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Posts Tagged ‘Green Lantern’

Verse 9: “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

In an old Justice League of America issue, #34, “The Deadly Dreams of Doctor Destiny”, Dr. Destiny was attacking members of the Justice League through dreams that he would later materialize into real life…with deadly differences. In Superman’s dream, the Man of Steel was attempting to stop a rampaging stone warrior statue come to life. A pair of glasses snapped onto his face out of nowhere…glasses, that he discovered, removed his weakness to Kryptonite! At first happy, he was dismayed later when the giant defended himself with a gold coating and attacked Superman with fire. Now Superman had the weaknesses of Green Lantern (yellow) and the Martian Manhunter (fire)! Recovering his wits in time to figure out a way to defeat the giant in his dreams, he awoke in his bed, wryly observing that he’d gladly have a weakness to Kryptonite than trade for the weaknesses of anything yellow or fire!

Paul here is reflecting on his pleas to the Lord to remove “the thorn in his side”, and God had said no, and even more, replied that His grace was sufficient for him. Ever notice how we’re not surprised to see a feat of strength by a strong person, or some incredible achievement by someone very talented…but we remark on how miraculous it is to see such achievements done by someone unlikely? That’s God in action. He told Paul that “His strength was made perfect in weakness.” That way, credit is given to God for the miracle than to the vessel it was accomplished through.

Our music minister at church sang a beautiful solo today entitled “Gratitude” (arranged by Heather Sorenson, composed by Nichole Nordeman); in it, the author prays for needs, but remembers to thank God for what He gives, even when the answer is no to the prayed for need. Christian, remember to thank God in all things, and thank Him that His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses!

Something to think about!

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Verses 4-6: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

At the beginning of the movie Iron Man, Tony Stark is about to demonstrate his latest missile code-named Jericho. He introduces it in his speech, including the famous quote, “They say that the best weapon is the one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That’s how Dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.” It’s ironic that he named this destructive weapon after Jericho, the ancient city in Canaan feared for its incredible fortress like walls…walls which were brought down by God as Joshua followed His leading in having the Israelites take the Promised Land.

However, Paul here goes a step further. He tells the church not to put your trust in weapons of war or of defenses of man, but in the mighty power of God! In the comics once, the Justice League and Justice Society argued about who needed to deliver a doomsday weapon against a giant cosmic hand gripped around Earth. They all acknowledged it would be hard to survive the explosion. Superman, stated he should be the one, since he was invulnerable…until Dr. Fate mildly shocked him with a small bolt of magic. Both Green Lanterns argued they should go, until Green Arrow produced a yellow, wooden arrow, combining both their weaknesses. You see, no matter how strong or seemingly invincible mortal man proclaims to be, he cannot face the power of Satan…that is, not without the power of God, Whose power always triumphs over evil.

Remember the old bumper sticker, “God is my co-pilot”? Friend, give Him the wheel and let Him be the driver!

Something to think about!

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Verse 1: “Now Saul was consenting to his death.”

2 comic book characters come to mind when you speak of hero turning villain (from the classic origins…I realize DC Comics has been revamping their universe of characters, so I speak from the classic origins here, not retconned ones).

Mighty Adam was the choice of the wizard Shazam during the dynasties of Egypt to wield the gifts of the wizard to fight injustice. However, he had a taste of what that power could do, and wielded it selfishly, killing the ruler and making himself king. Shazam banished him, though he would later return with his new name, Black Adam. He became a chief antagonist against Shazam’s modern champion, Captain Marvel.

Sinestro was made a Green Lantern of the planet Korugar and served the Guardians faithfully, using his emerald ring and lantern to defend and to protect his planet and space sector. Again, power went to his head, and he allowed himself to “enjoy” the powers he wielded for personal gain. Banished by the Guardians to an anti-mater universe of Qward (where good is evil and vice versa), Sinestro fashioned a yellow power ring (yellow being a weakness in the green lanterns’/rings’ makeup) to get revenge. He, too, became an antagonist…this time, for Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth.

Both these men were heroes; both let power corrupt them; both became villains.

Here we have what will be the reverse: a zealous Jew named Saul, who saw the violence against Stephen…and endorsed it. He actually became emboldened by it, and turned himself into Public Enemy No. 1 for the Christian church. He became a hero in his own eyes (my wife’s pertinent observation here!)

But, God had other plans…

More to come!

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Verse 16: “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”

The evil Lord of Time had captured and transported 4 Justice Leaguers to the 1870’s Old West. He had robbed Green Lantern, the Elongated Man, Zatanna, and the Flash of their memories, making them his unwitting pawns in a scheme to capture an anti-matter bubble from space from vaporizing on Earth (so he could use its power in his schemes). He arranged for them to meet up with some of the Old West’s more famous adventurers (in the DC universe anyway): Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Cinnamon, and Bat Lash.

Jonah Hex, the West’s greatest bounty hunter of the late 1800’s, encountered Green Lantern as he was on the verge of dying from dehydration and sun exposure in the desert. Nursing him back to health at his campsite, Green Lantern recovered enough to accompany Jonah to a town named Desecration. On their way, Hex remarked how GL looked “a whole lot better than yuh did when I found yuh…could be that magic ring of yours that did the job.” GL confided that he wish he knew…that he knew how to use the “power ring” but had no idea how he got it or what it was…”that worries me even more than losing my name!”

Here is where Jonah Hex says something interesting: “ How d’yuh figure that? Seems to me a man’s name is more important than most anything else he’s got!” Lighting a freshly-rolled cigarette, Hex continues, “A good name will get yuh welcomed by polite society.” Tossing his spent match on the ground, it hits the head of a rattlesnake who can begins to rattle and to rise and strike…”a bad name…” at which point Hex lightning-draws his six-shooter and blows the head off the snake “…gets you nothing but enemies!” he says, as he blows the gunsmoke off the gun’s barrel. (all this was from the original Justice League of America series #199 story “Grand Canyon Showdown” from 1981.)

Ironically enough, the beginning of the story peers into the thoughts of the villainous Time Lord, as the narrator remarks he had long ago quit using a name, discarding its importance, remarking that a title was more desirable.

Peter is preaching to the crowd at the temple, telling them that the lame man was healed by the power of the name of Jesus Christ…”through faith in His name”. Jesus had departed from His earthly form and ministry but charged the disciples to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. They were to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and thus empowered, do healing and miracles in His name. Jesus…the Name above all Names. People have come to salvation through His name from the time of Acts…until today and tomorrow. Talk about an important name!

Something to think about.

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