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Sunday Devotion: 7 July 2019, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Devotions

Love of power or power of love?

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Main Readings: 2 Kings 5.1-14; Psalm 30; Galatians 6.(1-6) 7-18; Luke 10. 1-12 (13-16) 17-24 [Isaiah 66.10-14; Psalm 66.1-8]

Supplementary readings: Psalm 66.7-19; Colossians 2.1-15; Ecclesiastes 7.1-14; Psalm 66.1-8; Luke 9.12-24

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10.20)

I knew a woman who fancied that her intercessory prayers were so powerful that she could help would-be mothers conceive. She was tempted to think that she could guarantee a successful outcome every time. But she discovered a disconcerting truth: when she gloried in her power, it faltered.

In the passage from Luke’s gospel, the seventy have been sent out to perform “deeds of power” in the name of Jesus. They return “with joy,” having discovered that even demons have submitted to them. They sound somewhat full of themselves! They probably can’t wait to rush off and find some more demons to subdue. Jesus brings them down to earth with the reminder that they are not to rejoice at their power, but at their salvation.

Even though we serve God whole-heartedly, when we find success in our lives, it is very easy for our human nature to take the credit. But the focus should always be that we rejoice in the good, and not in the power. Power from God, the power that assures us that we are his beloved children, is love in its purest form. It is there for us to receive with gratitude and share with others, always giving to God the glory.

The power of God’s love is unquenchable. It may come through us, but we are not the source.

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