"My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom, but on the power of God."
1 Corinthians 2:4-6 (NET)
It was never enough for God to give us His written Word. It was significant, foundational, but never enough. God recognized that His creation would need more, that our humanity would desire something more tangible and personal, something that we could ALL bear witness to and experience first-hand. And so God gave us His Word and the Word became alive in Jesus (John 1:14). Jesus understood His purpose. He walked the earth for 33 years and lived His life focused on putting the love of the Father into action (John 8:28) and on display through His example.
We were made in the image of God (Gen 1:25-27) and in the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:29), and so we too are expected to take after Him and bear the example of His love (Titus 2:7). At times life can make bearing His example difficult and hard to understand. How can one be convinced of the love of God when the Bible tells us that it is beyond understanding (Eph 3:19). The truth is, we don’t need to understand the measure of His love, because God’s love is beyond measure. In truth, the love of the Father was never meant to be measured but demonstrated. Therein lies the importance of the Gospel. The Gospel is the story of the love of God put into action and demonstrated through Jesus. How did He do it? One of the key principles that He lived by was this: Jesus didn't just speak the Gospel, He demonstrated it. He gave His life for it; He exemplified it.
The gospel is not just a verbal argument for the existence of God, but it is the very demonstration of who God is. The POWER of the Gospel rests in the EXAMPLE of Jesus laying down His life so that we could live. It was never enough that God tell us that He loved us....it had to be put on display. Otherwise, being agents of free-will, we could choose not to believe Him and even question His authenticity. But in choosing to demonstrate His love for us, He captures our attention and wins our hearts to the truth of His love.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
In February of 2007, our family moved into a newly developed neighborhood in Richlands, North Carolina. Our three closest neighbors were all young, “military” families that enjoyed having loud neighborhood parties with a lot of drinking, profanity, and obscene music almost every weekend. It wasn’t long before my wife and I began to develop a very critical and judgmental heart towards our neighbors, and through our actions, we made it clear that we wanted nothing to do with them or their lifestyle.
One day God revealed to us that while we were avoiding them and trying to protect our family from their influence, it was His desire that we open up our lives to them and be a demonstration of the transformative power of His love. Not long after God spoke to us, we opened up our home and began to help, bless, and serve them. As a result of our obedience, they experienced the love of God in a very real way. Their marriages were restored, addictions were broken, generational curses were removed, and purpose was established in their lives. My wife and I considered ourselves to be people of faith, but sometimes we can be so faith-filled, that we don’t realize how much we are lacking in love. It wasn’t until after this experience that God opened our eyes to a very important spiritual truth...that the love of God is reduced to nothing, if it is not demonstrated, put into action, and put on display (1 Cor 13:1-8). (Marques Farmer)
"I am a demonstration of the power of the love of God!"
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Ezra 9; Proverbs 7
- New Testament: Luke 15:1-10; 1 Timothy 5:1-15