The past few days I’ve been reading what Paul has to say about strength and weakness, but this mental picture has really just brought it home for me.
All through Gethsemane, His trial and the road to Calvary, Jesus looked like anything but a strong King. He was exhausted from lack of sleep the night before (and probably very little – if any food). He was quiet, and soft-spoken. Literally everyone and everything was against Him. He must have questioned His purpose. Yet, He did not rely on His own strength. He turned to His Heavenly Father. He trusted Him and sought His strength. In His weakness, Jesus was filled with divine strength to do the most important work in the history of the Universe – and He allowed to be subjected to torture, hatred, slander, abuse, and death.
But, the story doesn’t end there. In His weakness, He was filled with the power of the Almighty, with a strength stronger than the grasp of death itself, He burst from the tomb with life! He reigns with all power and glory and honor.
The story STILL isn’t over. He loves you deeply, and extends to you that same power that even in your darkest moments you may be filled with strength. Wow! What an awesome God we serve!
What if we viewed every trial we faced, every weakness of character, every hardship in our path as an opportunity for Christ to work through us in power and strength? The King of the Universe working through and empowering me, empowering you?!?
I’m just gonna leave that right here and let it sink in.
Sometimes stewardship can seem like a complicated topic. When do I give? When do I save? What about investing? And the list goes on.
Whatever the challenge, God has made a few things clear.
# 1 – Everything we have comes from Him.
# 2 – He will take care of all of our needs.
# 3 – He longs that we will receive the blessings that only come from giving and sharing.
# 4 – He will use our gifts to bless others and through that we become coworkers with Him.
# 5 – It takes faith to trust that His promises are sure and that He will do what He says He will do.
I have a love/hate relationship with money, as I’m sure many of you do. Yet, today I am reminded that it is simply another way for me to learn to trust God, fully surrender to Him, and an opportunity to be used by Him. What a blessing. 🙂
It’s election season, and during these times, it is customary for us as individuals to reflect on what it is that makes a good leader.
When I think of the proper credentials, I truly believe we have no better example than He who has all authority, but because of His great love for us, surrendered all his wealth and privilege. Though He didn’t have to, He took on the sin of this world, not to bring us momentary freedom and liberty, but that we may have it eternally. Not only that but that we may be esteemed enough by Him to receive a place at His table and dwell with Him forever.
What sacrifice! What leadership! What love! It’s hard to imagine that among the sea of Americans that I would matter much to the next president, yet, the King of the Universe knows me by name and gave all that He had just to be with me. Wow! I am humbled this morning.
Have you ever had a time of great sorrow? Not for things that have gone on around you, but for things you have or maybe haven’t done?
I know that for me, it is easy to get stuck in that place of frustration with myself, but we serve a merciful and gracious Father. He longs for us to come to Him and lay down the things on our heart, to seek forgiveness, and to allow Him to work change in our hearts. There is nothing He longs for more.
This passage gives me hope. I have hope because of His love. I have hope because of His grace. I have hope because of His sacrifice. I have hope because of His transformative work in my life. I have hope because He has promised not to leave me as I am.
God’s love for us is so amazing and so abundant. He loves us so much and has given us such amazing grace. It is so easy for us to take that grace for granted and to fail to recognize how amazing it truly is.
To accept Christ’s grace is to live fully committed to Him. The walk of a Christian is often not the easiest path. It includes afflictions, hardships, distress, sleeplessness, hunger, and more. But the beauty of grace means He will give us what we need to face these trials with endurance, purity, kindness, genuine love, truth and more!
Let us not be hesitant, but may we take this moment NOW to fully accept the grace of Christ, that He may work mightily in our lives.