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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Power.

It's a stormy end to the year in the East Neuk of Fife, where my wife and I are spending a couple of days with dear friends. Indeed, during a song at the worship service, this morning, all of the lights were suddenly extinguished; the projector cut out; the sound system died; and there was no accompaniment from the keyboard! Yes, the whole village had suffered a power-cut. Even when we returned to our friends' home, there was no electricity - we were glad that they have a wood-burning stove, and a gas cooker!

Power! when it comes to the electrical form thereof we are, it must be admitted, pretty well lost without it. I couldn't have even published this post as, while the battery would have provided adequate power for me to type it up, there was no internet access to enabe me to do anything else.

The written Word of God has a lot to say about power - although not the kind provided by electricity. In a conversation, just a couple of days ago, I was informed that we are all God's children. I had to point out that that is not what the Bible says! In words that were being read in many gatherings of disciples of Jesus just a week ago: "... to all who received Him [Jesus], who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13; emphasis added). In other words, I am not a child of God by nature, but need to experience His power in my life in order that I may be adopted into His family!

In one of the recorded prayers of the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, he utters these words: "Ah Lord God! It is Thou Who hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thy outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for Thee, ... " (Jer 32:17; emphasis added). The God of the Bible is the Creator of all that exists. He is the omnipotent One Who can do anything! (Well, as I pointed out in a post on Feb.3rd, 2008, there are some things that even Almighty God is unable to do! It might be worth your while, as we reach the end of another year, to check out what I posted then!).

Just one more reference. Writing to his son in the faith, the young pastor Timothy, the agèd apostle, Paul, gave these words of advice: "... understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people." (II Tim.3-1-5; emphasis added). Such words are but one of many indications that we are currently living in the end-times. As I look about me I see so much that masquerades as Christianity - but that is totally lacking in any evidence that it is operating in the power of God the Holy Spirit, and bringing glory to the Son.

Power! how important it is. If you want a good Word Study, you could do a lot worse than check out many more of the references to it in God's Word. However, the BIG question is: "Do I know that power of God in my own life?" 

We got by this morning - even if we had to revert to the "low-tech" of hymn books for the final song! I can only speak for myself, but I would not wish to enter 2018 without experiencing something of His power in my life. I trust that all who read this post will be able to say, with Paul, "... I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, ..." (Phil.3:8-10; emphasis added).

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