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Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews 11:33-34’

Weakness and Strength

June 20th, 2017

Weakness does not limit God as much as your proud strength.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Weakness and Strength.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness.” Hebrews 11:34 NIV. 

We have a three year old great grandson, who is a typical boy, full of energy and self confidence. His insistent, “I can do it myself,” is part of his ample vocabulary. Of course, there is more that he can’t do than he knows. But his growing confidence is important as he tries new skills and challenges, and grows by his discovered abilities and exposed inabilities. In life, he will recognize that he needs and wants help. Obviously, with assistance he can do more than he is yet capable of doing without our help. Independence is not limited to preschoolers. He will learn that he needs help, and he will discover that he learns and achieves more when he accepts help.

We are all a mixture of weaknesses and strengths. And you possess more potential than you have yet comprehended. You are more capable than you have imagined or chosen to believe about yourself. I have observed that people who achieve remarkable things may not have been others’ obvious choice to do so. The difference is this. In God, they learned He could turn their weakness into His strength.

The Bible describes ordinary people making extraordinary achievements, “Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” Hebrews 11:33-34 NIV. Without God, they could have done none of those things.

Paul wrestled with some malady that he felt limiting. Desiring to serve God more fully, he earnestly and repeatedly sought God to remove the source of his self-perceived weakness. Finally, he understood when, “The Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’” Paul discovered, Therefore, . .  when I am weak, then I am strong.” Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV. That may seem to defy logic, as we understand it. Your weakness does not limit God as much as your proud strength can. Will you dare to believe that God is almighty enough to be undiminished and unhampered by your weaknesses, inadequacies, and limited abilities? “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10 NKJV.

Consider this. You are more limited by reliance on your perceived strengths than God is limited by what are your known weaknesses. When you understand your lack and limits, you will rely more upon God. However, when you feel self-sufficient like my grandson, you insist, “I can do it myself.” Weakness and strength are not mutually exclusive, as is often assumed. Everyone of us is ordinary. But our God is extraordinary. The secret is to entirely commit your ordinary self to an extraordinary God; “To Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to have persistent faith in our God Who is Omnipotent.

Christian Communications 2017-7307

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Weakness and Strength

June 4th, 2014

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV.

God more easily supplies what you lack than can displace what you are proud to possess.

Today my thoughts and comments are about “weakness and strength.”

Whether in the barnyard, school yard, or market place, others seem to take advantage of those whom they perceive as being weaker than themselves. For that very reason, people learn to mask weaknesses with denial or pretense. Neither of those are a winning strategy. No one enjoys being weak or being considered weak. Denial of a fact does not change it, and pretending you are other than you are doesn’t alter facts. Here’s the reality; every person has both strengths and weaknesses peculiar to themselves. Your recognition and response to either is what will make the difference. In your strengths, be humble; about your weaknesses, be honest.

God looks at your weaknesses and strengths much differently than you or others do. What you perceive as strength is of more concern to God than your weaknesses. Strength can be beguiling, leading to pride and living independently of God when you are not. Pride is not a pretty thing and God will not long indulge it. Humility is the cure for pride. From his earlier lessons of humiliating failures and humbling experiences, Peter wrote, “Be [aproned] with humility [toward one another], for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:5-6 NKJV. Voluntary humility is an easier path than imposed humiliation. If you will not embrace the first, you will face the latter.

Let’s see what God says about weakness. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Think of what you were when you were called [by God]. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong . . so that no one may boast before Him.” 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 NIV. God does not respond well to boasting. God more easily supplies what you lack than can displace what you are proud to possess.

In the great chapter of faith, you can read of those, “Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” Hebrews 11:33-34 NIV. Who were these incredible, powerful, conquering people? They were ordinary people, “whose weakness was turned to strength.” God alone can do that. They were people who found strength is their God. “The Lord . . gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:28-29 NIV.

Paul wrote, “God said to me, ‘My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my [weaknesses], that the power of Christ may rest upon me . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV. It may sound counter-intuitive, but in Christ, that is ever true.

I pray for you today that you are content that your strength depends entirely on His.

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Pursuing God with Passion

November 18th, 2013

“God . . rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6 NKJV.

God is not reserved only for crisis management.

My thoughts and comments today are about “pursuing God with passion.”

Our culture is becoming incurably casual, as evidenced by our carelessness with language (both slang and profanity), lack of civility, immodest attire, diminishing social graces, collapse of marriages and families, and depreciation of religious faith in our communities and society. Casualness elevates one’s own preferences and interests above and before those of others. The result is diminishing community and elevation of individuality. The more serious problem comes not in the effects from our casual interactions with others but its corrosive effect on our reverence for God and His Word.

God rewards the spiritually earnest soul. The Bible says, “Anyone who comes to [God] must believe . . that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV. God Himself is their reward. Do the words, “earnestly seeking,” accurately describe your spiritual life right now? “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV. What would describe your pursuit of God? I have observed that people get earnest quickly when crises interrupt life – sickness, financial need, marriage or family disharmony, unemployment, spiritual barrenness, or such difficulties. God is not reserved only for crisis management.

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews poses inspiring examples: Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, David, and others whose passion and pursuit of God was greatly noted and rewarded – “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, and turned to flight armies . .” Hebrews 11:33-34 NKJV.

Of such earnest seekers after God then and now, the Bible says, “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16 NKJV. I do not want to live in a casual manner that would embarrass God for my name to be linked with His. I have long felt challenged to live and serve in a way that could include me in the company of those of whom it can rightly be said, “God is not ashamed.” There is a spiritual gravity to such earnest disciples of Jesus.

“I was very diligent . . exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 4:3 NKJV. Earnestness describes the exertion and effort required in the Grecian games, as also referenced by Paul. See 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV. In doing so, Jude uses a Greek word, “agonizomai,” from which our English words, “agony and agonize,” derive. It refers to, “extreme exertion and struggle.”

God is not elusive, but neither is He available to the indifferent. With tears, Paul must have written, ”For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:21 NKJV. Loss of passion is as unworthy of God as is deliberate lack of passion. Read Isaiah 55:6 NKJV.

God’s Word provides the remedy; “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God . . Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.” Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV/ Hosea 10:12 NIV. Showers of righteousness!

My prayer for you today is that you are earnestly passionate in your pursuit of God.

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