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Friday, March 30, 2007
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"The True Source Of Power"
"Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" (Pontius Pilate in John 19:10). "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18).
Already here in America we are getting into the next presidential election campaign, although it's still over 18 months away! There's lots of chatter concerning greatness and power. Claims of achievement and promises are made (usually outlandish) by our political leaders.
They should heed the Apostle Paul's words to, "not think of yourself more highly than you ought" (Romans 12:3). Now that's good, solid counsel for all of us isn't it? One of the sad elements of this power confusion in our world is that many people look to government as their source of blessings rather than to God from whom all blessings flow.
Pilate needed a good dose of reality check when he boasted about his great power. This spineless man speaks to the eternal Son of God: "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Like many before him and many since he learned the hard way about how powerless he actually was when he faced eternal judgment.
Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the Babylonian Empire, was walking on the roof of his palace as he bragged, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30). Daniel 4:31ff reveals how Nebuchadnezzar was put in his proper place. And finally Herod gloated when he heard the people proclaim praise toward him: "This is the voice of a god, not of a man" (Acts 12:22). Failing to immediately give glory to God, "an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died" (v. 23).
Jesus did not let Pilate's proud claim to power stand unchallenged: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above" (John 19:11). In Acts 4 the disciples are facing persecution and utter a wonderful prayer with a stunning truth: "Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen" (Acts 4:27,28).
Does verse 28 capture your attention? The disciples recognized that God was the ultimate source of blessing, authority and power, even when facing confusing or troubling circumstances. We too should recognize that God at times uses undesirable circumstances and the very people who seek to harm us in carrying out his overall plan in our lives. And that is a tremendous key to finding peace and living the abundant life. Remember, no power or force on earth exceeds the almighty power of the One who said, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, while we were powerless, You sent Jesus at just the right time to die for the ungodly. Though we were unworthy and helpless the sacrificial death of Christ has given us great worth and hope in this life and the life beyond. Our hearts are deeply touched as we focus on the account of Christ's suffering and death. What consolation it brings to know that nothing happened apart from Your will and that You released a reservoir of mercy to Christ in the midst of His agony and suffering. You also grant us unending mercy for our suffering in this life. We stand not in our own power for that would be futile, but we stand in the power of Christ alone! Amen.
What better song to suggest today than the classic hymn "All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name"
This morning I helped our neighbors and very good friends, Jesse and Anna, move to the eastern part of the county. We are sure going to miss them though we will continue to see them from time to time!
(We apologize for the lateness of our message today. Due to helping our neighbors move as well as dealing with significant technical difficulties we're much later than usual!)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
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