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For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) 

What are the marks of Spiritual power? For some it may be doing some great miracle or seeing the signs of the Holy Spirit being manifest. We admire those people who can stand up strong and oppose the false values and the lies of the enemy. We dream of being able to dump the whole dump truck of the Gospel on people, denouncing their sin, warning them of their eternal damnation and showing them, in no uncertain terms, that they are the devil’s tool!

Others may say that spiritual power is seen in ‘spiritual disciplines’ of prayer, Bible Study and living a holy, set-apart lifestyle. These are the prayer warriors and the scholars of our day. They spend hours and hours in study and prayer and draw insights from God’s Word that we marvel at.

Is one of these better than the other? Shall we strive for one above the other? In some ways they seem opposites. One (power) is openly visible and extrovert-ish. But power, taken to extremes, tears apart, destroys and loses its regard for human feelings and emotion.

The other (self-discipline) can be taken to the extreme and become withdrawn and loses touch with society. In its extreme it can lead to legalism and a judgmental spirit.

But Paul adds the perfect ingredient to bring power and discipline together: Love.

It is love that helps us to realize that God’s word is true and that His Son Jesus is the only way to peace and forgiveness while here on earth and eternal life with Him after we die.

It’s love that reminds us that we are His most special creation. We are made in His image for His glory so that we can reach out to those around us that are in pain and despair.

It’s the love of the Father that caused Him to send His Son, Jesus, to the Cross to take the penalty for my sin, to offer me forgiveness, and to give me the power of the Holy Spirit for daily living.

It’s love that helps me to be patient and gentle with those who continue to follow their own destructive ways. It keeps me from attacking them through constant reminders of their sin and drives me to my knees to pray that God will lead them to repentance.

Love. The perfect cement that binds the truth of God’s word and the power of His Spirit to show the world that Jesus is the answer to the pain that they bear.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I thank you today for the many blessings you have given me. I thank you that through your Holy Spirit I can be brave in my speaking out for you. I thank you for your Word that gives me the wisdom to see the lies of the enemy and the truth of Your word. I ask that you would help me to add the cement of love to my life so that I can reach out to my friends and neighbors and show them the unspeakable blessing of knowing Jesus. Amen.

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