true in the garden. Some plant species are just too strong and vigorous to be grown beside the weaker. They become “garden thugs,” and they take over.
This has been painfully obvious to us in the last few weeks, after a deadly storm blew through our town. We all learned a new vocabulary word; “Derecho.” This weather system is as powerful as a tornado, but doesn’t last as long. The derecho rearranged our back yard as it took down a 20-year-old peach tree that shaded much of the eastern property line. Continue reading “Might isn’t right”
As the United States fought the Axis powers in World War II, scientists discovered splitting one of the tiniest particles of matter, an atom of Uranium, would yield enormous power. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was the most powerful explosion known.
Who could have realized splitting something as small as an atom would create such a terrible result? The explosion over Hiroshima killed thousands of people. Another bomb dropped on Nagasaki had the same effect.
There is power in small things. Continue reading “The power of faith”
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV).
This choice, presented thousands of years ago to a nascent nation about to enter an unknown land, is still ours today.
God has always given us choices. We can choose between that which is of God and that which is of the world (Joshua 24:15-22). We can choose the way of faithfulness (Psalm 119:30) or the way of darkness. We can choose the better, timelier things (Luke 10:42) or be allured by lesser, flashier things (Genesis 13:11).
Continue reading “The Inescapable power of choice”
Let us never speak of the requirements of the gospel without speaking, in the same breath, of the power of the gospel, not only to save, but to sustain.
Many in the world are power-seekers, Jeremiah 9.23. It gives them a sense of worth and purpose. From the school-yard bully to the national dictator, not a few want to be the winner of the fighter’s ring. Their glory is the knock-out. Continue reading “The gospel of power”
Spiritual growth and maturity is of concern to most Christians. But, sadly, many do not seem to know what is needed to be able to grow and mature. Where do we find the power that gives us spiritual growth?
When we look at Paul’s prayer for the Christians in Colossae, we discover that spiritual growth was on his mind. He wanted them to grow so that they could live lives that honoured Jesus. Continue reading “The power to grow”
More than 30 years ago, we wrote an evangelistic study which we still use today, among others. In that study, the very first text we teach others is Genesis 1.1-3. A main point of this reading emphasizes God’s power as he created the universe with a word. His power is unlimited. He is more powerful than any other. He is omnipotent.
His power overcomes all others. This is what Paul affirms in a prayer in Colossians 1: Continue reading “Delivered out of the power of darkness”
Jesus Christ is the complete answer of God for the problem and need of mankind. Our problem is not ignorance, which education will solve. Our problem is not poverty, which more robust social programs will eradicate. Our problem is sin. It’s consequence, eternal and spiritual, is separation from God, Isaiah 5.1-2; Colossians 1.21. We cannot now imagine the despair and suffering caused by our rejection of God. No human action will repair that damage. So God sent his Son to pay the price for our sins, 1 Corinthians 6.20. Our Lord declared time and again that he came to save us from ourselves, Luke 19.10. This is the great act of grace on his part, Titus 3.4-7. Continue reading “Look to Jesus Christ”
When Jesus went to the cross, it marked the lowest point in world history. From his disciples’ point of view, the unthinkable had occurred, their Messiah had failed. The question that John’s disciples had asked, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another” (Matthew 11:3 ESV) must have seemed quite prescient. The darkness that covered the earth must have been felt in every heart that believed in this great man.
What seemed like defeat from a human perspective was truly God’s greatest victory. The cross was the fulfillment of prophecy (see Genesis 3:15). While it seemed like Satan had delivered the death blow, it was God’s plan all along (see Revelation 13:8 MLV, YLT), and Jesus always possessed the power to offer up or withhold his life (John 10:17, 18). Like the mystery of the unity of the Jew and Gentile prophesied in the Old Testament, this victory was not seen by man until God revealed it in the resurrection.
Continue reading “The Power of the resurrection in daily life”
It might seem a strange thing to consider the subject of power in the letter of James, since the principal word for it (Greek, dunamis) does not appear in the document at all. But there are other signs of James’s interest.
This servant of the Lord is not interested in power in any pure, static form, but in the effective working of God in a saint’s life. Continue reading “Power in the epistle of James”