“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.”
~2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT
“Consciousness of our infirmities drives us out of ourselves to Him in whom our strength lies.”
The Apostle Paul was a great man of little statue. So great was he that God gave him a thorn in the flesh. Paul referred to this thorn as “A messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” No one knows what the thorn was but whatever it was, Paul didn’t like it and three times he asked God to remove it. All three times God gave him the same answer, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So Paul learned to glory in his weakness. How in the world can we glory in weakness? Most of us are ashamed of our weakness. We do everything we can to hide them. We don’t want others seeing our weakness because in our pride, we want to appear strong. Little do we understand that our lack of integrity keeps us from revival. What if we all took off the mask and did like Paul who acknowledged and gloried in his weakness.
Whether he did it intentionally or not, Paul identifies the main problem. What is it that keeps men from Christ? What causes Christians to fail repeatedly? It is PRIDE. We want to be the subject. We want the focus, the spot light on ourselves and the more we accomplish, the more we love the spotlight. Dwight L. Moody confessed, “I have more problems with myself than with anyone else.” He is right, I can say the same thing. Your pride doesn’t cause me to fail; it is my pride that trips me up again and again. Our failure reveals our weakness and it can mean humiliation and shame. This is exactly what happened with Peter. First, he had an inordinate pride, then he failed miserably. He cowardly denied even knowing Jesus. With this failure came shame and humiliation. I talk about Peter but I could use Jack as the illustration. What Peter did once, I have done many times. I know the shame and humiliation he felt. When you are feeling this deep shame and humiliation, when you are keenly aware of your weakness, your self shrinks. You don’t crave the spotlight. You don’t covet glory. You are perfectly content in the shadows, back stage, behind the curtain and you long for God to get the glory.
God’s purpose is to purify us of this contemptible self that craves attention and loves glory. I believe the only way He can achieve this end is through adversity and trail. Humility is first base in ministry, evangelism and missions. Unfortunately, some folks try to score without touching first. Above all else, God wants us to be humble. This is why Jesus said, “Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” The longer we live, the more we lean how to act. I’m not referring to good behavior, I am referring to our ability to deceive others by our pretending. Little children don’t pretend, they are honest to a fault. When they are hurting, they tell you. When they are afraid, they tell you. When they want something, they tell you. If Baptist would stop pretending they have it all together and become like little children, we would have revival.
I have struggled with Paul’s confession, I don’t want to be weak and I have had difficulty glorying in my weakness but I have learned through experience that God communicates much more through our weakness than He does through our strength. That being the case, I will glory in my weakness.
I have not done a phone tree message in a while but I will try to get one out today. LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15. Donuts and coffee at 8:45.
Ken Callahan died of heart failure yesterday. I have no arrangements. Joe David is on day 3 of his trip: continue to pray. He is 12 hours ahead of us which means he is getting ready to go to bed when we get up. Let’s not forget Jessica Hogan who is doing Summer Missions out West.
I’ve been studying Psalm 18 for the past few days. I like to listen to them set to music and follow along in the scripture.
Jim Carrey doesn’t act an idiot, He doesn’t have to because he is an idiot. Carrey publicly defended Kathy Griffin’s photo in which she is shown holding a mock head of a decapitated President Trump, saying he has dreamed about battering the president with a golf club. I might add: Carrey is more than an idiot, he is a disgusting, obscene idiot. I didn’t watch his movies before, I certainly would watch any now. Madonna doesn’t like Trump either, she is going to blow up the White House. Yeah, right, she doesn’t have enough sense to blow her nose, let alone blow up the White House.