Power.

What comes to mind when you hear the word power?  Danger? Suspicion? Potential? Influence? 

Controlled power gives light to our homes and movement to our vehicles. It builds bridges and schools. It brings unity to governments and basketball teams. And it overcomes evil in our world.

Out of control power, on the other hand, is dangerous and suspicious. We see the corruption of this all around us–nowhere so clearly at the moment as the absolutely senseless destruction of a peaceful country by a man full of uncontrolled power.

We adopted two boys from Ukraine 6 years ago. In the process we made many friends, all of whom have fled for their lives. Some to basements with bombs dropping overhead, some to villages farther to the west, and some as far as America. 

These are our brothers and sisters in Christ, praying that God will use the war to advance the gospel among their people.

Power out of control is killing their country, but not their hope.

That’s why, from now until Easter, NCBC Kids is using our offering money to support help for Ukraine.  There are many good ways to do this, but we have chosen to help Samaritan’s Purse who is actively on the ground building mobile hospital units to treat the wounded and ill.  

I have been absolutely amazed at the generosity which your children show week after week as they bring their gifts to God. They are not just doing small things in Jesus’ name. They are sacrificing, prioritizing and combining their efforts to do great things. 

What makes a person give to help a stranger? What makes a person volunteer in their free time, use their skills or influence to mentor others, or give their hard-earned money to a cause in which they believe?

Goodness. Human kindness, yes.

But what makes a man who once spent every minute and every dollar only on himself turn and become generous? What makes a woman who used to be condescending and conceited turn and serve the displaced and disenfranchised in the community? What makes  teenagers who used to only fear what others thought of them become brave and stand up for their faith or their fellow student at the risk of their own social standing?

That kind of radical change of heart would take radical power.

Ephesians 4 gives us a before and after look at the radical change in a believer’s life caused by the radical power of the Spirit:  If you used to be sensual, impure and greedy, now you ought to be new, righteous, and holy.  If you used to be a liar, now you must speak truthfully. If you used to be an angry person, now you are characterized by quick reconciliation. If you used to steal, now you are a hard worker. If you used to run your mouth with gossip and foul language, now you carefully choose words that build up and benefit others.

Surely something in that list rings true?  Hits home? Stings a bit?

Radical life change is possible for all who are in Christ. It is brought through the radical power of the Spirit, at work in our spirits, making us completely new.  Are we experiencing that kind of transformation?  If not, the scripture says we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God.  

There are many sources of uncontrolled power at work in our world which are destructive and frightening.  But the unmatched power of the work of the Spirit is something we ought to crave, pray for and surrender to. He wants to make us better, one day at a time. Will we let Him?

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).

Grateful for you all,