He did what?
When someone has a level of power, we expect more from them and to use that power properly.
When someone uses the power of political office to simply gain for themselves, we question their integrity and their motives (and probably vote against them the next opportunity we have.)
When someone uses the power of finances to fund a group or organization that is intent on evil for an individual or group of individuals, we wonder, “How could they do that?”
When someone has power and uses it to be a blessing to others and add value to human life, we perhaps are just as startled, but grateful that someone would take advantage of an opportunity not for personal gain, but for others gain.
The words God’s Spirit gives to Isaiah after announcing “Here is your God!” (yesterday’s devotion), describe more about that God. Here’s what he said:
Isaiah 40:10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
Nothing is more powerful than the power of God. The power of his Word spoke the world into existence. The power of his breath parted the waters of the sea. The power of his rule determined the rise and fall of earthly rulers. And the list goes on.
The Lord is coming with power!
His “reward is with him and his recompense accompanies him.” God could use his power to round up every person, parade them in front of the heavenly hosts and say, “I’ve captured those who stood against me and am ready to enslave them in hell for an eternity.”
Yet, the way God chooses to use his power is to do just the opposite.
He chose to lay aside the full use of his divine power to live as one of us and serve us. He used the power of his word to defeat the temptations of Satan. He used the power of the cross to pay the price my sins deserved. He used the power of his resurrection to demand the surrender of death to life.
The irony of the power of God is how he chose to exhibit it. No one would say that a Roman cross would be the symbol of God’s power and how he chose to use it, but it is just that:
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).
Or Romans 1:16
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
While God certainly exhibits his power in nature, in the rise and fall of nations, in the overcoming of illness and hardship, the greatest exhibition of his power is the fact he gave up his full use of it to take on human flesh and live in our place, die in our place, and rise to give us a place in heaven. This message of the Gospel changes hearts, changes eternities and leaves the power of sin, death and the devil begging for mercy.
God has all power…but the good news of Christmas is he chose to use that power to SAVE us!
Apply: Read Psalm 68 and reflect on the power of the Lord and how he has chose to show it.
Prayer: With the words of Mary (Luke 1:51-53), Lord we praise you that you have performed mighty deeds with your arm; scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts, brought down rulers from their thrones but have lifted up the humble, filled the hungry with good things but sent the rich away empty. Thank you for using your power to save me from the power of my sin, the influence of Satan and the sentence of eternal death. AMEN