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Power Without Grace

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This week, two sayings came to my mind. The first quotation was: “All power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I felt this was wrong. God is absolute power. He does not corrupt and His words do not corrupt. I ventured to add two words into the quotation, the words being, ‘without grace’, and I wrote it down again. All power corrupts without grace. Absolute power without grace corrupts absolutely.

The second quotation that came to my mind was: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

How true that quotation is. One of the greatest examples in our times, of absolute power corrupting, was Adolf Hitler. Having read of his early life, I am sure his intentions were good. He saw his beloved fatherland in tatters after the 1st world war. There was massive unemployment, the currency worthless, to send a letter a stamp would cost 100,000 marks, a loaf of bread 1 million marks and people were without hope. Industry was at a standstill and children were starving…

When he took power, he turned everything around, he built 6-lane motorways, he put in new infrastructure and he gave the masses a cheap family car, the VW Beetle. He made Germany prosperous again. But as absolute power corrupts without grace, so he became corrupted. Instead of Germany becoming an example to the world, his Nazi cross became a symbol of fear. What a different cross our Lord carried and was crucified on!

Hitler was tempted by power. He was tempted by greed. He took the wrong advice and listened to evil counsellors like Himmler and Goebbels. He took the wrong road!! Instead of realising the Jewish people were very talented and could help to bring his beloved Germany to prosperity, he went the other way and did his best to destroy them.

We know what happened to Germany – it was almost destroyed. Power without grace destroys. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!

How many times in our lives have we fallen to temptation? How many times in our lives have we disobeyed God’s holy Word and committed ourselves to actions of self gain, knowing what we were doing was wrong?

Therefore, it is vitally important to pray to the Holy Spirit to protect ourselves from ourselves and to guide us through each day, even simply by saying the Lord’s Prayer to receive His protection, and by His grace we make the right decisions so that we do not hurt others by our actions.

Another quotation I like is: “We may pass this way but once, therefore whatever good we can do, do it now as we may never pass this way again.”

The greatest good we can do is to tell others about Jesus and how He changed our lives and how He can change theirs. Spread the good news!

Jesus was tempted. Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'”[1] Jesus knew the devil couldn’t give Him something He already had!

During our lives, we are continually being tempted and we continually fail and give way to temptation. I suggest that if we give way to temptation, we know in our hearts what we have done is wrong. We feel life is not worth living and we begin to lose hope. Read Psalm 23: The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

What wonderful verses and what amazing promises. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil”, reminds me of a book of a 19th century author, John Bunyan. The book is called, “Pilgrim’s Progress.” It is about a man called Christian, and his journey to reach the ‘Golden Gates’. As he walked through the dusty valley, he noticed another set of footprints side by side to his own. He felt it was Jesus walking with him; with apologies to John Bunyan, I added these lines, which I suppose you could call poetic license!

As the journey got more difficult on the way, he was enticed to stop and go no further. He was offered a good life with plenty of wine and fun. He pressed on. The road became even more difficult as it was getting very steep. And as he continued up the hill, which was called, The Hill of Despair, he was enticed to leave the straight path and take an easier route. Many acquaintances were coming down the hill and urged him to go no further but to return to the valley below. He refused, and as the way got harder with wind and storms hindering his progress, he noticed the other set of footprints had disappeared.

Eventually, after many trials and tribulations, he reached the ‘Golden Gates’ where Jesus was waiting for him. He fell to his knees and thanked Jesus for waiting for him and said, “Lord, why did You leave me when I needed You more when things became more difficult?” Jesus answered, “Christian, I never left you during those difficult times. I carried you!!”

How many times during our life’s journey, as we climb ‘The Hill of Despair’, do we feel like giving up, taking the easy path? How many times are we offered the easy way out?

I recommend you, if ever you feel down-hearted and nothing seems to be going right, everything is against you, read the 23rd Psalm and you will be uplifted. Your doubt will vanish. The sun will come out. “Even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil, for I will be with you always,” says the Lord.

Trust in the Lord and His promises to us. Praise God. Thank You again, wondrous Lord. Thank You for Your everlasting love and grace.

Keep the faith. Our Father never breaks His promises. Jesus never said, “Goodbye.”

Thank You Lord; thank You Jesus; thank You Holy Spirit. Thank You, thank You, thank You.


 

[1] Matthew 4:8-10

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