“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” – Jesus – John 14:1
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” – Romans 1:16-17
Power: “the ability or right to control people or things” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Artemis was an ancient Greek goddess who’s temple was located in a city called Ephesus. As you can imagine, this goddess was a source of revenue for some people. Notably the book of Acts in the Bible talks about a man named Demetrius who was a silversmith. When Paul came to Ephesus, of course he came to spread the Gospel of Christ and was very effective at it. So much so that Demetrius became angry and worried that he was going to lose business because people were turning away from Artemis and believing on Jesus. So Demetrius gathered the other artisans and craftsmen who relied on the idols of Artemis they manufactured and started a riot saying, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all in Asia and the world worship.” – Acts 19:25b-27 My question is this. If your god can be deposed, are they worth worshiping? As I say that, I worry about Christianity. That Christians are losing influence in the western world. But then I have to stop. As Christians we may be losing influence, but what about Christ? How often do we take Christ into our own hands and try and make Him cool to the new generation. How many tattoos across America are of Christ? How many times do we make fun of other Christians, because well, they’re not very cool? How often do we slander Jesus, trying to make Him relevant? Be honest; when we adjust Jesus to fit into our culture, when we try to evangelize Him in our own power, when we disregard His teachings we think others may find hard to accept, we lose His power. In some ways, He’s no longer our Lord and Savior, He’s been replaced with our own religion. That’s not to say that I expect every Christian to believe the same way. What I do expect, is that Christ should be at the center of our everything as Christians. We don’t have to dumb Him down, or smarten Him up. We don’t have to water Him down either. His power is in Him. His love changed this world forever. And that’s powerful. As Christians, we need to be good representatives of Christ. That won’t always mean people will believe us, or believe what we believe. There will always be detractors. What matters is that we believe in Jesus fully and let that belief make a difference in us. Hurting people aren’t looking for a wounded Savior. The powerful aren’t looking for a God they can conquer. Satan doesn’t tremble at a well rounded god we’ve made up. He trembles at the name of Jesus; who was wounded but rose from the grave, who was meek but carried with Him the power of God, who was a real man but fully divine. Billy Graham never tried to water down Jesus. He never made excuses for God. He was open about the things he didn’t understand in the Bible. And yet he drew audiences of up to a million people. Why? Because he spoke plainly about Jesus. About His love and His instruction. He was and is still not ashamed of the Gospel. Because Jesus is powerful all by Himself. Do you believe that? Let’s believe it!
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone in kindness today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,