The Lord warns us that we need to beware of hypocrisy. What we are within will be made manifest to others. It is impossible for any of us to hide our true character forever. Eventually, God will bring all things hidden out into the open. The heart of the hypocrite is open to the Lord, and believers are no different. Our hearts, for good or for bad, are open to him as well. The implication Luke 12:1-12 is that the inner realm is much stronger than that of the outer. We cannot hide who we are. In Matthew 10:27, it is the Jesus who spoke in darkness, and what he said had to be proclaimed in the light. In Luke 12:3, it is we who speak in the darkness, and God, for honor or dishonor, will bring that to light as well. What the Lord whispers in our ears will be made public, and what we whisper in the ear of others cannot be hid. It must be made public. There is a power at work here that we are unable to see, but we are able to witness its effect. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Power of God
If, as Peter claims in 1Peter 1:4, our inheritance is kept safe by God in heaven, what can be said of the lives we live in the present? Our future is secure, but what practical good does that have for us in the present? Peter clams that we, who will inherit immortality, are also presently protected by the power of God (1Peter 1:5). In other words, we are not left alone to face the world by ourselves. Our protection is made effectual through faith. Our faith in God—trusting him—permits him to act on our behalf. Our free will is important to God, so he will not act for us, unless we put our trust in the fact that he cares and will use his almighty power to help us. Read the rest of this entry »
Up until Jesus entered Peter’s boat, Luke shows us how men failed Jesus. They seemed to want to control him and use him for their own ends, like one would a powerful resource. In Nazareth he was met with unbelief, and when Jesus tried to show them the consequences of their unbelief (Luke 4:23-27), they sought to kill him (Luke 4:28-29). The Lord is not a lifeless commodity or spiritless resource we need to control. Just as we enjoy our freedom, so God enjoys his. He doesn’t force us to choose his way, so we shouldn’t seek to compel God to do our will (viz. “naming it and claiming it”). Our simple trust is all he requires. God must be free to give us a negative reply, if our relationship with him is to go anywhere. Read the rest of this entry »
Often those people who wish to tell us that there is more than one way to God are actually irreligious people. They neither attend any religious service regularly (Christian or otherwise) or show any concern for God and his ways, other than to parrot the claim that more than one road leads to God. It is astonishing that they are taken so seriously. In any other way of life they would be brushed off as ignorant people who have no idea about what they claim. Would a doctor take a stone mason’s remedy for cancer seriously? Would an astronomer take into consideration what a man told him about the moon, simply because the man owned a pair of field glasses? Would the star quarterback on the losing team in the Super Bowl believe what the Monday-morning-quarterbacks claimed went wrong in the game, just before they got into their vans to deliver their company’s goods to the local stores? Read the rest of this entry »
In Acts 19:20 Luke sums up the fifth section of his thesis by saying: “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” It almost seems out of place here before the riot later in the chapter, but it isn’t. Paul’s 3rd recorded missionary journey is not yet complete, but Luke uses what is already said to sum up what turns out to be Paul’s mission to the world in the name of the Kingdom of God as a free man. A glance backward would show us that Luke sums up his entries into his thesis at the conclusion of conflicts—either within the Church (Acts 6:7; 16:5; 19:20) or in respect to the unbelieving community (Acts 9:31; 12:24; 28:30-31). Read the rest of this entry »
I hesitate to bring this subject up, but I feel I must. I believe there is much misunderstanding within Christian circles when we come to the subject of demons. I don’t believe there is one behind every tree to try to cause men to sin. I believe some things attributed to them have to do with something going wrong at birth or some such thing and are perfectly understandable in the natural realm. Most of the evil committed by men result from our own captivity to the flesh. We cannot pass the buck and say: “The devil made me do it!” It just isn’t so. However, there are some things that cannot easily be explained in this manner and one of those matters has to do with territorial expansion as it pertains to the Gospel. Jesus encountered this when he decided to enter into the Decapolis and the one called Legion met him. After he was rebuked the territory welcomed the Gospel, but not immediately. It was after Jesus returned there at a later time.
Another instance occurred on Paul’s first missionary journey when he had to confront the sorcerer in Cyprus. This man was a close advisor to the ruler there, and afterward the governor was very open to Paul’s message. The problem arises in that after the soldier in Christ attacks the enemy, the inevitable counterattack may hurt the Christian workers more than anticipated. In this case Mark left the team not long afterward and returned to Jerusalem. His return evidently sparked a planned effort on the part of the “party of the circumcision” to attack Paul’s ministry. Not everyone involved with helping the enemy is aware of the consequences of his actions. Certainly Mark was not aware of anything he had done would be used against the work of Christ. Indeed, some of the Pharisees involved in the plot would not have acted as they had, if they had known what was transpiring in the spiritual realm. Read the rest of this entry »