For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)
Relate: I was reading through today’s scripture, and when I came to Romans 1:16 I had to stop and pause. Sometimes I hear a verse so many times that it loses its impact. It loses its poignancy. I’ve memorized it as “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” Reading it in a different translation helped me shift my focus a little bit.
Normally when I think of the power of God, I’m either thinking in cosmic terms (He rolls back the stars like a curtain) or I’m thinking the detail of creation (I am fearfully and wonderfully made). No message brings them together like Louie Giglio’s How Great Is Our God message and I would encourage you, when you have the time to watch it.
There is plenty, if I were to walk through scripture that illustrates the power of God. There is the awesomeness of creation, everything we see and know spoken into existence with a word. There is the flood where He pretty much washed the world clean while sparing and protecting a remnant of people and animals with which to begin again. The gods and powers of Egypt were put to shame through the ten plagues. There is the fire that fell to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah, and the fire that fall on a water drenched altar during Elijah’s showdown with the false prophets. There is the victory of a young boy over the greatest and biggest warrior of the age with nothing but a sling and a stone all because that boy was not ashamed and cried out, “Who dares defy the armies of the living God?” There was the time Isaiah said pretty much the same thing and that night 185,000 Assyrians died in their sleep.
I could look at Jesus and his miracles. He cured lepers, opened blind eyes, turned water to wine, and fed thousands, more than once, with just one little boy’s lunch. There wasn’t a funeral that he crashed which didn’t turn into a party when He made Himself known. He even cut his own visit to the grave short, skipping out before the women could give him the proper burial he deserved.
I could skip ahead to Revelation. There’s the bowls, trumpets, and seals. There are the four and twenty elders so overwhelmed by the glory of God they never stop singing “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come.” He is coming on a white horse with the hosts of heaven to bring an end to the false powers of this world. One day each knee will bow and all of us will have to come before Him for judgment.
React: There is so much to share when talking about the greatness and power of God. It is so hard to force myself to pull up short when talking about the greatness and power of God at work. But as awesome and amazing as all that is, for me it is not when God was at His greatest. For me God at His greatest goes back to when I was a little boy sitting on the couch in my living room. It is one of my earliest memories, and I remember wondering if Jesus knew He was God when He was a kid. That naturally got me wondering if, maybe, I was God like Jesus but didn’t know it yet. Then I realized that, no, that isn’t possible because I had done bad things and that was why I needed Jesus. That was why I had asked Him into my heart.
Sometime before that day, in a Sunday School class with Mrs Wojack’s class, I had prayed the sinner’s prayer. I’m sure I prayed it with all the sincerity a three year old could muster. But for me, I look to that moment on the couch in Greece NY as the moment when the power of God at work saving everyone who believes, saved me. That was when God was at His greatest. When was He at His greatest in your life? Has that day not yet come? Could today be that day?
God, Your power and glory and greatness and majesty are so far beyond description. You are so worthy of everything I have and so much more. No words, no song, no story will ever be adequate to show how good You are. But let me offer up my words, as feeble as they are. Let me sing my song, as poor as it might sound. Let me never be ashamed to tell my story, because it is not mine to keep. Let me tell Your story, because nothing else can stir the soul like You.