Grace and Humility

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble.  We are not told exactly what this thorn is.  He prayed to God for deliverance from it, but deliverance did not come, only God’s promise of grace.  Paul embraced that promise of grace, with a humble attitude and God blessed Him with it.  He learned to be weak, so that Jesus might be strong in His life.  We need to learn to get out of the way and let Christ reign in us, easier said than done at times.  Sometimes, when we go through hard times, deliverance might not come in the way we want.  We need to trust God and His plan for out lives.  He has our best interest in mind and He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

So no matter the trial, lean on God and let Him lead you through!

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In The End

Job 19:25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

Sometimes, when times are tough, it’s OK to peek to the end of the book .  To skip ahead and see how everything turns out.  It gives us hope.  Job had lost everything.  He lost his kids, his processions and his health.  His world has fallen apart, enough so that his wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9).  His friends come and tell him how he must really of done something wrong to deserve this.  If read Job, you know that is not the case.  In him moment of despair, he flips to the back of the back and says this verse.  He knows that Jesus lives and one day, in the end, Jesus will return and reign on this earth.  As a Christian, that gives me hope.  The war is over, Satan has been and will always be defeated by Jesus.  Jesus wins and He is coming back!

If you are saved, worship God and thank Him that we have this hope.  Be encouraged by it!

If you have never accepted Jesus as your savior, the bad news is you are not on the winning side.  Confess to Him you are a sinner and need to be redeemed.  He is able to redeem us, because He paid the price on the cross.  Jesus is the only way (Acts 4:12).

What Love

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

Think about it.  Jesus had been with God forever and ever.  He had everything in Heaven. And yet He gave that all up to be born to a poor, teenager couple as a baby.  He left the splendor of heaven and grew up in the small town of Nazareth.  A place that’s people were not full of honor and looked down upon (John mentions the Apostle Nathanael (John 1:46)  and the Pharisees not believing anything good can come out of there (both John 7:41 and John 7:52).  He did that, so that we could go live with Him.  He loves you and me so much, that He left Heaven and came to earth.  He became poor, that we might have a chance to share in His riches in Heaven.  For there was no other way.  Jesus dying on the cross and being a sacrifice for our sins was the only way for God to satisfy His justice (He hates sin and cannot be around it.  One sin condemns us, see James 2:10) and His love for us.  Jesus took our punishment, that we are free to go to Heaven if we believe in Him.  And if we do, we will enjoy His riches with Him.

What love He has for us!

Today is the Day

2 Corinthians 6:1-2
1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain – 2 for He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION “

If you have not accepted Jesus as your savior, I urge to make the today the day.  Not only I, but God does as well.  He says today is the acceptable time for salvation.  Don’t miss the opportunity.  I second what Paul says and urge you not to receive God’s grave in vain.  Accept it don’t reject it, today.  You are not guaranteed tomorrow, so don’t miss the chance to live forever in heaven with Jesus. He loves you and is the one pursuing you.  We don’t chase after God, He chases after us.  That’s how much He loves you!

Righteousness

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

I have the deal of the century for you.  You can have all of your sins, the evil things you think, say, and do that are contrary to the will of God, taken away and replaced by the perfect life of one man.  That man is Jesus and on the cross He took on all of our sins, all of the sins of everyone whoever lived, upon Himself.  This caused a split between God and His Son, for the first and only time in all of history.  Jesus took those sins and sacrificed His life as the Lamb of God, for you and me.  He did so willingly and full of love for us.  And God the Father looks upon us, who have accepted Jesus as our sacrifice, as He would upon the Son.  That’s quite a deal if you ask me.

How dare I even contemplate sinning against Him, but I still do.  Every day, multiple times I fail.  But His grace covers all of it!  And I am forgiven all because of what Jesus did on that cross!  Praise God!

