“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
The more I’ve focused on this verse, the more I find! The first time I read it, the phrase “to the Jew first and also to the Greek” caught my eye. Most likely because I spent the last six months in Greek class! But I realized what huge significance there is in the original languages of the Bible!
The Old Testament is written in Hebrew, the native language of the Jews, because it is for the Jews as their heritage and legacy. But the New Testament, which contains the gospel of Christ, it’s written in Greek. If the New Testament writings had been only for the Jewish people the writers – who knew Hebrew – would have written it in Hebrew. But they chose not to because the gospel isn’t for one race or nation (or denomination) alone! It’s for EVERYONE!
Than as I read the verse again the word “power” hit my heart with such an amazing force I felt like God’s fist came up through the page punching that word into my very soul. The gospel of Jesus IS the power of God. Period.
This morning I woke up, picked up my phone and like every other time I pick up my phone I cleared out my notifications. One of them was a notification from my Pinterest app letting me know someone had re-pinned one of my pins.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.” 2 Timothy 1:7
This verse has played such a huge roll in my battle against the spirit of fear. It has ruled my life with such a heavy hand for such a very long time. And this verse is a powerful sword against the spirit of fear. Fear is not from God. Fear is the absence of love, just like darkness is the absence of light. God is love and light. That’s why in Revelation it talks about heaven and how there will be no darkness or the need for the sun or moon for light because God is light and love.
When we can’t fully see the next step because it is still shrouded in darkness, we fear taking that step into the unknown. Why? We have not been filled, or perfected, in God’s love for us.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected (or filled up to the brim) in (God’s) love (for us).” 1 John 4:18
We have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of POWER and LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! We have living, breathing, dwelling inside us the spirit of LOVE.
But it’s not some namby-pamby, cotton candy, fluffy bunny, rose petal kind of love. Oh no! It’s a POWERFUL kind of love! It’s the kind of love that flips over tables and gets out a whip to make fear flee from between your temples. It’s the kind of powerful love that strips down naked and wears a bloody crown of thorns so that you can be clothed in the finest garments – robes of righteousness, and wear a crown of gold – your helmet of eternal salvation. It’s the kind of powerful love that drives stakes through its hands and feet to a cross so that yours can be freed from it. It’s a powerful love that does all of the work of redemption for you, crying out to its last breath “it is FINISHED” just to make sure you know for certain that there’s nothing left for you to do but to boast not in your own works but in HIS. It’s the kind of powerful love that contains its power when the one’s He’s dying to save are beating and spitting on him.
It’s the kind of powerful love that offers itself up as a slave and washes feet instead of sitting upon the highest throne in all the universe. It’s the kind of powerful love that strokes your cheek instead of striking it when you fall. It’s the powerful kind of love that looks at you with patient eyes when you just can’t seem to get it right, because He recognizes your effort more than your end result. It’s the powerful kind of love that lets you try again. It’s the powerful kind of love that whispers “I love you” in every detail of every moment in your life.
No. We have NOT been given a spirit of fear. We have been given a spirit of POWERFUL LOVE and of a SOUND MIND to better understand the power of that love and to SHARE IT WITH OTHERS because we ALL need the power of the Gospel of God! It’s GOOD NEWS of GREAT joy is it not? God’s powerful love at work in us is a tremendous gift, one not to be taken lightly my friend.
When I wrote The Pink Polka Dot Kitty I experienced the marvelous light of God’s love so strongly for the first time. Since that moment it’s all I want to do. I want others to EXPERIENCE that kind of power in love because it covers over a multitude of sins!
Jesus was no mindless sacrificial animal that had no idea or control over what was happening to Him. Jesus had complete control over the situation and knew exactly what He was doing. An animal sacrifice covered you until your next sin. Jesus’ sacrifice covers you for infinity. Don’t believe me? Read your Bible every day for a year, praying “God show me your Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth so help me God.” And then come talk to me. 😉 His word changes you!
Before reading every day I couldn’t believe. I couldn’t believe that He could possibly forgive me of ALL my sins past, present AND future. But little by little He chipped away at the lies I’d believed and replaced them with the Truths I found in His Word. And day by day I grew in strength until I was finally strong enough to understand that the love of Christ and His sacrifice on that cross was a powerful enough kind of love to forgive me for sins I’d yet to commit. I just had to forgive myself for them.
At the time of the cross weren’t ALL my sins future sins anyway? And if, like it says in Romans 3:25 “God, in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins”, is He not also then much more able to, after the cross, pass over future sins as well?
There was a time that I didn’t think God could be that good. I was wrong. He is. There was a day I was wrestling with the issue on the way to church. I grappled with it back and forth, back and forth until the singing started and I decided to put it aside and grapple with it later. Forgiven for one current sin at a time, or all at once, either way I was forgiven and that was worthy of the praise I was there to give Him. I sang one verse of “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord“, when He OPENED the eyes of my heart! He isn’t just God; He is a just God who requires payment for sins. A payment that Jesus paid it ALL! ALL to Him I owe, sin has left a crimson stain, but He washed it white as snow! Jesus didn’t just pay the majority of the tab and leave the rest for us, He paid is ALL. There is nothing left for us to ask forgiveness for because He took it all the moment we first asked for His gift of forgiveness. It’s a onetime gift that lasts an eternity. The only thing left for us to do is to REPENT and say, “THANK YOU JESUS!”
We’ve got to repent, change our thinking, turn from our unbelief in His Goodness and the power of His Mercy and Grace! God is love and what kind of love would drink most of the poison of the law of death but not all of it? What kind of love says the debt is paid, but then comes back and says, “Oh wait, there’s more”? The wages of sin are DEATH. And Jesus paid that debt on Good Friday, He died, for YOU.
But Oh! Wait! There’s more! He didn’t just die for you. Oh no! He resurrected for you too! Like a prisoner released from the jail cell where He had paid for His crimes, Jesus walked out of that tomb a FREE MAN having paid the price and the tip, He made you a free “man” too!
Jesus paid it ALL. Now THAT’S a powerful love don’t you think?
*Thank you so much Lizzy Lee for this GREAT picture!!!!!