|Human energy can illuminate God's power|
|Written by By BILL RYAN/Sentinel Religion Editor|
|Friday, 06 July 2012 08:37|
(Editor's note: This continues the series focusing on various aspects of God's energy.)
An old familiar joke tells the tale of a man being the victim of a flood. As the water rises around his home he is confident God will save him.
A small row boat goes by his home. The people offer to help the man, but he declines saying, "Go save others, God will save me."
The waters continue to rise and the man seeks refuge on the second floor. The Army sends inflatable crafts to aid in the effort. The staff of one of the rescue boats tries to coax him to safety, and again he defers to God.
As the floodwaters get higher and higher, the man is forced to the roof of his home. A helicopter flies over and lowers a basket for the man, but again he says, "Go save someone who needs help, God will save me."
When the flood sweeps him away, the man dies. Upon his arrival in heaven, he demands to talk with God. Bitterly complaining, the man asks God, "Why in my darkest hour of need, did you fail to assist me?"
God simply replied, "I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"
Despite the humor of the story, there is a real underlying lesson about how God's forces are all around us, and we fail to see them.
The man was looking for something magnificent, and missed the majestic power of human interaction.
Our all-powerful God may have the ability for flashy miracles and showy displays, but most of God's work is more subtle. Legions of faithful on this Earth assist God in countless ways. Aid is provided through one's job, social interaction with friends and family, charitable work and more. God uses people to help others.
In the vanity of our humanity, we like to think we are in control. We have the answers, we control our actions, we have the power. Wrong - God has the power. Also the cross has both a vertical and horizontal component.
If we only focus on the vertical connection to God, we miss the human connections through the horizontal. We cannot successfully go through life all alone.
We need people and more importantly, others need us. Much of God's work is done in community.
Life plays out daily and as disciples of Christ our role is to see the needs of God's people around us. Jesus tells of what we do or not do for the least of our neighbors, we do or not for him. The humanity of God is all around us.
Many fundamentalists stress "works" are not needed for "salvation," which is granted to those who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Scripture substantiates this point, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)
James, however, supports works as told to us, "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?" (James 2:14) Only God has the final answer.
Consider in the meantime, the possibility with a God full of power, his disciples are charged with following our Lord and his actions. Thus, we too need to be full of power. We need to be active Christians, assisting all of God's creations with our actions and deeds.
God has given us the talents and energies to do great things. That is our gift from God. Our gift to God is how we utilize them.
If there is not a conscious effort on our part to assist in God's works, have we really got the faith? Is our proclamation of belief genuine or are we just providing lip service to God?
Scripturally, it is accurate that one's faith and belief is a requirement for salvation. It is also true as a believer, we are charged with the task of living out that faith, and not proverbially, putting our light under a bushel.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
Again, we see a reference, not only to God's light, but our marching orders as a Christian soldier to be a light for others through our works.
In that way, we can be on that boat or in that helicopter to provide a hand from God to someone who is counting on that help.
More importantly, God's light in our lives - seen through our works - is required to illuminate a path for others to follow for their salvation.
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