All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

We’ve sung it for years. Now we’ve seen it!

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name was demonstrated two Sundays in a row, and it wasn’t in church. It was on the church!

Yes, we’re getting a new roof. The adjuster has been on top of it, literally, and a couple of contractors are awaiting our decision once we get the go-ahead.

Obviously I’m having a little fun with the hymn. The word “hail” can be used in a number of ways. It can be used to greet someone with enthusiastic approval, or to hail a cab. And it can refer to the balls of ice we saw and how they descend upon the earth, or even to a hail of rifle fire. But the thing the hymn and the hail have in common is that they both focus on the power of God.

When God confronted Job with his assumptions about being in control of things, He asked if he had seen the storehouses of hail that He had reserved for a time of distress and the day of war and battle. And more did die from hail- stones than the sword after the sun stood still and the moon stopped while Joshua was fighting against the Amorites.

When the first trumpet was sounded in the book of Revelation, hail and fire fell upon the earth and destroyed a third of it. And when the seventh bowl was poured out, huge hailstones weighing a hundred pounds came down from heaven upon men.

Destructive hail from heaven is always a timely reminder that God is in control and we are not, but it’s not always an act of specific judgment from God. Sometimes its just a consequence of nature being cursed along with mankind after the first sin.

The good news is that God can take whatever happens, and turn it into something good if we love Him and are called according to His purposes. He can even use it to provide a new roof for the church.

God Bless, Rick

Tongues, Demons, and Dinosaurs

Tongues, demons, and dinosaurs; what do they have in common? They were all topics for discussion around our table on Easter. And it’s probably not as weird as it might seem. Questions about all three tend to come up as those new to the faith begin digging in a little deeper.

Zach Marcopulos, Grace’s boyfriend, became a Christian shortly after coming to ISU, and is now serving as an intern with Encounter, the campus ministry. His relationship with Grace brought him to our table, and he often shares questions that have come up working with students and in his personal study. I’m honored that he comes to me with questions, and delight in trying to answer them.

To answer the question about tongues I took him to Pentecost and the gift given to the apostles that enabled them to preach in native languages to those who had gathered. We then discussed the confusion that arose in Corinth about gifts of the Spirit, and the variety of gifts available today, and their purpose.

I affirmed the existence of demons in the Bible, and how Jesus and the apostles did indeed cast them out. We talked about the nature of spiritual warfare today, and I expressed my doubts about current attempts at exorcism due to no biblical instruction on how to do it.

Dinosaurs took us back to creation and various ways the word “day” was used. Great sea monsters were created on the fifth “day” and creatures that sound like dinosaurs are mentioned in Job. Their former existence on earth can’t be denied. The question is simply when.

The next day he texted with a question about predestination. I told him that foreknowledge plays a role in who God predestines to become like His Son, but the offer of salvation is open to all.

We obviously went beyond what I have written here, but I share this to encourage you to ask me anything. In fact, I’ll even join you around your table, if you ask.

God Bless, Rick