Gospel Power

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  Romans 1:16 AV

As a young man I was blessed to intern at a race car manufacturer in Great Britain. They were a small company with little more than a handful of people, limited resources and equipment, and yet they competed successfully in a world market. As I worked at the various stages of manufacturing the thing that impressed me was how they were able to do the most with the least. In fact, I found “doing the most with the least” was common thought out the culture there in Great Britain. Undoubtedly that culture was also part of the founding of our nation however, somewhere along the way it has been lost. One can only wonder how many things haven’t been attempted for lack of the “right” equipment.

There is a woodworking store a few miles away that I frequent on occasion. Until recently, every time I went there and looked at all the amazing tools a voice inside me would say, “If I had those tools I’d do a lot more woodworking.” One day, when I left the store, still dreaming about all the woodworking that I’d do with those amazing tools, truth confronted me. If I was passionate about woodworking wouldn’t I be doing it already with the tools I already had?

The people I worked with in Great Britain figured out ways to utilize the tools they had. In fact, they did an amazing job even though it would have been easier with better tools. When faced with a task they rose to the challenge and weren’t afraid to work harder. I’ve been making excuses based on what I don’t have. Lord, do I do that with the gospel?

*Why the block plane?  When I was a boy I had a woodworking teacher, Walter R. Olsen (1927-199?); Mr Olsen to his students.  He was a tough kind hearted man who I now have the highest respect for.  He was a principled man who strived to bring out the best in his students.  We didn’t have the latest and greatest tools like some of the other schools but now that I think back on it I can only wonder if Mr Olsen wanted it that way.

I had a project that required me to plane down some boards.  We didn’t have a powered planer so I had to do it the old fashioned way, with a 12 inch block plane –by hand.  I glued up 2 qty 3/4 x 24 x 42 inch boards for the sides, 2 qty 3/4 x 24 x 24 inch boards for the ends, 2 qty 3/4 x 12 x 24 boards for the rockers and a 3/4 x 6 x 36 board for a stiffener and set out to make them flat.  To my surprise they were flat by the time I reached 5/8 of an inch.  I asked Mr Olsen if I could stop there and he replied, “What do the plans say?”  I said, “1/2 inch” to which he said, “Keep going!”  Mr. Olsen didn’t want to hear that I made the plans and I could change them.  I spent the whole semester planing boards from 3/4 to 1/2 inch!

Thank you Mr. Olsen, I miss you my mentor, my friend!

Loosed

“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” –Jesus 1

Consider: If I’m not experiencing the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice have I allowed myself to be bound? 2

Further Consideration: When I sin, what am I binding or loosing on earth and in heaven? If the truth sets me free, when I choose to believe a lie am I not also choosing to be bound?3 If I refuse relationship with God in this life am I not also refusing relationship with Him in heaven?

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.  Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.  –Romans 1:20-32

God’s Plan

Art by www.ChristArt.com

“In the scheme of God’s plan, troubles and afflictions are upgraded to classroom lessons where we learn to appropriate the nature of Christ.” “We should repent of carrying the image of a Savior who fails to confront our sin or challenge our unbelief, for such is a false image of God. If we are to genuinely know Him, we must accept this truth: Jesus Christ is irrevocably committed to our complete transformation!” – Francis Frangipane, The Stronghold of God