In our weakness, standing in Your strength, Thy Kingdom Come

In our weakness, standing in Your strength, Thy Kingdom Come

Weakness, who would admit to it? We are taught from the beginning, strength wins. Survival of the fittest. There is quote after quote about the need to be strong and independent. Even in the Church, we have quotes such as, “God helps those that help themselves.” None of them truly helpful, and rarely actually Biblical. Oh sure, some are really great. They are motivators for us to press on in difficult times. They encourage us at times even give us a new perspective on life and ourselves. i recently read a men’s devotional in which it talked about our need to be physically fit, strong even. Although it made some very valid points, i think it was leaning too hard on our strength and how God wants to use our strength.

In reality, God wants to use our weaknesses. In order for that to happen, we must embrace our weakness, understand it and live in a place that allows God to use our weaknesses to His glory. We need to realize that we are made perfect in weakness. We need to humble ourselves even in areas of strength and rely on God’s strength. Will He use our strengths? Absolutely! But when we become dependent on our own ability, we will soon lose perspective and reliance on God and His strength. In Everything, we need to seek the Lord, His will, His strength, His leading and in the end His glory not our own.

This is not a popular message by any stretch of the imagination. Many will disagree. However, i would just point back to the fact that God uses our strengths, yes He does…i contend, however, that He uses our weakness more, in fact, He desires to use our weakness more than our strength. That is a very comforting thought if you think about it honestly. It is the Apostle Paul who wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

9 “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

Let’s look at this passage in the Message in a fuller context looking at verses 7-10:

7-10 “Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first, I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Here in 1 Corinthians 1:27 Paul says, “Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” (NLT) Yes, He has given us gifts, and talents, but often the gift and the talent for particular missions are found in the weakest of men (and women). God’s Kingdom is built on His strength, His Kingdom has come. Jesus said, “12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12 NASB) and, “Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you.” (John 14:16 CEV)

Let me point to this, in conclusion, the final verse of Psalm 27 (NASB read the whole chapter by clicking the link)…Be strong yes, as you wait on the Lord.

Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.”

Embrace your weakness.

You are loved,


In our offering, and in our service, Thy Kingdom Come

In our offering, and in our service, Thy Kingdom Come

With the passing of the Reverend Billy Graham today i think it fitting that we have reached this point in our “Thy Kingdom Come” series. No doubt he (Rev. Graham) heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when he walked into glory. His humility throughout his life is something to be emulated, not to mention his desire to offer of himself and serve. There are two quotes i want to share here from the Rev. Billy Graham that i have read today in various places. The first, “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” WOW, i find myself both in agreement and challenged at these words. And that’s only the first quote! Here is the second, “Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” Here i am comforted and inspired.

When the church uses the word “offering” folks immediately jump to tithes or money. Although that is definitely a part, it is not the whole. You see offering is giving and one can and should give from the heart. Whether that is tithe or special gifts or time, effort, and resources of a non-monetary form. When we make an offering of time to the church, the body of Christ, we are essentially giving in multiple areas. One might ask, “Isn’t that service?” Yes, and no, is the answer. Yes in that we are serving the church when we offer our time and talents. However, service is much deeper. By this, i mean that we are to serve everyone, not just the members of the body of Christ.

i want us to look at Matthew 25:31-40 here we will see exactly what i am talking about straight from Jesus’ mouth (from the Message).

31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him, and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.

34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry, and you fed me,
I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless, and you gave me a room,
I was shivering, and you gave me clothes,
I was sick, and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison, and you came to me.’

37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'”

i really like how the Message spells this out, “Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was meyou did it to me.” WOW! When we make self-sacrificing service, through sincere faith, we do so unto the Lord. This has challenged me over the years to evaluate why i do, why i give, why i serve, why i live essentially. What is my motive, what is my expectation, what is my heart? The answer, reveals whether or not i am serving others or myself…whether my actions are selfless or selfish. This passage continues…41-46

41-43 “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry, and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless, and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering, and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’

45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

46 “Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”

Each of us holds a piece of the puzzle. Putting the puzzle together can be challenging. We will make mistakes. We will find our intentions were selfish, our motives, wrong. But do not lose heart, do not grow weary in doing good as it says in Galatians 6:9. We have unique and specific giftings, talents, and resources, each of us must examine ourselves and make an offering of our lives in service; financially and physically.  Let me remind us of Rev. Graham’s words, “Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.”  We may not always get it right, but we must still be ready, willing and able. As we learn to live in our Lords Kingdom here and now.

In our offering, and in our service, THY KINGDOM COME!

You are loved,


In our WORDS, and in our SILENCE, Thy Kingdom Come

In our WORDS, and in our SILENCE, Thy Kingdom Come

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says: “…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” There are a lot of passages that speak about not speaking, of holding one’s tongue, simply put, not talking. Psalm 37:7 – “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” 62:5 – “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” and finally, although there are plenty more, Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

We have all seen that one person who just yells, they yell at pretty much everything, complain about everything and everyone. It is easy to sit and wonder how such a person can ever be happy. Now i don’t mean those occasional conversations where two good friends vent a little. There is something about letting off a little steam once in awhile, but to constantly air one’s disdain for everything is quite another thing. Nobody likes complainers, grumps, and people full of visceral. There is a season, a time, a moment if you will when you may be required to speak up. It may be passionate, full of animation and octaves above your normal speaking voice, just be sure it is warranted and out of character.

If you sit in a meeting with me you will rarely hear me speak. i take two bits of advice very seriously, first, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” (-Unkown) Proverbs 17:28 speaks to this idea; “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” The second piece of advice, “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” (President Theodore Roosevelt) ok, maybe not the “big stick” part but certainly the speaking softly, Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Here is my point, we are challenged throughout Scripture to “watch our tongues” and “speak wisely” and “thoughtfully”. To measure our words, to speak only what builds up and not what tears down. To wait until the very last second possible to vent, and then wait, a second more. It is not easy but in our words, we should only build up the Church, not bring criticism and in our silence, we should reveal the heart of Christ not the will of man. So, i say to us, “In our words, and in our silence, Thy Kingdom Come.”

You are loved,


In our temptation, You have made A WAY, Thy Kingdom Come

In our temptation, You have made A WAY, Thy Kingdom Come

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Prior to this verse, Paul tells the Corinthians and subsequently us, that the early Jewish nation, “For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” Yet, even still, “…with most of them, God was not well pleased.” Why? Well, because the consistently gave into temptation without remorse or repentance. The caveat, our example. (1 Corinthians 6-11)

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 

Now to us, take heed to these warnings, and hold fast to the promise that God will give you an escape hatch when temptation comes your way. What a great feeling to know that God is looking out for us, that He has our best in mind, our prosperity and not our destruction. We need only seek Him with our whole heart and we will find Him.  On the other hand, the devil is aware also and he is fighting for your soul as well. He will stop at nothing to gain control of you and he knows just how to tempt you. He knows your weaknesses, maybe even better than you do. In fact, as Paul warns in verse 12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Do not get too confident in your own ability to stand but lean on Jesus. Jesus is the ESCAPE HATCH.

you are loved,