The Right Attitude

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

This is a second post on this verse.  God brought something else to mind to me, today on it.  That’s the great thing about God’s Word, there are many truths you can get out of such a small verse.  What God reminded me today, was a line from Charles Swindoll, at the ceremony which made Dr Michael Easley the President at Moody Bible.  He said, that we should do the right thing, the right way.  That not only does God desire us to be obedient to Him, but we are to do it with the right attitude.  Not with grumbling or complaining, but with joy and love.  How many times I’ve known the right thing and done it, but my attitude stunk.  God is not glorified if we do good things with the wrong attitude.  Serve God with joy and love.

So do the right thing, the right way!

Love & Humility

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Even though the word humility is not found in this verse, it’s there.  To do everything in love, means a lot of the time I need to deny myself.  I need to put others before myself.  Just now, I put my daughter to bed in tears, because I snapped at her for not washing her hands fast enough.  After reading this verse, I knew I needed to go apologize and make things right.  My actions which made her cry, were not out of love, but out of my own selfishness.  My action to say I was sorry to her, was out of my love for her and wanting her to know how much I  love her.

When we put the needs of others before our own, we show them love.  Jesus showed His love for us, when He denied Himself the glory He deserved in heaven and came to earth, born in manger.  He denied Himself and laid down His life to pay the penalty for our sins.  We need to do things in love, as Christ did for us.

First Importance

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

The most important thing about the Christian faith is the fact that Jesus came, He died, He was buried, and He rose again.  This is the gospel, which Paul himself received, and that he had passed on to the Corinthians.  The whole Christian faith relies on these facts.  If Jesus never came or never died for our sins, or rose again, the Christian faith is worthless.  Paul goes on in Chapter 15 to discuss this fact.  We don’t believe in a good teacher (as some call Him), we believe in the Son of God, who died for our sins, paying our penalty and rose again 3 days later.  Jesus, the perfect, sinless, Son of God took on my sin and your sin and died a cruel death, one which we deserve for ever and ever, in order that God the father, would consider our sins as forgiven.

Never doubt how far God went go to save you!

Love

1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The Bible is full of verses describing God’s love for us.  A love that He initiated and pursued.  One of the most famous verses in the Bible deals with this, John 3:16.  He loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son, to come die for you.  Think about that!  God loved YOU so much, He sent Himself in the form of Jesus to come shed His blood, that you might love Him back.  We must of done something great to deserve this love, no?  NO.  In Romans, it says “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.  Jesus came, when we were in full rebellion from Him.  Sadly, most people respond to this out pouring of love today, by rejecting Him and refusing it.  Those people will spend eternity apart from Him.  But those who accept His act of love (believe in Him), as the only way to get forgiveness for our sins, we will be with Him forever!

If you haven’t responded and accepted Jesus’ love, do so today!  Don’t put it off.  Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and trust Him as the only way to get to heaven.  And then, bask in His awesome Love!

Imitation

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

We are to imitate Christ.  We also need to find and hook up with Godly people and learn from them as they live for Christ.  And as we grow we need to be that person to a younger Christian.   We are meant to live the Christian life alone.  We need others to help and encourage us our way.  But, even if you have a thousand Paul’s in your life, to mentor you, we need to ultimately look at Christ and study His life and how He lived.  Paul pointed the Corinthians to be like Jesus.  Nike used to have a commercial campaign with Michael Jordan, that went ‘Be like Mike’.  If Mike is trying to be like Jesus, then it’s OK to be like Mike.  But if he’s no trying to be like Jesus, don’t be like Mike.

Do not forget to ask one of the most famous questions when you are faced with a situation, ***’What Would Jesus Do?’    How would Jesus want to me to act/react?  If you are not sure how to answer that, pour yourself in the Word and prayer.

Go, be like Christ today!

***This question has one of it’s origins in Charles M. Sheldon’s classic, “In His Steps”.  Sheldon, a pastor in the late 1890’s, wanted to challenge his church to live like Christ (You can get this book free on the Amazon Kindle by Clicking Here).