In the presence of power

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By Tom Wiles | For The Times-Post

The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” … people in the region of the Garasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone for a great wave of fear swept over them. The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. — Luke 8:22-39

Several years ago, a friend rolled into town with a his newly acquired Dodge Viper.

Basically, it’s a massive engine with wheels attached to it.

“Want to drive?” he asked.

“Absolutely!” I said trying my best to blunt my uneasiness.

As soon as I released the clutch and stepped on the gas pedal, I thought to myself, “This road trip isn’t going to end well.”

Heart pounding, I pulled over, smiled and gave him his keys.

The disciples, the townspeople and the man liberated from demonic bondage all responded to the power of Jesus in very different ways.

The disciples responded with fear and amazement. I’m scared, but I simply must follow.

The townspeople were cold bone scared and couldn’t be rid of Jesus fast enough.

The man who had his tormentors dismissed into the pigs was ready to tackle the world and he did.

How would you have responded that day in the presence of the power of Jesus?

One day soon, we will all get our opportunity.

A last breath has been assigned to us all.

When it is exhaled, we will see Jesus face to face.

How will we feel about his power then?

If we have chosen to believe in him here, we will have already experienced his liberating power and will rejoice in being able to enter into its fullness.

Restoration

If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore all your fortunes. He will have mercy on you… — Deuteronomy 30:1-20

OK, so installing windows is not in my wheelhouse.

It didn’t seem like a such a big deal. I had a towel on the frame to cushion the light taps from a rubber mallet. It was a simple attempt to square the window up before sealing it up.

It worked!

The only problem was the window pane shattered to make that last little adjustment possible.

Thankfully, a phone call, a new pane and a few bucks later, it was all restored.

At risk of making the understatement of the millennium, Moses had his hands full with the people of Israel.

Forty years was a long time to wander the desert with very difficult travel companions.

As his time on earth was nearing its close, he warned them against breaking God’s laws.

He then proclaimed the wonderful truth that God would gladly extend mercy and restore them if they turned back to him even if they did.

Many of us feel mercy, not getting what we deserve, is one of those “too good to be true” things we’ve been warned about.

We try everything we can to avoid admitting our need for it. We’re not sure God will put up with us yet one more time. Far better to honor and love God through obedience.

However, when we humbly acknowledge our hard left turns, turn back to the narrow road and ask for mercy, he will extend it to us and restore us.

Too good to be true?

Nope. It’s just good.

Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.