Superheroes, Spandex & Second Chances – Guest Post by Chris Edwardsen

Posted on August 17, 2011

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In “Spider-Man,” Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker that with great power comes great responsibility.

Although we’ll never be bitten by radioactive spiders and transformed into web-slinging, wall-scaling and – thank God – spandex-sporting superheroes, we Christians have been indwelt with something infinitely better.

The Holy Spirit.

With this power, we are entrusted with a huge task – to use our gifts and talents for the glory of God.

As believers, we feel that as long as we tame our tongues, refrain from lying, or guard against the pull of pornography, we’re free to rest on laurels and while away our days playing FarmVille.  Without question, God hates sin, and throughout Scripture, He commands us to do the same – for example: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).

But God expects more from us.  We’re to venture outside our comfort zones and be forces for change.  Sadly, though, we often allow our circumstances to block us, to strip us of motivation.  Guilt, shame, hurt, self-doubt, depression, anxiety – these should not be grounds for living small.  Listen: If anyone had reason to wallow in self-condemnation and go into permanent hiding, it was the Apostle Paul after his eye-opening, conscience-rousing conversion.

He had this to say on a mission trip: “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  And I did so in Jerusalem.  I not only locked up many of the saints in prison …, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them.  And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities” (Acts 26:9-11).

Definitely not a rap sheet I would like to have before our Heavenly Judge.  When I consider my own guilt, which is great, it’s nothing compared to what Paul must have felt.  Yet, by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, Paul broke free from his past and realigned his God-given gift of assertiveness to become a fierce, uncompromising advocate for Jesus Christ.  Likewise, having been reconciled to God, through Christ, we, too, have been made anew – the old is wiped away (2 Corinthians 5:17).  In a world unwilling to hand out second chances, the Gospel serves us well by reminding us that clean slates are possible – all we have to do is put our faith in Christ.

OK, maybe you haven’t a clue what to do or where to begin.  But unlike Paul, you’re not too fired up about the idea of risking imprisonment, much less death, for proclaiming the Good News in countries that frown upon it.  Don’t despair – God can use you right here, right now … in any capacity.

First, know that God has forgiven and forgotten all your sins.  Second, pray daily – even hourly – to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Finally, let Him reveal to you the many ways in which your unique gifts and talents can be put to good use.

Remember, with the Holy Spirit comes great responsibility – not only to leap tall temptations in a single bound but also to make a difference.

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