RSS Feed

Three Lessons of Weakness

Posted on
Three Lessons of Weakness
  • Weakness exposes our self-reliance. Before we experience an obvious weakness, a part of us thinks we are doing well because we are good; we’re strong. After we’ve had the wind knocked out of our lungs we begin to realize how weak we are apart from Christ.

 

  • Weakness draws us closer to God. Look at Peter’s before and after the cross experience. Before the cross Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

  • Weakness makes us more authentic. Before we know just how weak we are apart from Christ, we live like pretenders. After the experience of weakness we know who we are. We are more authentic, more human.

I too have come to realize weakness is a gift from God!

 

Advertisements

Weakness Is Actually Part of God’s Plan

Posted on
Weakness Is Actually Part of God’s Plan

If we never experienced any pain, never missed the mark, never experienced any kind of suffering, could we actually grow?

God actually used weakness to complete the work He wanted to do in Jesus through the things He suffered. This is why Peter and the disciples told Jesus He was not to go to Jerusalem, suffer and die. Weakness could not be the plan of God.

Jesus you are all powerful. Jesus you have all authority in heaven and earth. It didn’t make sense that you, of all people, should suffer.

But God chose the pathway of weakness to finish His work in Jesus. “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, but we see him crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death. Through God’s kindness he died on behalf of everyone.”[1]

The Apostle Paul was a man of faith and power. Once he was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14) but got up like nothing happened and he went on. Another time he was bitten by a deadly poisonous snake and merely shook it off. Paul prayed over dead people and they came back to life. Through his faith he saw amazing miracles happen again and again.

Paul experienced visions and deeply spiritual revelations. He even described them in 2 Corinthians 12, and wrote about them in the third person as if he was writing about someone else’s experience!

“I know a believer in Christ who was taken up to the third heaven 14 years ago. I don’t know if his body was taken up or not. Only God knows. I don’t know if that man was in his body or out of it. Only God knows. But I do know that – he was taken up to paradise. He heard things that couldn’t be put into words. They were things that people aren’t allowed to talk about.”[2]

As wonderful and amazing as those experiences were, Paul discovered that they were not what caused him to grow the most. In fact, these spiritual experiences had the potential to harm Paul, to become a stumbling block through spiritual pride.

So God chose to weaken Paul in order to keep him grounded.

During that season of weakness Paul made an amazing discovery. The pathway to power was through weakness. The more he embraced his own weakness the more he leaned into God’s power.

Paul writes; “I could have become proud of myself because of the amazing and wonderful things God has shown me. So I was given a problem that caused pain in my body. It is a messenger from Satan to make me suffer. Three times I begged the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me. Because of how I suffered for Christ, I’m glad that I am weak. I am glad in hard times. I am glad when people say mean things about me. I am glad when things are difficult. And I am glad when people make me suffer. When I am weak, I am strong.”[3]

Weakness is actually a part of God’s plan.

 

[1] Hebrews 2:9 GW

[2] 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 GW

[3] 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 GW

(IM)Perfect – Already, But Not Yet

Posted on
(IM)Perfect – Already, But Not Yet

The theme of this blog series is really a play on words. You could read the title as IMPERFECT or you could read it as (I’M)PERFECT.

Because the truth is in Christ, I am perfect but the reality is I am also imperfect. That can be confusing.

  • If I’m perfect in Christ then why do I still struggle?
  • Why don’t I see victory in every area of my life?
  • Why is my mind not always clear?
  • Why is my body weak at time?
  • Why does my marriage struggle?

Is something wrong with me?

You have to understand that in Christ, I am positionally perfect but in this life, I am functionally imperfect.

Through the death, burial, and resurrection, of Christ He provided all that I will ever need to live a holy, victorious, overcoming life.

You and I live in the land of already … but not yet.

Hebrews 2:8 says, “You put everything under his control.”[1] When God put everything under his Son’s control, nothing was left out. However, at the present time we still don’t see everything under his Son’s control. Christ has already won the battle. He has already defeated Satan. Jesus has already dealt with sin, sickness, shame, sorrow, death and despair.

But in this present time we DO NOT YET see the fullness of it all.

Our theme text for this series is Hebrews 10:14: “For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”[2]

So which is it? Are we already MADE perfect or are we being made perfect? It’s both.

