By what power or by what name?

By: Steve Haselden You see a blue light flashing in your rear view mirror.  You heart is pounding, anguish takes over your mind, “was I speeding? What is the speed limit on this street anyway?”  “I’ll show this officer who boss, I’ll take this to court!”  The officer stops behind you, gets out of the cruiser.  You see him in your rear view mirror as he struts up to your car.  You power down your window and gaze up, and all you see is a huge badge on his chest. That badge represents power and authority. Yes, you broke the law by speeding, and the officer has the power with authority to write you a ticket or arrest you. Power is inert, just waiting to be released. A form of quiet and gentle appearance. It cannot be created by itself; a source of potential energy must do so. The biblical Greek word for power is “dynamis” which is translated, “dynamite.”  It means, “force, miraculous power, a miracle itself.” Virtual power has importance and living without it would create problems. Our homes, for instance, would sit in silence; no sounds of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, microwaves or hair dryers.  Ovens would sit cold and food would spoil in the refrigerator. The blackness of night would be as thick as molasses and daylight the envy of wishes. So power is good when used for our well-being.

Peter and John just healed a man who was lame from his mother’s womb.  An ensuing crowd gathered around them to hear about the mighty miracles of Jesus.  The crowd grew to thousands as he preached until late that evening; some five thousand were saved. These men and women came to hear the Word, but most importantly they believed and received it. They were not in the synagogue sitting on those cold stone benches listening to the Jewish authority read from the Torah.  Astonishment set in, “how can it be that these unlearned men can do such things?” They asked. These leaders had seen the power of God. Watching the things that Jesus did, mighty miracles, healing the sick and the lame walking again. And a new doctrine; one of salvation through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. However, the more they heard Peter preach, the more intolerant they became. “Enough of this, arrest them now,” the religious leaders commanded. Peter and John then spent the night in prison.  The next day they appeared before the religious leaders and were asked a powerful question, “By what power or by what name do you do these things?”Acts 4:7b.
Each day the Church is being asked this same question.  But for some reason we continue to evade the correct answer because of political correctness.  I don’t want to offend anyone, or we’re just afraid to speak the truth.  A powerless faith is a useless one.  Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us.  Peter had nothing but faith to cling to. Our generation is out of control and it seems that people are looking for something or someone with power and a name to believe in. We are witnessing this in our politics this season.  A restless voter looking to have faith in someone with power and authority.  The faithful of old stood up and proclaimed this power.  Can you imagine Wesley, Whitfield, or Edwards being politically correct?  I think not. Yet today, the Church is powerless because we have no faith to release it.  When will we speak with power again?  When will we be the remnant of the voices before us? Maybe it’s time Church, if not now when? We can’t be wrong to go forward and to be faithful.
So carry your candle, and run to the darkness – Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn – And hold out your candle for all to see it – Take your candle, and go light your worldTake your candle, and go light your world,”

By: Kathy Troccoli “Go light your world” Lyrics by Christopher M. Rice