“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained.”2 Timothy 2:8-9
“You know why the church is in shambles today?” I shudder at questions like this that are sure to attack Christ’s precious bride. “Because,” the soldier explained, “we’re not doing the miracles that Jesus did.”
This man measured the success of Christ’s church by displays of visible power—things he thought Christians should do. But miracles did not grow the church in Acts. In fact, many people disbelieved the miracles of Jesus and His disciples. The Holy Spirit brought people into the body of believers— Spirit-empowered preaching and sharing of the Word of God. It grew in and through ordinary circumstances, and it thrived in times of suffering.
You see, Christians are not called to displays of power; rather, in our weakness, we display God’s perfect patience (see 1 Timothy 1:16). And we grow under the preaching of the Word, the partaking of the sacraments, prayer, and Bible reading. Will the church experience problems? Of course. But she has the assurance of going through them with the power of God upholding her.
Do not look to human power, but to the power of the God-man who died and rose again for you.