God’s Unseen Power – In Us

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Our Helplessness vs. God’s Strength

To describe power is like describing the wind: We can’t see it; we can see only the results of it.

You know the power of a train locomotive because you’ve watched it pull dozens of cars filled with heavy black coal. You’re awed by a lion’s massive head and muscular frame because you’ve witnessed its relentless power in pursuing its prey.

You’re also aware how helpless we all are against the power of torrential rains, earthquakes, and hurricanes – even the sun, which is millions of miles away.

While we remain helpless, God not only commands these forces, He created them. David writes in Psalm 50:1 that “the mighty one, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” Isaiah describes God (51:15) as “the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the LORD of hosts is his name.”

Daniel ascribes to God wisdom and power. “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him” (2:20-22).

The Power of Sin

Just as we are helpless against the powers of the earth, so are we helpless against the powers of sin and death, the ultimate consequence of sin (Romans 5:12). In Romans 5:14, Paul writes: “Death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.”

But the power of God is greater than the power of sin. Whenever Jesus confronted Satan’s demons, Jesus won every time (Mark 1:34-34; 5:1-20; 7:24-30). He overcame Satan’s ultimate weapon – death – in His resurrection from the dead. In Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost, he declared that It was impossible for Christ to be held in the power of death (Acts 2:24).

The Power in Us

Through the grace of God, we have access to the unseen power that stills a storm (Mark 4:39) and overcomes death (Romans 5:21). When because of our faith in the power of God over sin and death we are buried in baptism, we also are raised to live a life free from the fear of death (Colossians 2:12).

We have no power over the elements of this earth. We have no power over the destructiveness of sin. But God does.

Each time we feel helpless against an earthquake or a tornado or the withering of crops from drought and heat – let us remember that though we may not be able to overcome those forces, if we’re in Christ, sin and death have no power over us. In that we can have complete confidence.

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God Plays Favorites

In all of God’s creation, which being has been made in His image? Which of His creatures stares in awe at a sunset, laughs at his own jokes, cries while reading a sad story, or suffers from a guilty conscience? To what creature has He given an eternal soul?

When God’s Son came to earth, did He choose to appear as some magnificent animal or other-world super power? No, He came as a small baby placed in a feed trough. He chose to be a human, one of us.

In Psalm 8, David praises God’s majesty, considers the majesty of his heavens, and wonders at the place of honor He has given man.

“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the sea.” Psalm 8:4-8

Even before creation, God knew that, having received the gift of free will, we would sin and thereby sever our relationship with Him (Isaiah 59:1-2). He devised a plan to bring us back to Him: He sent part of the Godhead to live without sin among us, becoming a suitable sin offering for us. In the eloquent words of the apostle Paul:

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8

We are God’s favorite creation. Yet within our number, as Peter preached, “God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Acts 10:34-35 [Emphasis mine.]

And again,

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-15

God wants us all to appreciate and to glorify Him, to accept the honor of being His favorite. In turn, He wants us to place Him before all others. He seeks to be our favorite. (Matthew 22:37)