The ministry of Jesus Christ included both the proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the demonstration of miraculous power over the natural and physical world. He also exercised supernatural authority over the spiritual realm.
Christ truly made the difference in people's lives during his earthly ministry, and he continues to do the same today. The following acrostic, using the name of Christ, illustrates this truth.
Calms the storms of life
Christ exercised power and authority over the sudden and unexpected storm on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples witnessed Christ's dynamic power and asked each other, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him" (Luke. 8:25, NIV).
Christ makes the difference. He not only has the power over the natural elements of the earth, he also has power and authority over the storms of our lives.
Heals the sick and hurting
Good news! Christ has complete power and authority to heal all who come to him. Jesus Christ cares for every individual. Luke, the physician, reported that Jesus laid his hands on each person who came to him for healing or deliverance (Luke. 4:40-41). All were healed. All were delivered. Christ makes the difference.
The writer of Hebrew asserts, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews. 13:8, NIV). Yes, Christ continues to heal and deliver people today.
Restores to life and wholeness
Christ demonstrated his supreme authority over death by raising the widow of Nain's young son (Luke 7:11-17), Jairus’ young daughter (Luke 8:53-54) and Lazarus, his friend (John 11:38-44).
The Apostle Paul asked King Agrippa and his accusers, “Why should any of you consider it incredible (unbelievable) that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8).
In the doxology of Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus, he exclaims, “Now to him who is able (has the power) to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
Yes, Paul believed God has the power and authority to raise the dead and restore life (Acts 14:19-20; 20:9-10).
Perhaps something is dead in your life and it needs to be restored — a marriage, finances, a relationship with a family member or friend, maybe, or a dream? Christ makes the difference. He has come to help people (Luke 7:16).
Inspires faith and blessing
Christ welcomes all to come to him like a child (Luke. 18:15-17). The disciples viewed infants and children as unimportant little creatures. But Christ loved them and blessed them. He pointed out that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who enter it with childlike faith.
Salvation is a gift from God, and those who receive it must receive it as a child receives a gift — readily and trustfully. Let Christ inspire your faith and bless you today. Christ makes the difference.
Seeks and Saves the lost (Luke 19:1-9)
The name Zacchaeus means “the Righteous One,” but he was anything but righteous. He had great authority, influence and wealth, but he also had a horrible reputation. He was dishonest and considered to be a traitor to his people, because he collected taxes for the Roman government.
But Christ made a difference in his life. The Lord came to where he was and urged him to come with him “immediately, right now.” He said to Zacchaeus, “I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5, NIV).
Salvation is always “now” and “today” (2 Corinthians 6:2, KJV). Christ offers salvation to all, regardless of one’s past or present. Salvation is for you today, right now. Christ makes the difference.
Transforms lives (Luke 8:26-39)
The transformation of Legion follows immediately after Christ calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Christ had a divine appointment with this demon-possessed man.
Mark reported that Legion broke the chains he was bound with, cut himself with sharp stones, ran naked, shrieking and screaming in the local cemetery (Mark. 5:1-8) — the original man-gone-wild.
But Christ made the difference in this person’s life. He set this man free. He delivered him of his demons. He clothed the man and put him in his right mind (Luke 8:35). The Apostle Paul would describe him as completely transformed and made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Do you or someone you know need the transforming power of Christ? Christ makes the difference. He has the might and power to deliver and transform lives.
Are you ready to let Christ make the difference in your life today? He’s ready if you are.
The Rev. Ken Moren is pastor of Family Christian Center. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.