THE POWER OF GOD
"For indeed Jews as for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles Foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and wisdom of God."
In the movie, "The Lord of the Rings", the struggle for power is painfully depicted. It seems that no one is above the potential temptation that the ring presents. Even the seemingly innocent hobbit is sometimes overtaken by the lure of the ring of power. And so has it been since the original fall of the evil one in heaven.
The Age Old Struggle
And so it still is today. The struggle for power continues. Whether it is Iraq, or North Korea, or the United States, there is always someone trying to take power, or trying to keep it.
Of course, down through the centuries the ring has changed hands many times. The Babylonians, the Romans, Alexander the Great, Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Sadam Hussein (just to name a few) all succumbed to the all encompassing seduction of the ring of power.
Now that's just on the world stage. What part does the struggle for power play in the lives of everyday individuals? You and I know very well how this struggle plays out in our own lives. You were passed up for that promotion at work because the boss's son-in-law needed a job. Your business is only going to make it if you can get an "edge" over your competition. And that guy that is tailgating you on the freeway, when he finally does go around you, he just stays there in front of you and slows down!
Look around you. It seems that everyone is trying to take control. Everyone wants to be the Top Dog. Everyone is a control freak! What is going on here? Who is really in charge?
Paul Preached Christ Crucified
The Romans seemed to be in control at the time on the world scene. Many of the Jewish zealots wanted to be in power, yet they were still a conquered people.
Christ was born in a stable . . .
Grew up in a despised town . . .
Walked among harlots, tax collectors, and such . . .
Died hanging on a cross . . .
The Real Power
Long ago there was an archangel who was filled with pride and wanted to rise above the throne of the almighty so that he might have all power. He wanted to be "higher than". He thought that by being so, he would have all control. He thought the power would be in the ascending, in the raising up of himself over God.
But Paul preached Christ crucified . . . the power of God.
Jesus Christ lived a life of becoming "lower than". He emptied Himself and took the lowest position, the position of a servant, the position of weakness. He submitted Himself to the Father and emptied Himself of all rights and privileges. He did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped!
Brothers and sisters, the power of God is not what we think it is! His power does not lie in being in charge or "in control". His power does not lie in being "over" other believers. His power does not lie in how many gifts or ministries you have. His power does not lie in how many people you have healed or how many miracles you have performed.
His power lies in weakness!
Christ crucified . . . the power of God.