“A Power You Cannot See”
September 28, 2016
“A Power You Cannot See”
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8,9).
Growing up I thought engineers were the ones who drove a train. Of course as I got older I realized that engineer means more than that. My first remembrance of an engineer I accounted to when I worked in quality control in a summer job in college for a company that made prestressed concrete for bridges. Sadly my memory of him was that he was a womanizer!
All throughout our ministry we have had ministry relationships with many engineers beginning with Mike Matangelo, who along with his family, was a part of the church we planted in northern Pennsylvania. Tony Figeuredo was a part of the church we served in New England as was Nigel Lee, who with his wife Laifong were the very first recipients of a daily encouragement message in 1996. Ron Hoover, who we mentioned in yesterday’s message, has been very supportive of our chaplaincy ministry and has provided a number of helpful connections. All of these men are electrical engineers, a branch of engineering dealing with ___________ (one of the hardest quizzes you will take today!)
About twenty years ago I was at the huge CBD warehouse book sale in Peabody Massachusetts. Many of you have heard of CBD (Christian Book Distributors) and perhaps ordered from them. Several times a year they had a warehouse sale and people came from all over to attend for the bargains.*
At one sale I saw a man sitting on the floor surrounded by a big pile of books. I commenced conversing with him and asking about what he did for a living he informed me he was an electrical engineer. I told him my observation concerning many electrical engineers I’ve met who are Christians. He asked me if I knew why but I had no idea. He shared how in his field of study there’s a focus on a power that is present but can’t be physically seen. Thus faith in an invisible God and His undeniable power is not so difficult for an electrical engineer to grasp!
The Apostle Paul speaks of God’s “eternal power” as one of God’s “invisible qualities”. Paul uses a very interesting Greek word for “eternal” in this passage. The word aidios means “everduring” (forward and backward). This power is constant; there’s been no diminishment whatsoever from eternity past and there will be no diminishment in eternity future.
This is a reference to God’s everlasting power and divinity; and Paul’s argument is that invisible things may be “seen” by the mind. The things that are made, namely, all created objects, are the things which enable the mind to comprehend what no natural eye can see, that is, the power and divinity of God. (Coffman)
Notice the paradox in this verse invisible qualities which are clearly seen! This has been true since the creation of the universe. The eternal power and divine nature of the Creator have been seen since that time (from Creation in our perspective but actually eternity past) and are now understood by the things that have been made, namely, the material creation. Man, reasoning upon the basis of the law of cause and effect, which law requires an adequate cause for every effect, is forced to the conclusion that such a tremendous effect as the universe, demands a Being of eternal power and of divine attributes.
But of course many do not accept this and the Scripture frankly teaches, “so that men are without excuse.”
According to the daily text and certainly in my observation God’s invisible qualities are “clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” I pray that the Lord will open every reader’s heart and eyes to clearly see the glory of God; to believe and serve Him today.
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, everything in all Your creation cries out concerning Your invisible qualities—Your eternal power and divine nature. We are blessed beyond measure by Your handiwork, and Your invisible power that sustains us and empowers us to walk in victory day after day. Your power is constant and there is no diminishment over time. On Your appointed day when we enter the portals of heaven, we will see so much more of Your creative power that is hidden from view on this side of eternity. Keep us faithful and respectful of Your almighty power that reigns in heaven and on earth. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
The other evening we took a walk along Donegal Creek with our dogs. Walking alongside the creek we passed a section of single strand electric fence with the dogs staying clear of it. They both have learned about a power you cannot see. When Mollie was younger she lunged forward and brushed the wire with her head. ZAP!!
She yelped painfully, backed off and looked up to us as if to ask, “WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT?”. Well, how do you explain electricity to a dog? (For that matter, how do you explain electricity to a person?)
* Interesting background story: CBD was founded by two brothers, Stephen and Ray Hendrickson, one who attended the same small Midwest Bible College in Springfield, MO we went to in the seventies. Their dad was a pastor and they started selling books from his home. Now it’s a huge company based in an unusual location since I always thought a business like this would be more likely in the Bible Belt, not among the frozen chosen in New England! (See here for a view of their 240,000 sq. ft. distribution center on Google map) History of CBD
This brings to mind another story out of Springfield MO that my friend Dave Simpson told me. It also took place in the seventies when we lived in that area. A man owned a Brown Derby, a small package store (selling liquor) but sent his son off to college in hopes he would do better. When his son finished he asked his dad if he could sell some fishing flies and equipment at the back of the store. His father said to the effect, “You telling me I sent you off to college and this all the ambition you have?” Well, from that small beginning Bass Pro Shops was formed and now Johnny Hunt is very successful in regard to business. (See story here)
“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” Video Jaron and Katherine Kamin
“I Sing The Mighty Power Of God” Video The Ball Brothers
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