In 1888 a French newspaper erroneously published an obituary of the wrong person. The reality was that it was the brother that died. In publishing this obituary, they gave the living man a preview of how people would view him when he died. He was shocked by how people thought of him. This paper said, “The merchant of death is dead.” It also said he, “became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before.” The tool that he had invented was dynamite. Obviously, dynamite has been an extremely useful tool. He knew at that moment that he wanted to leave a legacy that was far different than what he was accused of in his obituary. If you are like most people you probably don’t know the name of the man that invented dynamite. However, you have heard of the Nobel Peace Prize. That prize and the other Nobel prizes were established by Alfred Nobel as he set aside the bulk of his estate for the prize. He is far better known for the establishment of the Nobel price than for dynamite or any of the other 354 patents that he held.
Power can be used for good or for bad. Dynamite has been used for bad, but it has also helped in mining, and building roads, railroads and many other things. It has also saved many lives because it is far more stable than what they were using before. Nobel thought about naming it, “Nobel's Safety Powder", but went with Dynamite instead, referring to the Greek word for “power”. Nobel would have argued that he wanted this power for good and not bad.
How do we determine if power is good or bad? Most of the time we would say when it comes to people it depends on who it is. You probably think that if you had power you would only use it for good, therefore it would be a good thing. On the flip side if Hitler has power that is a bad thing. I would completely agree that it is bad for Hitler to have power, but I probably don’t know you so I may or may not agree that it would be good for you to have power. Unfortunately, power changes people. Just as money changes people, because money has power. If you are not kind to people when you have no power, you will not be kind to people when you have power. With power comes a great responsibility. I am glad that our country has power. We are much safer as a result of the power that our nation has. However, we have a greater responsibility because of that power. For instance, a nation without nuclear weapons never has to decide whether or not they would ever use them. The truth of the matter is that it is the one with the power that decides how to use their power and whether it will be used for good or bad.
Let’s bring this discussion to a place that it will affect you and me directly. The ultimate power is God, the creator of the heavens and the earth. God has shown His power in parting the Red Sea, the Jordan River, rescuing 3 young Hebrews from being burned in the fiery furnace and in many other ways. But He has also shown His power in destroying the world with the Flood. He destroyed the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness which included homosexuality. He also tells us that during the Tribulation He is going to bring great judgment on the earth that has never been seen before. Many people today would use the latter examples as proof that God has used His power for evil. God has always made it clear that sin must be punished. However, He has also shown His mercy in giving multiple opportunities to do the right thing. He does not stop there. In order to show His love, He has gone far beyond what anyone else has done. God is love and He has proved it with action. 1 John 4:7-10 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The Bible says that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Jesus could have used His power at Calvary to destroy those that were killing Him. Instead He used His power to die to pay for the sins of the world. He could have used His power to make the cost of salvation more than we could pay but instead He gives it to us as a free gift. This is the best example of using power for good.
How will you let the power of God affect you? You could reject God’s gift of salvation and try to work your way to heaven on your own. If you try this you will spend eternity in hell, and you can’t blame God because that is your choice. Or you could trust Jesus alone as your Savior, that He, being God, died in your place to pay for your sins, was buried and the third day rose from the dead. If you truly do this, you will not only have a home in Heaven, but you have the opportunity for a greater life on this earth. You now have become a child of God. God’s power is now at your disposal. This can change your life.
You may be wondering how this power can change your life. This Sunday at 11 am and Wednesday evening at 7, Lord willing, I will be preaching on this topic. It would be great if you could join us as we dig into the Word of God. If you can’t make it but would like to listen to messages go to youtube.com/
calvarybaptistchurchflorida and I pray that you will be blessed. I would also like to invite you to stay after the service this Sunday for grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.
To find out more information go to calvaryflorida.com. Thank you and we will keep praying that we are not hit by a hurricane this Sunday.