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Power

 Since the dawn of time, men have craved power. There are workshops, books, and endless hours of video and audio, all revolving around this ephemeral attribute men desire to wield. It is said that the lowly dream of wealth, while the wealthy dream of power. It is intoxicating for all who attain it, and if we are referring to earthly power, it is also corrosive and destructive. As the old adage goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we’ve seen the truth of it play out time and again.

Give a small person an iota of power, and they’ll make everyone’s life miserable. If you’ve ever tried to drop anyone off at an airport and run across a meter maid, you know exactly what I’m talking about. She doesn’t care if you’re not parked, if the car’s still running, if the blinkers are on, or if your elderly passenger is trying to get out of the car! She’s got her ticket book, and by golly, she will use it, no matter how rationally and calmly you try to explain that it would have been a health hazard to try and convince your passenger to drop, tuck, and roll out of a moving vehicle.

“You can’t park here.”

“I’m not parked. The voice on the speaker says that the curbside is for drop off and pick up only, and I’m doing the former, hence the suitcases and the old person trying to climb out.”

“I don’t care what it says, you have thirty seconds to be on your way, or I’m going to write you up.”

That’s just from a minuscule amount of fleeting authority. No empathy, no understanding, no humanity, just the opportunity to assert herself and take out her frustrations on perfect strangers who are just trying to go about their day.

If you can’t relate to that example, just think back to a couple of years ago when mothers were getting arrested on playgrounds for the high crime of letting their kids swing on the monkey bars. Remember that? I do. Even when I start to forget, I force myself to remember because remembering the past is important. Not remembering the past is the surest way to have no future. Telling yourself it can never happen again or that it won’t be worse next time is a recipe for disaster.

When you boil it down to the essentials, there are only two kinds of power. I know, a guy wrote a book about there being forty-eight of them, but those were laws of power, not types of power. Details matter.

As I was saying, there are two types of power: there is vested power, where one earthly authority vests an individual with power, then there is the power that comes from on high. Even the prince of the power of the air was vested his power, but that’s another topic for another time. We were promised one, not the other, but even if you had a choice in the matter, you should prefer the power from on high.

Vested power, earthly power is limited, fleeting, inadequate, and is readily denounced, overturned, or resisted. The power from on high is altogether different. It is the power Jesus promised His disciples, a power that carries on to this day, for we are not powerless, fearful, skittish servants. We are ambassadors of Christ, bearers of light in a dark world, endued with power for on high.

Luke 24:45-49, “And He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

As my wife is fond of saying, five seconds after we arrive somewhere, let us unpack, shall we?

We’ll get to the power in due course, but there are a handful of nuggets in these four verses that I would be remiss if I didn’t flesh out. Coincidentally, the things that stand out to me are in direct contrast to the ethos of the modern-day church. Could it be that we are not seeing the power from on high because we are not doing as Christ commanded us to do?

Yes, I know, correlation does not causation make - you’ll hear that a lot in the coming months about certain things happening in the world – but if we do not possess something Christ promised us, the question of why must be asked and answered satisfactorily.

Did God rescind His promise? Did Jesus change His mind, or does the fault lay elsewhere?

Jesus said three things were necessary; His word, not mine. Necessary is the opposite of optional. For something to be necessary, it is essential and required to be done. First, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day. If neither of those things had occurred, or if only one had, then Jesus would have been proven a fraud and a liar.

By the time Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He had already suffered and risen from the dead on the third day. Even Thomas had been pacified, and his doubts abated. At this point, Jesus was giving His disciples final instructions as to what their duty would be from this point going forward.

The second necessary thing was repentance to be preached in His name to all the nations, and the third was that remission of sins would likewise be preached in His name to all the nations. Jesus never said to preach repentance or remission of sins. He said to preach repentance and remission of sins. It wasn’t either or. It wasn’t a choose-your-adventure game; the two were necessary to be preached in tandem because one could not occur without the other.

Repentance? What’s that? Glad you asked. Yes, it’s fallen out of favor in the modern-day church, and correlation not being causation notwithstanding, I believe it is largely the reason we have a shriveled, powerless, spineless church prancing about doing its best to delay coming to terms with the reality that they do not possess the power from on high Jesus promised.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 23 January 2023 | 11:28 am

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