Once, there was a foolish young boy named Brad. (That's me.) One day, he decided to take a three inch tube, cut open a bunch of shotgun shells, and pour and pack the powder into the tube. He then tightly taped a top onto the tube, buried it halfway in his front yard, added a fuse, and lit it. The ensuing explosion was so loud that his mom heard it from the inside of the house while taking a shower. She came out in a towel in a panic, and when she ascertained what happened, the proper beating commenced.
As an idiotic kid, I completely under-estimated the power of gunpowder. My goal was simply to create a small hole and make a loud explosion, not rattle the windows of nearby homes and get beat by mom. (If you have a problem with a deserved whipping, let me say that this was so stupid that Social Services came over and beat me.)
Lately, Romans 1:16 has been burning in my mind and heart. In it, Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God." You probably have this memorized already, but I beg you to rethink it. Say this to yourself, "The gospel is the power of God." Let me expand on this thought.
When I think of the power of God, I think of earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. I think of stars and black holes and gravity and supernovas and a universe larger and more complex than our collective imaginations. I think of DNA and RNA and microbes and ants the 5 million bugs that live in a spoonful of bayou water. I think of Jesus Christ holding all of creation together by His power. Ashamedly, I do not think of the gospel in this category, but I am trying to learn to.
The gospel is so simple. Paul defines it in a few words in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. He writes, "For I delivered to you of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriputres, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day." Don't blink; you just saw the power of God. Here it is again in bullet point:
1. Jesus Christ died for our sins.
2. Jesus was raised from the dead.
If you believe this, and if you confess Jesus as Lord with your mouth, you will be saved. If you have been saved, you have known part of the power of God. When you are fully glorified, you will know it better.
The gospel is the power of God for salvation. The hardest, darkest, most depressive heart can be and has been changed by those two simple points. The gospel is the power of God is not to blow up, it is the power to put back together. Any juvenile can blow something up; it takes a miracle to put it back together. That's what the gospel does. It restores broken lives.
When you witness to the glory of a risen Christ, do you really believe that the dead bones to which you speak can live through this simple message? Does the darkness of culture and sin and tradgedy make you doubt the power of God? I wrestle with this every day. Sometimes, the hardness of the heart seems as strong as diamond, and the ears on which the gospel falls seem hopelessly deaf. I do well to remind myself: This is the power of God. This is the power of God.
So meditate on this truth. I believe that it will make you a more shamless witness. Sow the seed that has never failed, and you will reap a harvest that is guaranteed.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago