the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20
There's much more to Christianity
than moral platitude, lofty intentions,and noble thought. The foundational
characteristic of God's kingdom is power.
Let's look at Paul's example:
He faced constant criticism
about his work among the early churches. Some of those criticizing
him would travel to cities (such as Corinth) just to speak extensively
about what Paul was doing wrong. There were times the churches were
convinced that these slanderous accusations against Paul were the truth.
Paul's response was a reminder
that the test of authenticity was not in the persuasiveness of the person's
words, but in the spiritual power of his life.
Paul admitted that he was not
found to be eloquent in speech (2 Cor 10:10). But
those who criticized him for that could not question God's power in his
life. He had seen many people converted, and through his ministry,
many churches were started. He had been used by God to heal the sick
and raise people from the dead through God's power. Whether or not
his words were eloquent, they carried spiritual power and authority that
came from God.
Many people will try to convince you of their opinions
concerning the kingdom of God. They may even have charts and graphs
to prove their points. But the test of the validity of their words
is the spiritual power in their lives. If a person speaks forcefully
about a point of doctrine but is habitually sinning, then his words are
discredited by his life. If a person talks about the power of God
but gives no evidence of victory in her life, her words are empty.
It is much easier to talkabout the victorious Christian
life than it is to live it.
If you have the appearance only of Godliness without
any corresponding spiritual power (2 Tim 3:5), ask God
to cleanse you of your sin and to fill you with His Spirit
so that your life is characterized by power.
For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful,
but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing." (2
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Have nothing to do with them. (2 Tim 3:5)
Father, as I pray for victory over temptations and areas
where I fail, help me see where and why I am lacking your power in my life.
I pray I will not attempt to live a
godly appearing life without your Holy Spirit directing it in truth.
May my life be a life that leads others
to You because of the power they see as YOU, and not because of the "lofty
I pray these things in your precious
Then the man said, "The
woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
Adam and Eve did all they could
to blame someone else for their sin. They wanted to avoid their responsibility.
Adam blamed his wife. He even pointed the finger at God- saying,
"the woman you gave me, gave to me of the tree, and I ate."
Eve blamed the serpent saying,
"The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
God ignored their excuses and
gave them the judgment they would face as consequences of their disobedience.
We all tend to refuse to take
responsibility for our actions. It's a downfall of our humanness.
We want to blame others for
Our parents didn't raise
Our pastor was not a
good enough preacher.
Our children are rebellious.
Our boss isn't sensitive
enough to our needs.
Our spouse isn't understanding.
There isn't enough time
(money, help, etc.) today.
On and on they go---
But forgiveness and restoration
cannot happen until we accept full responsibility for our actions.
There is one obvious indication
that we have not genuinely repented -
making excuses for our sinful
Nowhere in the Scripture does
God excuse someone's sin because of someone else's actions. If we
make it a habit to blame others for our failures, we will not reach a point
of honest repentance.
God will hold us accountable
for our own actions, not others (2 Cor 5:10).
We must strive to always acknowledge
and take responsibility for our own sins. It will free us to receive
God's forgiveness and to press on to spiritual maturity.
For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him
for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2
Father, may I have the
courage and honesty to accept the responsibility for my sins. May
I never blame any one or any circumstance for my sins. I desire full
restoration to You.
Forgive me when I have
sinned--I know it is none's fault but my own. Give me your Spirit
to guide me into Truth, and your strength to follow.
Thank you for loving
me enough to open my eyes to my own responsibility.
In your precious Son's
name I pray, Amen.
If you have questions, or
comments, please email me.