Power

I am a “mind guy”.  I like to think things through and arrive at logical conclusions.

Jesus was a “mind guy”, too.  He could debate with the religious authorities of his day and defeat them with his words.

But, he was much more than that.  He was God and he demonstrated God’s power.

Jesus’ words certainly had a great effect on his listeners.  But they were particularly persuasive when they were accompanied by his works of healing and miracles.  And his life.

Last night, I was reading Paul’s words in I Corinthians 4:20: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”

That hit me between the eyes.  I like talking and discussing, but I am not so good at venturing beyond my comfort zone and relying on God’s power.

Paul was dealing with people who had turned away from him and apparently felt that they knew more about God than he did.  So, he said he would challenge them when he saw them to see if their faith was real, proven by living in the power of God.

From what Paul says elsewhere, he views power flowing from our complete commitment to God.  We receive power from the Holy Spirit when we confess that we are weak and we need his strength.  Paul talks of power to live a godly life and to be instruments of signs and wonders.

There is no doubt that Paul lived a life of power.  He told the Corinthians it was not his persuasive words but God’s power that brought people to the Lord.

In Romans 15:18-19, he said that people came to the Lord through preaching and signs and wonders.  It was the power of the Holy Spirit at work.

I realize that I have spent most of my Christian life believing that if I spoke the right words that people could be changed – and circumstances altered.  Paul says talking won’t do it.  I need the power of God at work in me.

This is a message of hope.  The emphasis is on God, not me.  God can do what I can’t do.

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