True Power

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death―that is, the devil―and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

When I was a teen and part of the youth group at the different churches my dad pastored, we often had “get-togethers” at our house. We would enjoy the refreshments prepared by inner-power1my mom and dad and do what teens do best―talk. Eventually Dad would gather us around him in the living room and lead us in some games.

Dad’s favorite game was “Power”. The idea was this; Dad would stand in the middle of the room and say, “Power, power, whose got the power or thinks he has the power let them get up leave the room.” Then he would stand in complete silence. Eventually, someone would stir and start to leave the room. “You don’t have the power,” he would say and the perplexed teenager would head back to his seat amid the giggles of the rest of us.

Someone else would start for the door and Dad would stop them. “You don’t have the power either,” he would declare through a sheepish grin. Eventually he would let someone leave. When this power-seeker was out of view, Dad would shake the hand of one of us. He would then call him back into the room. This youngster would then try to guess whose hand Dad shook. It was always fun, especially when someone figured out the trick and came back in the room smiling and pointed to the person with whom my Dad shook hands. He would look at them proudly and say, “You’ve got the power!”

We would play another round and then another until everyone either figured it out or was told how the trick worked.

That was great fun back then, but the Christian life is anything but a game. If we would walk triumphantly through this sick, fallen world we must understand the true power that’s at our disposal.

The Greek word for “destroy” in Hebrews 2:14 literally means to “to reduce to inactivity”.[1] Jesus said, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” (John 12:31) Notice, Jesus said “Now,” not some time in the distant future, but “Now is the time…”

1 John 3:8 uses the same Greek word for destroy.

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy [to reduce to inactivity] the devil’s work.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man [Adam], how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Jesus] the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:15-19)

And having disarmed the powers and authorities [Satan and his demonic forces], he [Jesus] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

Jesus came to take the power out of Satan’s schemes. He pulled the plug on him and stripped him of the authority that Adam relinquished to him. The satanic forces are much like the Nazis in World War II. Most historians agree that, for all intents and purposes, Germany was defeated on June the 6th 1944—D-Day. This was some 3 years before Germany and Japan actually surrendered, but the Normandy invasion by the allied troops marked the end of fascism in Europe. Yes, the Germans and Japanese continued to fight and wage war but the beginning of the end of their threat of world domination took place that day. In the same way, Satan’s threat of world domination ended at the cross. Furthermore it was finalized on that first Easter morning when Jesus rose from the dead successfully conquering death, Hell and the grave.

Therefore, the Church is currently an occupying army standing on the neck of a defeated enemy, while she advances the mighty Kingdom of God through the preaching of the Gospel and the discipling of nations.

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” —Jesus (Luke 10:19)

Satan has absolutely no authority over the believer. The only authority he has is what we give him. Jesus forced Satan to his knees. (Revelation 1:18) He stripped Satan of all power and dominion. Jesus then gave it back to the decedents of Adam. That’s why he could declare to his disciples, “I have given you authority over the power of the enemy.” There are two different Greek words used in this passage that’s translated power or authority. Yet, the KJV uses the same English word for both of them― power. The first word means “authority”― the right to exercise authority. The second word is “power”— the “ability” to enforce authority.

So, in the literal Greek Jesus is saying, “I have given you authority to advance by trampling over snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the ability of the enemy.” In fact, the only weapon that Satan has left is deception. He must deceive us into conceding defeat to him. However, God’s Word clearly asserts that “…we are more than conquers through Christ!” (Romans 8:37) Wow! Now, that’s what I call true power!

True power, my friend, is found only in Christ and comes to those who are sold-out to him. So, is you’re tired of living a defeated, demoralized life turn it over to Jesus. True power is available. So, why not go for it?

Extra, extra read all about it
Satan lost the war and no doubt it works
This holy power and it’s ours to devour foes
Who come against us ’cause it sends us out
And strong in the spirit
This generation needs to hear it now
And demonstrate with God’s power [2]

[1] Vines Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words Thomas Nelson (August 26, 1996)

[2] People Of God by Carman from his album, Mission 3:16

 

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Chosen

The Mad Preacher

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:25-26 [1]) 

I remember questioning God about a certain nationally known TV ministry. It seemed to me that they were way off the spiritual path and had gotten into some excesses that personally bothered me. Yet as far off that spiritual path as they seemed they were still growing and impacting lives around the world. I was puzzled about this. So I asked God, “Lord, why are you using these people? It seems to me that they’re more interested in putting on a “showbiz” front than they are in reaching souls. Lord, is it just me? Am I the one who’s off base? Am I just being hypercritical? I’ve talked with several…

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Chosen

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:25-26 [1]) 

I remember questioning God about a certain nationally known TV ministry. It seemed to me that they were way off the spiritual path and had gotten into some excesses that personally bothered me. Yet as far off that spiritual path as they seemed they were still growing and impacting lives around the world. I was puzzled about this. So I asked God, “Lord, why are you using these people? It seems to me that they’re more interested in putting on a “showbiz” front than they are in reaching souls. Lord, is it just me? Am I the one who’s off base? Am I just being hypercritical? I’ve talked with several wise men and women of God about this and they feel the same. I don’t understand.”

