"Love and Power"
August 9, 2015
Because our Gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. .... 1 Thessalonians 1:5a
Do you remember how in grade school you were picked on?
Maybe somebody called you a name. Maybe classmates avoided you. Maybe you felt you had no friends, or you felt stupid, or weren't a good athlete and always got picked last to be on a team. Maybe you didn't get invited to a party, or someone told you what the other kids were saying about you.
It doesn't make any difference what the problem was, as long as you remember it.
What did you do with that problem? Most of us went home with it. We shuffled into the house. We hid in our bedroom and cried, or plotted some righteous and really painful revenge upon our persecutors. Eventually, mom or dad would notice something was not quite right.
"What's wrong, honey?" they asked.
"Are you feeling all right?"
"Want me to take your temperature?"
"No, I'm fine."
By now, they knew you weren't fine. They knew something was very wrong, and they wanted to help.
But you didn't tell them about your problem. Why not? Because you knew, deep down, no matter how much they loved you, they couldn't help. They didn't have the power. What were they going to do? Go to your teacher and complain? Mom and dad loved you, but they didn't have the power to help you. The kids in the class had the power to help you, but they didn't love you. For the problem to be solved, power and love had to come together.
Okay, let's move forward on your life's timeline a bit. Let's move forward to right now.
How are things going? Is everything perfect in your life? Are there money problems, family problems, housing problems, work problems? Is it possible you have a guilty conscience? You know, it's a rare person whose life is perfect all the time. Assuming you're not that rare person, and believing you have difficulties, trials, temptations and sins, let me ask, what are you going to do?
The answer is simple: take it to the Lord.
He who brought the universe into being with a Word has the ability to take care of anything causing difficulty for you. Now only does He have the power to help you, He has also shown the desire to do so.
That He has shown in the sending of His Son, our Savior.
Jesus came to this world to carry our sins, to take our place under the Law, and to die the death we deserved. Now, with His mission completed, He says, "Call on Me." Call upon Me, knowing I will hear. Call upon Me, knowing that I care. Call upon Me, and be assured the Holy Spirit will help you.
Of course, to all that, you might reply, "I've done that and I still have problems."
That may well be true, but I can assure you, God will change your problem, eliminate your problem, or make it so you can deal with that problem. All are options used by our Lord who has the power and the love to change us and our lives for the better.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, in Jesus, Your love for lost humankind and the power to do something about us came together. Grant that I may trust Your ongoing care and compassion to me and all of sinful humanity. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries