246. Kingdom of God : A matter of power.
'For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.'* ( 1 Corinthians 4:20) Since the Gospel is the *'power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes'*( Romans 1:16), any talk about the Gospel has to be with the demonstration of the power of God, which saves men from the power of the devil. And since the *gospel is also about the kingdom of God* ( Matthew 24:14), any talk about the kingdom of God has to be with the demonstration of the power of God, which rescues men from the *'dominion of darkness and brings them into the kingdom of the Son he loves'.* ( Colossians 1:13) Therefore, we read in Scripture *'how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.'* ( Acts 20:38) Jesus began his ministry when he *'returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.'* ( Luke 4:14) *'The power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.'* ( 5:17) *'All tried to touch him because power was coming from him and healing them all.'* ( 6:19) And when the woman with the issue of blood touched the tassle of his cloak, Jesus said, *"Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."* ( 8:46) Jesus never preached the message of the kingdom of God with just words but with the display of the power of the Spirit. Infact the kingdom of God had not yet come with power, but still he demonstrated the power of the coming Kingdom! However, he predicted the *imminent* ( soon) coming of the Kingdom of God with power when he said, *"I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."* ( Mark 9:1) And it did happen on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and power, just as he had promised! *"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes ON YOU; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth."* ( Acts 1:8) And *'with great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus...'* ( 4:33) The modern day church has not tapped into this power because we haven't understood that the following instruction applies to all believers throughout the Church age and not just for them! *"Stay ...* ( wherever you are) *until you have been clothed with power from on high."* ( Luke 24:49) We will do everything but stay because it seems impossible to wait on God in this busy world! The modern day church has therefore no power to display but just their *affluence* ( the state of having a great deal of money; wealth) like the Church in Laodicea which said, *'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing'. But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."* ( Revelation 3:17) What a *chilling* ( horrifying or frightening) assessment of the state of the Church by Jesus! Would that be his assessment of the present day Church? It's time that we rediscover the power of the Spirit and excercise the authority, we the Church have in this world. It's time that we too be able to say like Peter, *"Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."* ( Acts 3:6) Amen.