Time For God: May 16

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: 2 Timothy 3:5
…having a form of godliness but denying its power
A token is a helpful sign of an authentic—often hidden—reality; tokenism is neither helpful nor genuine. Disingenuous expressions are transparently insincere.

A token is a visible and outward expression of a discreet, significant truth. Tears may reveal true inner feelings; a small external gift a greater internal gratitude. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell with mighty power. A disheveled and isolated group of thwarted and devastated followers of Jesus huddled in a room. Suddenly endued with the Holy Spirit, they move in expanding circles: Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. To a waiting world they announce the transforming Gospel of the crucified Christ.

God’s power first transforms their personal faith: Jesus has truly conquered death and hell. Then He transforms their purpose: Jesus sends them to reach a broken world with Christ’s redeeming love. Finally He transforms their future: eternity takes them beyond the limits of earthly life. Their power—to heal, raise the dead, speak in other tongues, and discern the heart’s hidden motives—is a token. It shows God’s greater power to redeem His creation. God repairs, renews and restores.

God’s fully demonstrates His power in Creation—in all that we see and all that is hidden from our eyes. God’s speech forms all. His Word makes everything possible. His Word dwells among us (John 1:1-5; 10-13). That is the ultimate token: God’s love reaches out to all that He creates. Moving forward by His power, God forgives our former faithless tokenism: having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Christ’s redemption enables our souls—and all creation—to be made new. Loren Wilkinson reminds us that creation itself is a token, an outward emblem of God’s invisible character: all creation is included in redemption, it’s not merely for the saving of human souls. Mary Ruth Wilkinson understands the weakness of frail faith in a broken world teased by tokenism, Creation opens the risk of catastrophe. Yet God is committed to such a creation. God’s love covers a multitude of—even my—sins.

How have you settled for forms of godliness that deny God’s power to transform both you and others? How does God restore your confidence in His redeeming work for His creation? How can you work today to repair a fractured world, mending broken hearts through God’s redeeming love?
Redeemer of All, renew my heart today as your grace buys back all of your creation. Your grace is sufficient for me; Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Like your first disciples, let your work begin in my frail and closeted heart. Move my feet within your world to carry the Good News of Christ’s renewing presence. Amen.
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