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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

July 26, 2010 - The Power of Love

By Robert C. Crosby

I shared last week about the love of power, and how that misplaced love can be found in believers and unbelievers alike. I want to talk about the power of love today.

Christ confronted a society obsessed with power with something even more powerful than power itself. Love. Not just another love, but a new kind of love (Greek - Agape). A force of love that so powerfully touched and changed the heart of one zealot, the apostle John, that his bio changed from a “Son of Thunder” to “The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved.”

John wrote about this “power”: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:16-18, NIV).

God is love. And God’s love is a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps one of the shortest sentences in the Bible and yet so sweeping in its meaning and significance is this one: “God is love.” Few adjectives are ascribed to God in so clear-cut a fashion as this one. It is as if God and love are almost interchangeable and synonymous. John the Beloved invites us to get to know God by getting to know love; to get to know love by getting to know God.

Power was an essential part of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Yet, clearly, Jesus displayed His power only when it had a love purpose connected to it. Think about it! His healings were His demonstrations of love. They were not administered en mass, but one on one. When He multiplied the fish and loaves of bread, His love saw 5,000 hungry stomachs. Love bailed out an about-to-be-embarrassed couple at a wedding when He turned water into wine.

At the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, the devil, in essence, said to Christ, “Show me the power!” while Jesus responded, “Watch the love!” Just consider the three blows that Satan targeted towards Christ and how the Lord countered them. (I’ll paraphrase the account from Matthew 4:1-11) Satan confronted Jesus with three enticements.

First, while Jesus was deep into a time of fasting and prayer, the enemy suggested, “If you’re the ‘Son of God’, prove it! Show me the power by turning these stones to bread.” Jesus returned, “Watch the love of a heart that more deeply craves my Father’s words than bread itself.”

Second punch. Taking Christ to the highest point of the temple, the devil urged, “Show me the power by jumping, and let’s see if the angels will catch you!” Jesus came back, “Watch the love that refuses to play games with God!”

Finally, the last punch: the tempter showed Jesus all the enticements and temptations the world has to offer and solicited, “Look at the power. Just worship me, and all this can be yours!” Our Lord retorted, “Watch the love that will not break faith with my Father. There is no one else a man should worship but God and God alone!”

Now that’s power, power over the enemy. That kind of love was too tough for even Satan to penetrate. That kind of love will get you through every temptation and tough patch in life and make you a blessing to the Kingdom.

— Robert C. Crosby is professor of practical theology at Southeastern University (AG) in Lakeland, Fla.

 

 

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