Tag Archives: Power

The Power of Patience

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“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4)

Patience (endurance) is part of the development that will produce the experience that brings hope and assurance to those who are the twice-born (Romans 5:3-5). Patience is a discipline—a work that is necessary for our growth. Although such discipline never seems pleasant at the time, it is administered by our loving heavenly Father, who focuses His work on our spiritual maturity (Hebrews 12:5-8).

There are several key aspects identified in our text that promise victory through the process of learning patience. Wisdom is granted liberally as we ask for it during the tests that produce the “perfect work” of patience. As we endure the tests that will come to those who love the Lord, the endurance practiced will produce a “crown of life” as an eternal testimony to our patience (James 1:12).

The principles for gaining patience during this life are outlined in Psalm 37. First, trust in the Lord (Psalm 37:3) and follow His leading in everything we do (Proverbs 3:5‑10). Second, delight in (get excited about) the Lord (Psalm 37:4)—amplified so often in Psalm 119 (vv. 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 174). Then, commit your way to the Lord (Psalm 37:5), becoming such a part of Him that you are as a branch to the vine (John 15:4-7).

Finally, rest (be still) in the Lord (Psalm 37:7) and wait on the Lord (Psalm 37:34). These traits are not meant to be understood as “hanging around.” They describe the fully prepared servant, waiting for his Master’s orders to implement. The “profitable” servant (Luke 17:10) has learned what his Master wants and stands ready to respond to the needs of the Kingdom. Patience is never obtained through bored indifference. HMM III

The Power of a Sound Mind

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“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

The gift spoken of in the previous verse is based on a transfer of authority from God, and we are exhorted to “stir up” that gift (2 Timothy 1:6) because God did not give us a “spirit of fear.” The word fear (deilia) stresses timidity or cowardice, not terror. The gift does not function well if we are too timid to use it.

The gift referred to is not power. That spiritual gift comes with dunamis—the innate ability to do the gift. Whatever the Holy Spirit has gifted us with upon our entrance into the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:11), that gift comes with the power necessary to implement and use that gift.

The gift also comes with love. Again, love is not the gift. It is only part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that comes with the gift. Were it not for the reflection in us of the unilateral and sacrificial love of our Redeemer, these supernatural gifts could well be misused, distorted, and abused for personal glory. Diotrephes misused his gift, failing to use the spirit of love (3 John 1:9).

Sophronismos (sound mind) is a unique Greek word that is a combination of the verbs “to save” and “to control.” Its basic meaning would be “safe control” or “wholesome control”— perhaps even “control that saves”—the perfect combination of abilities that empower the gift, the love that keeps the gift focused on others, and the “safety controls” to keep it from doing damage unwittingly.

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). HMM III

The Power of Grace

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“. . . whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” (Ephesians 3:7)

In the New Testament, the words for gift and grace are closely related. Charis is usually translated “grace,” and charisma is most often rendered “gift.” The twice-born are to use their gifts with one another as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

When God gifts us with faith so that we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8), we are then “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). This “new man” is granted the potential to understand the “exceeding greatness of his power” (Ephesians 1:19) and to participate in the divine nature so we can escape the corruption pervading this godless world (2 Peter 1:4).

When we preach the gospel, we use “the power of God” that will result in the salvation of those who respond (Romans 1:16). Right after the Day of Pentecost, the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in a demonstration of that power so that “great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). The message, the power, and the grace of God are inseparable.

When our lives radically change in response to the new man created in us by God, we do so by “the grace of our Lord,” which is “exceeding abundant with faith and love” (1 Timothy 1:14). When we access the strength to rise above infirmities or difficult circumstances, we experience the Lord’s grace that is sufficient to deal with or overcome whatever may be hindering us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we “work out” the salvation God graced us with, we can be sure that God is working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). HMM III

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