In Need of Power by Josh Webster
Kevin’s dream car was a 1964 GMC short wheelbase pickup truck. At the age of 50 he was finally able to fulfill that dream. The restoration project was not easy. Attention to every detail assured the best result. Beautiful purple and root beer paint, twenty inch ghost gray powder coated wheels, and a brand-new interior made the car unique to any passerby. It even had a new Chevy 350 engine that was built by the best motor mechanic around. Kevin was proud of the finished product. Shortly after completion, while cruising on a Sunday after noon, the engine started making a concerning sound. Upon investigation it was concluded that the number five piston had suffered catastrophic failure. How could that be? How could a new engine with less than 250 miles experience such damage? (insert Chevy jokes here) As it turns out the problem was the fuel. You see the engine builder used parts that would allow the motor to achieve higher compression in the combustion cylinders thus producing greater horsepower. In such cases, high octane fuel is required. Kevin didn’t receive that information. As Christians we require the correct motivation, energy and drive. The wrong stuff will cause detrimental failure every time.
What fuels the Christian? What motivations push us to thrive in our faith? Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
How can the “good news (Gospel) of Christ” be the power of God to salvation. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you standby which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”. Notice that not only are we saved by the Gospel (see Romans 6:1-6) but we also “stand” in the Gospel. There is something very special about the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The story of the Ethiopian nobleman in Acts 8 (26-40) projects the power of the gospel. As Philip spoke of Jesus the nobleman was compelled to be baptized. It should not come as a surprise that the man then “went on his way rejoicing” (verse 39). His sins were forgiven. His life was made clean. He traveled a “new” path. It’s significant to understand that the Good News of Jesus, when heard and obeyed, brings overwhelming joy in the Christians’ life. Further consider Acts 17:28 where the bible says, “In Him we live and move and have our being”.
Followers of Christ find their very existence and identity in God’s Son! The propaganda of western society leads us to believe that our identity is found in the things we choose to be involved in i.e. cheerleader, band, soccer, outdoors, pet lover, etc.. The Christian must find identity not in the things they do but rather in the personal salvation experience in Jesus. Think about 1 Peter 1:3-9 where the Apostle and Elder Peter wrote “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children. These blessings, which cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty, are kept in heaven for you. God’s power protects you through your faith until salvation is shown to you at the end of time. This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls”(NCV). Disciples of Christ find their power, identity and joy in Christ. After all, Acts 4:12 says “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
What fuels your life? If someone were to observe the way you live your life, what conclusions would they come to? Do you find your identity in band, sports, video games, or fashion etc.?
These “fuels” will ultimately result in catastrophic failure in the Christian life. Not that these things are sinful, however Satan is good at convincing us that the activities we choose to be involved in define who we are. The truth is that band, sports etc. can never bring the lasting and complete joy found only in Christ. Christ is the “high octane fuel” for our lives.
Do you want your life to operate more efficiently? Would you like to see more power in your faith? Are you tired of the “junky”, low octane fuels this world offers? Make a change today! Give Jesus a try. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you”. A life fueled by God’s word will produce optimal power, efficiency, and performance.
In Matthew 19:16-22 Jesus tells the parable of the Rich Young Ruler. Have you ever not noticed verse 22? The young man left Jesus in a state of sorrow. Why? Because he was using the wrong fuel. Fill up with Jesus and experience the difference today!