Monday, January 30, 2006

Firecracker or Dynamite?

Here's a devotional thought that I discovered in my archives today. I wrote it several years ago but the message applies as much today as it ever has...maybe more.

“We preach a dynamite gospel but live a firecracker life.” - source unknown

On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens violently erupted after being dormant for 123 years. Incredible power was unleashed. The cloud of ash literally turned day into night. Communities were virtually immobilized. 26 lakes, 154 miles of trout streams and 195 square miles of wildlife habitat were destroyed. Powerful !!! 1,200 feet were ripped off the top of a 9,700 foot volcano.

From the time dynamite was first produced in 1867 by Alfred Nobel until now, we have witnessed incredible demonstrations of power but we’ve only seen glimpses of what the “real” power behind this universe is like. The truth is that we haven’t begun to comprehend the limitless power of an eternal God. Each year on Easter Sunday we celebrate a display of God’s power when Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. That same power which raised Christ from the grave is now at work in the lives of those who are followers of Jesus. – Ephesians 1:19,20

The apostle Paul declared, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” – Romans 1:16 The same power that raised Jesus can save us from our sins. It is the power of God. The word “power” here, is derived from the Greek work, “dunamis” from which we get our English word, dynamite. Human power is limited but God’s creative and saving power is limitless.

The apostle Paul’s prayer was, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings…“ (Philippians 3:10)

The great preacher from the 19th century, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “If Niagara could suddenly be made to leap upward instead of forever dashing downward from its rocky height, it were not such a miracle as to change the perverse will and raging passions of men. Conversion is a work comparable to the making of a world . . . all other labors are child’s play compared with renewing a right spirit in the fallen nature of man.”

Yes, the gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful, it’s dynamic, it’s life-changing but that same power that transformed us from a sinner to a forgiven, child of God is available to us as Christ’s followers to enable us to live holy, meaningful, fruitful lives.

Too many Christians are sputtering through life when we have the resources to live abundantly.

As Christians, we have the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to equip and enable us to live victoriously. He gives us power to:

FORSAKE our fears.
FLEE the temptations that seek to trip us up.
FACE the trials and disappointments that are a part of everyday living.
FULFIL His calling to be Spirit-filled followers and disciple makers of Jesus Christ.

Like the apostle Paul, we should not be ashamed of the life-changing gospel that transforms mankind but we should also live daily . . . empowered by the Holy Spirit who enables us to live dynamite lives . . . not firecracker ones.


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