Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Concepts of Power

We live in a dangerous world. This is nothing new. We see this even at Christmas, with the evil of King Herod (Matthew 2:16-18). One of the things Satan and his demons use to work evil in the world is a distorted view of authority. And we need to be aware of this, so that we do not fall into this way of thinking.

There exist in the world different concepts on the nature of power. There are those who hold that power is to be used and abused for the benefit of those in charge. That greed and exploitation are simply a normal part of life. But the Bible puts forth a very different concept of authority. It says that true leadership is service to others (Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:24-27; Philippians 2:3,4). But God not only requires that kind of authority; He demonstrates it. God Himself was willing to leave the center of all authority in heaven and become a human being to save us from our sins (Philippians 2:5-11; John 1:1-18; Hebrews 2:9-18). To do this He was willing to undergo suffering, culminating in an ignominious death to pay for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Colossians 2:13,14). 

To accept this is to accept a new concept of what authority is and what authority should be. This puts the central focus of the universe on the kind of love that reaches out to give to others, rather than to acquire for itself, because that is who God is (1 John 4:7-10; Romans 8:6-8; John 3:16). God is the one who needs nothing (Psalms 50:7-15; Acts 17:24-28; Isaiah 40:28-31) and gives to us out of His bounty. Human rulers can become grasping ,wanting only to benefit themselves. From Herod the Great down to the modern totalitarian tyrants, they want only to collect power and wealth for themselves, and to accomplish this they commit acts of infamy. But Jesus, the real King, who is the God-man, is not like them.

How then should we respond to the true King? We should put our faith in Him for His salvation (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9). We should also trust Him with all of our life (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalms 127:1,2; Hebrews 11:6). But we need to demonstrate His love to the others around us who so desperately need it (Romans 13:8-10; Ephesians 5:1,2; Luke 10:25-37). For only then will we prove ourselves the representatives of the true King, who needs nothing but gives everything (2 Corinthians 5:14,15; 1 John 4:11-21; Matthew 5:43-48). And whatever greatness we possess must come from being a servant of all.

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