“The Power of the Gospel”
The Power of the Gospel
By Jeff Curtis
Rome at one time was power-mad, and so is today’s world. We want to be stronger, go faster, and build bigger – but even after almost two thousand years, there is no power comparable to the gospel. The story of the cross is still “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1Corinthians 1:24). James Meadows referred to it as “God’s dynamite to blast sin, tradition, paganism, and helplessness out of men’s hearts.”
The gospel is not only God’s power of forgiveness; it is also God’s constraining power. Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth (on the cross), will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32). The gospel is also God’s remaking power. Multiplied thousands of lives have been changed as men and women have responded to the story of God’s love. Paul stated in 2Corinthians 5:17; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” The story is told of a man whose life was so altered that one of his employees remarked, “He is not the same man! It’s the same skin, but there’s a new man inside!”
The gospel is so important that we don’t dare “neglect it, ignore it, change it, pervert it, …or refuse to hear it.” Above all, those of us who are Christians dare not “fail to preach it.” It is still God’s power – His only power – to salvation. Today, some are preoccupied with finding new ways “to attract people to church.” Coy Roper stated, “Whatever attracts people to the church, no one will be saved until and unless we preach the gospel and obey it.” The Gospel is still God’s remedy for sin-sick people. If we don’t share it with everyone we know, they will be lost.
Is it possible that, unlike Paul, we are ashamed of the gospel? Most of us would never admit to being ashamed of the gospel, but are we ashamed embarrassed to tell our friends about our faith in Jesus? Are we afraid to try to teach them because we may lose them as friends? In the Contemporary English Bible, Romans 1:16 reads like this; “I am proud of the good news! It is God’s powerful way of saving all people who have faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.” I pray that God will always help us to be proud of the good news – and to act like it.
Mary Has Chosen the Good Part
by Heath Rogers
“But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:41-42, NASU).
Martha was enjoying a great blessing. The Lord was in her home. He was using it as an opportunity to teach. Her sister Mary was sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening closely to every word spoken by the Lord. Martha was distracted with the responsibilities of being a good hostess. She had invited the Lord into her house, but she felt like she could use some help. Her frustration got the best of her, and she interrupted the Lord’s teaching and asked Him to tell Mary to help her.
Our Lord’s response indicates that Martha and Mary had made two different choices. Martha had chosen to continue serving her guests, while Mary had “chosen the good part” - to sit and listen to Jesus.
Martha’s choice had caused her to become overwhelmed, worried, troubled, and bothered. Mary’s choice was giving her a blessing that would never be taken from her.
Sometimes troubles come from external sources. We can’t help but become distracted by emergencies. However, if we are honest, we are often like Martha in that we bring troubles upon ourselves. We don’t have to overcommit ourselves and take on more responsibilities than we can handle. We don’t have to involve ourselves in every controversy that crosses our path. We don’t have to look for things to take us away from sitting at the Lord’s feet. More often than not, we are worried and bothered because we choose to be worried and bothered.
Instead, let’s choose to keep our attention fixed on the Lord. This will not make our troubles disappear, but it will keep us from being burdened with unnecessary worries.