It is already….but not yet.

There’s a tension between the age that is and the age to come.

In this age we fight sin. We resist the devil. We contend against sickness. And in the already … but not yet age, Satan

[1] GW

[2] NIV

Make God’s Word a Weapon

Posted on
Make God’s Word a Weapon

Of all the pieces of the armor the Word instructs us to put on in Ephesians 6, only one of the pieces is actually a weapon. There’s a helmet, a shield, boots and a belt, but the only weapon is the Word of God.

“ABOVE ALL … take the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:17 says, “God’s Word is an indispensable weapon” (MSG).

This blog series comes from the story of the “Temptation of Christ” in the wilderness. The devil came to Jesus and tried to get Him off course. Satan tried to trip Jesus up by tempting Him to do things that were not a part of God’s plan.

And every single time Jesus came back with, “It is written!”

Memorize the Word. Eat it. Read it. Love it. Live it.

Say this aloud:  I will accept the Word as it is written. I will obey the Word! I embrace it! I will believe it! With God’s help, I will try my best to live it!

You can listen to the audio message here.

Make the Word a Growing Part of Your Life

Posted on
Make the Word a Growing Part of Your Life

What’s growing in you? Is clear thinking, spiritual passion, a sense of focus and purpose growing in your heart? Or is confusion, dissatisfaction, despair, hopelessness and anger growing in your heart?

As we work God’s Word into the soil of our heart our life will be growing in the right direction.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 says, “Live in order to please God. We ask you and urge you to do this more and more.” (NIV)

How to make the Word a growing part of your life:

  1. Get a translation you like. The Bible was written originally in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). Unless you can read Greek and Hebrew you will not be reading it in the original language! The King James Version of the bible is written in 1607 Old English.
  2. Get a good study Bible. Many app’s on our smart phones and devices are free! I like PocketSword but it only works on Apple devices. Another one that is very popular is You-Version.
  3. Get in a small group. When you study the Word with other believers, it will inspire you to go DEEPER. Acts 2 tells us they met daily; they prayed together. They studied the Word together; they fellowship regularly, and they had a vibrant faith that saw unbelievers come to Christ on a regular basis.

Perhaps one reason we are not influencing the culture around us is because we are not being influenced by the Word of God and strengthened by the fellowship of other believers.

If the Word is a growing part of your life, it will be what grows your life!

You can listen to the audio message here.

 

Make the Word the First Part of Your Life

Posted on
Make the Word the First Part of Your Life

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.”

Here’s a good goal to set:

  • 5 Minutes in the Word: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
  • 5 Minutes in Worship: “God is looking for people who worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
  • 5 Minutes in Prayer: “Men ought always to pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1).

In this series of blogs we’re answering the question, how do we make sure we are holding on to it?

  1. We have to make it the foundation of our life.
  2. We have to make it the first part of our life.

Watch for #3 in the next blog post.

You can listen to the audio message here.

 

Make the Word the Foundation of Your Life

Posted on
Make the Word the Foundation of Your Life

We must understand how incredibly powerful the influence of the world around us is, how it shapes and molds our thinking. Every movie we watch, every newscast we listen to, every Facebook or Twitter post we read, all shape our thoughts and eventually mold our beliefs.

The world Noah lived in was so bad, the Bible says, his soul and mind were greatly disturbed by the things he saw and heard. Noah didn’t have the written Word like we do.

Our first thought on every issue of society ought to be, What does the Word say?

Five weak foundations you want to avoid building your life on:

  • Popular culture – There’s a tremendous amount of pressure today to conform to how everyone around us thinks (what is right or wrong).

Isaiah 5:20 says, “There are those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

You have to teach yourself to recognize the dysfunctional thinking of our society. The Bible, God’s Word, will help you know the difference!

  • Tradition – This is primarily found in religion devoid of true faith. Amish teach we are saved by our works (good outweighs bad).

Ephesians 2:8 says, “By grace we are saved, through faith. It is not by our works.”

  • Reason

Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

  • Feelings

Judges 21:25 says, “People did whatever they felt like doing.”

  • Intellect

1 Corinthians 1:21 says, “In the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom, did not know God.”

We have to make the Word of God the foundation of our life, and not base our beliefs on the influence of the world around us.

You can listen to the complete audio message here. 

 

%d bloggers like this: