The Power of God

There is simply no excuse for people living in the United States of America to be ignorant of the word of God. There is at least one Christian church in every town, and anyone can find a Bible in a library or bookstore. Turn on the radio and you can tune into a Christian radio station. The strength of this country is rooted in its Christian value structure. Once these values are eroded we will have destroyed our common culture of freedom and justice for all.

There is still hope for individuals who desire to know the truth–who desire to be blessed of God in their daily lives. Jesus gave us the ultimate formula for spiritual success in only a few words: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 10:28, NIV). Those who are honestly seeking for truth should read the word of God and obey what it teaches.

However, Jesus also told us about a common error in his day. People were reading the Bible, but they were missing the point of what it was teaching. Jesus said: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). Jesus was saying that the Bible needed to be interpreted in light of the power of God. But what did Jesus mean by the power of God?

The apostle Paul would later shed some light on the power of God when He wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). To Paul the power of God was the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul elaborated on this further in a letter to the church at Corinth where he stated: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corthintians 1:18). Here he tells us that the power of God is the message of the cross.

The power of God is the gospel of Jesus Christ that points people to the message of the cross: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

If we want to be blessed of God then we must hear the word of God and obey what it teaches us. But in order to obey the teachings we must understand the purpose of scripture is to point people to Jesus and His voluntary sacrifice for our sins. When we read the Bible we must read it in the light of the life and death of Jesus Christ–the message of the cross—the power of God.

~Stephen Beagles

The Presence of God

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open unto their cry.” ~ Psalms 34:15

Have you ever wondered where God is on days when it seems everything is going wrong? I know that there are some days when it seems that God is ignoring us or that He has left us to reap the benefits of our own sinfulness. But if you believe the Bible then you have to believe that God’s eyes are on us and that He is paying attention to our unique set of circumstances. He not only sees us, but He is also listening. We are under constant surveillance by the God of the Universe.

Job was aware of God’s constant surveillance when He wrote: “Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps?” (Job 34:21, KJV) He answers his own question by stating “For His eyes are upon the ways of men, and seeth all his goings” (Job 34:21). The writer of the book of Hebrews states clearly: “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).

Not only does God see all things that happen to us, but he also knows all things:“For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things” (1 John 3:20). The Psalms tell us: “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalms 147:5).

In these verses of scripture we learn that God is watching and knows all things with infinite understanding. Whenever we have a problem in our daily life, we can rest assured that God is aware of what is happening and has a solution to our problem. If God allows something to happen, then we can know that He has a purpose for letting it happen. If God created the universe in all of its complexity and mystery, then how can He be confused by our problems? We simply have to trust that God knows what He is doing.

The eyes of the Lord are on the Righteous, but His ears are also open to their cry. God is more than willing to listen to us when we cry out to him in our pain. He wouldn’t have it any other way. He wants us to call to him. He even commands it through the prophet Jeremiah: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”(Jeremiah 33:3). Since God has all the answers, it makes perfect sense for us to turn to Him who is the source of all wisdom and power. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah about how eager he is to hear our prayers: “And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

When we stop to ponder the truthfulness of these verse of scripture, we catch a glimpse of the type of relationship God desires to have with each of us. God hurts when we hurt and cries when we cry (Isaiah 63:9). In His wisdom, He must allow evil to run its course. He must permit bad things to happen. But He is on our side and promises to give us the peace that surpasses all understanding when we call upon Him in prayer: “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Apostle Peter quoted directly from Psalms 34:15 when he stated “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers” (1 Peter 3:12). It is comforting to know that God is always watching, and that He hears me when I cry out to him in my suffering. I know when I pray that God is listening to me. He is eager to grant me the peace of heart that comes only from the knowledge of His presence.

~Stephen Beagles

The Invitation

I bow before the throne of grace
I don’t deserve to see His face
He wraps me in His kingly robes
He puts His crown upon my head
“My child,” He said, “I took your place!
Your debt is gone, your sin erased
I paid your price, My blood was shed
Now sit and eat my bread, and drink my wine!”
I glanced into a face like mine
His presence sparkled royal, sublime;
The voice of God broke forth divine–
“Welcome to eternity with me!”

~Stephen Beagles

God of the Universe

You are my God, I place my trust in you
Creator of the Universe Divine
There is nothing that you cannot do
You cause the rain to fall, the sun to shine.
You paint the flower and make the water wet
You cause the seeds to grow and birds to sing
I need not trust in charms and amulets
The universe is yours my God and King.
You did not cause the pain on planet earth
Free will allowed the evil one to reign
We enter a sick world the day of birth
One day your love will make things perfect again.
There is no power higher than your throne
You are eternal God, and you alone.

~Stephen Beagles