The power only comes with the truth

Sometimes I think we promote the Gospel like advertising companies promote products. We select our target audience, do some research on what they want, and spin our narrative to match their perceived needs.

While this may be an effective marketing technique, it is entirely ineffective when it comes to the Gospel. Unlike the latest iPhone or breakfast cereal, the good news of Jesus Christ does not need to be adapted based on culture or context, for one key reason: it has the power of God within it.

I think often we forget this, as we look for fancy, eloquent words or clever coercive devices, twisting the message into the most relevantly palatable morsel we can. We forget that God, not us, defines His method of salvation. He has given and empowered ONE Gospel: That Jesus was crucified, according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that He was raised to life again for the forgiveness of sins.

We must be careful never to water down the truth, for it is only the true Gospel that has within it the ‘power of God unto Salvation.’

It is not the words, or the persuasiveness with which they are proclaimed, that saves people; it’s the power of God. So if you want to see results that last, preach the truth that has the power, not what elicits a feel-good or emotive response in the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We all want the power

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There’s this great verse in Philippians 3 where Paul says “ I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection…” If you’re like me, your heart has a similar craving to Paul’s. Oh to truly know Christ in such a deep way that we daily experience the amazing power that flows through Him. A power that not only changes lives but that conquers death.

The idea of this kind of power is intoxicating, and, dare I say, very human.

See, Philippians 3:10 is a verse that, perhaps more than any other in Scripture, I like to leave incomplete. I like to pretend that that’s what it really says. Yes! I want to know Christ. Yes! I want to know the power of his resurrection. Stop.

But the verse doesn’t stop, and it is dangerous for us to pretend that it does. It continues: “…and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

Wow. We all want the power, but let’s be honest, we don’t want it God’s way. God’s way says “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2Cor 12:9). It is in sharing in the sufferings, yes, even in the death of Jesus that we can truly know the power that has been bought through His resurrection.

We must not despise the suffering that God allows in our lives, nor suppose that we can truly know Him or experience His power apart from it.

Chivalry Didn’t Die at the Hand of a Man

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has long been said that chivalry is dead and I wonder, if this is true, who killed it?

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not because men in every city decided that they’d be happier just being jerks. Nope, the first stabs in chivalry’s back came from women who decided they’d be happier being treated like men.

Before I get an onslaught of anger over issues of equality and gender stereotypes, let me say this.: I’m all for equality, but I’m also all for difference. In centuries gone by, chivalry was a man’s way of respecting and honouring this distinction. It was not about his right to exert power; it was about her privilege of receiving service.

For centuries men and women have existed in a harmonious dance of give and take, each serving each other, until (dare I say) the women decided they wanted to do everything themselves. Goodness knows why they’ve felt a sudden need to open their own doors (no-one ever doubted you were capable of it) but somehow it seemed necessary as they hurtled past equality towards power and dominance, leaving emasculated men in their wake.

For the record, I don’t think chivalry is dead (though it is languishing under the pressure of decades of slow strangulation) and I commend the men who uphold it, but I would say this to the women who are lamenting its rarity: Before you cry in disgust that chivalry is dead, make sure you’re acting like a lady.

10 Things the World Needs to Know About the Church

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  1. You can try to squash us, but you will never succeed, because even the gates of Hell will not prevail against us.
  2. You can hurt us, embarrass us, and bring out the worst in us, but you can never take our lives, because they are hid with Christ in God.
  3. You can try to discredit us with academics or human reasoning, but we’ll believe the God who created the brain.
  4. You can accuse us of hypocrisy or the most grievous of sins, but you cannot shame us into hell, because we were never trusting in our own righteousness to keep us out of it.
  5. You can hang around us, and sing with us, be loved by us, and pray with us, but only accepting Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins and the Lord of your life, makes you one of us.
  6. You can despise us and reject us, but you will not surprise us, because it was done to Jesus first.
  7. You can scatter us, but not one who belongs to Jesus will be lost.
  8. You can tell us that our God does not exist, but we know Him in whom we have believed.
  9. You can come to us, and we will embrace you, because despite our unworthiness, Jesus embraced us.
  10. We will not always get it right, but we serve the One who cannot get it wrong.