The Inescapable power of choice

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”

The gospel of power

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”

The power to grow

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”

Delivered out of the power of darkness

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”

Look to Jesus Christ

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”

The Power of the resurrection in daily life

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”

Power in the epistle of James

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”

The God who does nothing

“You would have no power over me at all unless it were not given you from above” (John 19:11)

Imagine having power to create a universe with billions of galaxies, and more billions of stars within, planets around those stars, and – at least in essence – the power to duplicate even your own self.

This is the awesome power of God (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6); His strength is unlimited (Job 36:22). Continue reading “The God who does nothing”

When Jesus gagged a demon

“Hold thy peace, and come out of him” (Luke 4:35)

In the biblical text, demonic presence coincides almost exclusively with the ministry of Christ. Like a meteor grazing the atmosphere, it explodes on the scene and just as quickly fades away. I concur with those who assert, if only on the swiftness and coincidental nature of their presence, that they were allowed by God to appear during the life of Christ to manifest his glory and power. Continue reading “When Jesus gagged a demon”

Careful! Human words radiate power

Words radiate power. Divine words emanate limitless power. God spoke creation into existence. Scripture transforms, motivates, and equips. His words are words of human comprehension that engage the human mind and soul. Jesus has “the words of eternal life” John 6.68.

The popular notion that words mean nothing is bunk. Human words also effect great consequences. The reason words multiply today is not only because more means are available, but because, down deep, people know the power of words and want to exercise that power. Continue reading “Careful! Human words radiate power”