March 27, 2018
1 Corinthians 4:20… For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
I read this verse this morning and thought of something my mom said to me. She said, “Jim, it’s all words. Christianity has been reduced to words.” I must admit; I didn’t know what she meant at the time. Now that I am older, I think I get it. People talk about Christianity; but few live it. They talk about the power of God but leave no room for him to work. People, you and me, don’t have the capacity to make good decisions on our own. That comes as a shock to many. People have a rather elevated opinion of themselves. When you choose love for another over selfish ambition, it is because God has motivated you. That is the power we live with; we will rarely see His mighty power manifested in daily life. Mountains won’t fly into the sea… Men don’t fly… But love will triumph. That is the essence of His kingdom… love expressed. On Sunday afternoon, Karla and I watched a movie, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” It was eye opening. The New Testament writers wrote about persecution and tribulation. I read it and think it was probably tough but the movie showed it with real activities. It was devastating. And Paul was in prison, which was not a quiet place with a television. Much of the persecution came from people. Yet, through it all, Paul told the followers of Jesus to love their enemies. He did not make such statements because of experience, but because Jesus said it. The power of the gospel is its ability to make us act in love, when we want to retaliate. And that changes the world. The world views love as a means to an end. In fact, everything is a means to an end… personal happiness. God views love as an expression of His influence. He loved us with no assurance of our response.
The worldly response, “What’s in it for me?” has led to fake churches and phony Christians. But, in the mix, are also churches that are following Jesus. The congregation responds, “What can we do?” We can’t add to the gospel message, BUT, we can spread it everywhere. Rise up Church and proclaim the gospel. That is the reason we exist.