Dynamite Power!

‘I have complete confidence in the Gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe.’ Romans 1:16 GNT

Paul tells us that the Gospel ‘is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.’ (Romans 1:16 NKJV) Maybe that brings up an image for you of someone pouring beetroot juice onto a white shirt and then showing the ‘power’ of a laundry detergent to remove the stain. But this kind of ‘power’ is a bit more explosive. The Greek word Paul uses for ‘power’ is dynamis, from which we get the word dynamite. Talk about impact!

The Gospel changes people profoundly. Chuck Swindoll says: ‘The Gospel is like a sword sharpened on the stone of Scripture and tempered in the furnace of reality, relevance, and need. Of all the reactions a person may have to it, I can think of none worse than a yawn, a sleepy “so what”, or a bored “who cares?” Jesus met people where they were. His Word touched raw nerves. His preaching was a lot more “here-and-now” than it was “there-and-then”. He attacked hypocrisy and prejudice. He met people where they were, not where they ought to be. Angry young men, blind beggars, proud politicians, loose-living prostitutes, ignorant fishermen, naked victims of demonism, and grieving parents—He related to them all. His enemies misunderstood Him, but they couldn’t ignore Him. They hated Him, but they were never bored around Him. Do you want a new definition of failing the Lord? Here it is—using the Gospel to bore people! The Gospel isn’t some vague religious concept; it’s an exciting relationship with God that works in everyday life.’

And the people around you need this dynamite relationship, so share it with them.

SoulFood: Eph 1:1–4:16, John 1:1–13, Ps 92, Pro 22:24–25

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

Ephesians 1–4:11 ()

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1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

3:1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,

  “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

John 1:1–13 ()

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1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Psalm 92 ()

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A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

92:1   It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
  to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
  to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
  For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
  How great are your works, O LORD!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
  The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
  that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
  they are doomed to destruction forever;
    but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
  For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.
10   But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over me fresh oil.
11   My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
12   The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13   They are planted in the house of the LORD;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14   They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15   to declare that the LORD is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Proverbs 22:24–25 ()

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24   Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
    nor go with a wrathful man,
25   lest you learn his ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.

Tue 01 October, 2019


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