"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."
As I think of today's devotional verse, my mind goes to my dear brother and friend, John Palermo. I'll never forget the Sunday he responded to the Gospel. His life was dramatically impacted and transformed by the power of the Gospel in a single day.
Jonathan Edwards would read his sermons word-for-word in a monotonous tone, rarely lifting his head to look at the listeners. In both cases, the results were electrifying as the power of God moved in people’s hearts through the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. The power of the Gospel is not in the delivery of the preacher, but in the Gospel itself. The Gospel is the power of God to salvation.
The power of God, which created the universe and parted the sea, has been changing lives since the beginning of time. Power is the very essence of God; it is in His divine nature. God’s absolute power, coupled with His absolute authority, allows the Lord to do “whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3), with no limitations at all. God has empowered His Gospel with the same supernatural power that He has within Himself. The Gospel brings radical changes when people hear it and respond in repentance and faith (Mark 1:15).
The Gospel changes a person’s heart, resulting in a new creation. The Gospel also changes a person’s conscience. The Gospel changes the social structures of society. The Gospel changes the natural, sinful tendencies of a person. At times the Gospel is like a sledgehammer, breaking the hardened heart; at other times it is like a fire, melting the icy heart - all in love. God uses the Gospel to bring salvation to lost people, and He has called His church to be His messengers to a lost and dying world.
Exactly how the power of God works is a great mystery. It always amazes me that a simple presentation of the historical facts of Jesus, applied to the mind and heart of a sinner by the Holy Spirit, can transform that person. It's a real miracle! I've been reminded all week of the power of the Gospel with every student I've met and talked with from Adult & Teen Challenge - truly - the gospel is the power of God to salvation to everyone!
Pray and ask God for opportunities today to share the Gospel!
Much love and care, Pastor Pat
GREECE ASSEMBLY OF GOD