After posing this question the Lord immediately spoke to me. He reminded me of the words of Jesus in John chapter three. Allow me to paraphrase verse 8, “Like the wind, The Holy Spirit blows wherever he wants.” Jamie Buckingham used to say, “God is God and he’ll do what he bloody well pleases.” Simply put, our understanding of spiritual matters is, at best, finite. We can’t contain the Holy Spirit any more than we can contain the wind. RejectedThe Spirit blows where he wants!

Indeed, he blows where he wants and on whom he wants. Take the woman at the well for example. The twelve Apostles were driven by personal prejudices against Israel’s neighbors the Samaritans. It had caused them to draw some pretty damning conclusions as to where they thought the Holy Spirit would not blow. They concluded that God had completely rejected them. “Surely, the Spirit would not blow on someone in Samaria!” they reasoned. They wanted nothing to do with Samaria and they were certain that God felt the same.  “After all… WE are ‘the chosen’ and naturally God works ONLY through us. It’s that simple.”

However, Jesus wasn’t moved by the prejudices of people. He was moved by the Holy Spirit. He went where the Spirit was blowing. On this particular day the Holy Spirit was blowing on a lonely, broken-hearted, ostracized multiple divorcée. Imagine that; The Spirit of God was blowing on someone who had given up on marriage after five tries and was now shacking up with a man who wasn’t her husband.

Consider this as well; Of all the people that Jesus had spoken to up to that point in his ministry, of all the religious leaders who had demanded of him, “Tell us plainly, are you the Christ?”[2] To whom did Jesus choose, in no uncertain terms, to reveal himself? He chose a lonely Samaritan woman— an outcast among a nation of outcasts. To this nameless woman Jesus revealed that he was the Christ. No, Jesus didn’t choose the religious leaders. He didn’t even choose a Jew. He chose a fallen woman, a societal reject! He chose the one on whom the Spirit was blowing.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

One of the things I’ve learned over the years about our wonderful Lord is that he almost never does things the way we do. God, the Holy Spirit, almost never blows where we think he should or blow on whom we think he should. God is the original “Free Spirit.” He almost always chooses the outcasts— the rejects. He chooses those snubbed by the world and, sadly, by the church as well. It’s the “losers”, the “washouts” whom The Spirit seeks and for that I am most glad. There’s a bunch of us rejects standing by, waiting… waiting for “the wind” to blow.

We do a pretty good job of throwing sticks and stones                                                                   But everyone’s got a closet full of skeleton bones                                                                             No need to tear each other down                                                                                                      ‘Cause we’re all standing here on common ground

If we could love one another                                                                                                                     We could bring Heaven down out of the sky                                                                                           If we could love one another                                                                                                                     We could bring hate to its knees tonight                                                                                  Wouldn’t every future be bright?                                                                                                              If we could love one another                                                                                                                  Love one another right [3]

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, Holy Bible, all scripture quotes are taken from The New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

[2] John 10:24

[3] Love One Another Right by Clay Crosse, from his album, Stained Glass.

 

For Father’s Day: Jesus― an example to Men (The marks of a real man)

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…”

Many years ago I was complaining to the Lord about my wife. He stopped me right in mid sentence and asked me this startling question. “What kind of wife are you?” Before I could respond God continued. He knows how to speak to me in ways I can understand. So he said, “I come home after a long day’s work. All I want to do relax and set and talk with you. But what do you do? You complain about the way life is treating you. You complain about every ache and pain. You don’t have enough money. You need a new car or something else. Then you demand that I do something about it all. I care about you needs and I’m putting things into place. But All I wanted was to fellowship with my dear wife but it seems I can’t do that. In fact, my beloved, you’ve become a real nag!”

I TheBrideofChristTheChurchasked the Lord to forgive me. He did. Then he pointed my direction to Christ as our husband. I know that may be difficult for us men to grasp the ideal of being a wife, but most of us know what it’s like to be a man with a wife. Then God sent me on a scripture search looking for passages showing how Jesus treats us—his bride. Moreover we should follow his example.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” — Jesus (John 13:15)

 What kind of a husband is Jesus?

He’s trustworthy

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)

 He gives his peace to his beloved

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

 He is her burden bearer

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)

He will never abandon her

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

 “… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

 He will gave his life for his beloved

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-28)

In his eyes she is spotless

… and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5: 27)

 He tenderly cares for her

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:11)

 His shows his love and compassion for Children

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)

 He calms the storms in her life

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39)

He deeply loves his friends

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (John 11:5)

He loves and obeys his Father

“… the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31)

He prays for his beloved

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name― the name you gave me― so that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:11)

His is gentle with his beloved

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19) 

Let your gentleness be evident to all. (Philippians 4:5A)

He treats his beloved with respect and honors

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1Peter 3:7) 

He offers her his intimacy

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. (1Coenthians 7:3-4)

He loves his beloved without holding back

Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (John 13:1B)

He loves her with God’s love

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9)

His love for her is unending and will never change

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-36, 38-39)

 He is a servant to his family

“… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

He keeps his promises

Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. (2Peter 3:9A)

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads and granddads!