Many years ago I heard a preacher say, “In the gospel is a power equal to love’s deepest yearning.” What he meant is that, in the gospel, God is able to accomplish all that he longs to do for fallen man. Who among us has never wished to be able to undo a mistake that a loved one has made, to take away some disease that afflicts them, or to turn them onto the right path? The problem is that we seldom have the power to do in the lives of others what we would. We cannot turn their bad choices for good; we cannot take their sicknesses upon ourselves; we cannot live righteously for them. God, however, has the power to turn the rags of men’s lives into riches.
The Lord God said to the house of Israel, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25–27). Oh, the heart and kindness of God!
Although those words were directed to the nation of Israel, you and I as part of the church share in the same promises. The Lord God has cleansed us from our filthiness (see Ephesians 5:26), given us of his Spirit (see Ephesians 1:13-14), and renewed our hearts (see 1 Thessalonians 3:13).
How powerful is the gospel? Listen to Paul’s words in Romans 1:16—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first; and also to the Greek.” He also wrote this: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Thanks be to God that there is life-giving and life-changing power in the gospel!
In addition to the needs listed in the weekly prayer sheet, please remember the following:
· As always, pray for the salvation of family and friends.
· Pray that the Lord would strengthen families and marriages.
· Continue to pray concerning our planned capital campaign.
May God bless you with answers to your prayers this week.