“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16)
The gospel. The power of God. The miraculous power to change a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. The good news of Jesus Christ and his cross-work of saving us from our sin by paying for our sin, in order that we can stand before a holy God, adorned in the righteousness of Christ.
The three-fold work of the gospel (the actual ‘full’ gospel) — we have been saved (justification), we are being saved (sanctification), and we will be saved (glorification) is glorious truth. We often major on the already (have been saved) and the not yet (will be saved), and that is good. But we live between the already and the not yet. What about the power of the gospel in that time? The nasty now-and-now?
We saw that power on display this week. During a family discussion that escalated into an argument between our girls, the one who has struggled with anger issues blew up. She flipped the coffee table over and ran upstairs to her room, slamming the door. We heard crying. But it wasn’t just any crying. She was crying out to the Lord.
“God I know you love me…God I know you care for me…You gave me a Mama and Baba…please help me…I want to make friends and not be scared…I want to do better in school…I’m sorry for getting angry…will you help me…I’m sorry for getting mad and slamming the door…I know you are writing my story…please help me………”
[introspection – Why don’t I pray like that?]
She then came back downstairs, perfectly calm, sought forgiveness, and carried on the conversation in a lucid, even-tempered manner. A girl who would’ve raged for hours to the point of delusion a year or two ago has been changed. The power of the gospel for sanctification. Her child-like faith demonstrated that power. The Holy Spirit of God used the word of God to demonstrate the power of God in a child of God for the glory of God.
Our daughter may continue to struggle with anger, but she knows she has a refuge. She has a strong tower to run to. She has seen the power of God in her own heart and life – a spiritual marker for all of us to look back on and marvel at God’s faithfulness.
May God continue to be BIG in all her thinking, and may my prayer life change dramatically after our daughter’s example of humble, needy, child-like faith. It seems that is where God’s power is made perfect.