Much, Much better today! Thanks so much for all the prayers as you read. This cold/flu stuff is not nice. I cannot remember ever hurting as much for such. Now that I am doing much better, it is time to get on with matters at hand. There is always more than I can do in a day, if I open my eyes. So I lean on our Lord within me to accomplish what is before me. He is good and strengthens my weakness.
In fact, Paul said his weakness was what he would brag about, not any supposed strength of his own. In 2 Corinthians 12, after Paul had talked about his visions etc, he said this, “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited I was given a thorn in my flesh, a mesasenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with The Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Now this is definitely not putting your best foot forward. (Side note: the teachings of the world are never useful in regard to the government of the Kingdom of God. His ways are very different than any form or self-exaltation). He stood head-and-shoulders above any other apostles in visions and revelations. Yet, this was not what he chose to brag about. He was instead willing to brag about his weaknesses.
I do not believe Paul's “thorn” was any form of illness, simply because the use of that term in the Scripture is always associated with irritation, temptations, testings, etc…. So I believe he was given a constant reminder of some sort of the fact that he was a very weak and easily tested human being. That being so, it becomes even more amazing that he was who he was.
Accepting our weakness is the first real step in understanding the strength of our Savior. He is strong and I can simply trust Him for the strength needed to accomplish for my day. I need not be undone because I find myself week. Neither do I need to give weakness its intended result – making my reslove weak in Him. Instead, leaning into His strength, I am strengthened in ways I never thought possible and led to accomplish matters too difficult for me.
I have my limitations; He has none. Glory. Now that is truly awesome. That means, me released in Him and He released in me is able – whatever. His goodness is amazing.
What about 1 Peter? Oh I will probably get back there soon. Just have a few items on my heart to share, so am taking the space to do just that.
I am typing this on my iPad Mini, and learning to use the program designed for blogging. I have done some with it before, but find I use my iPad much more than my computer, and it is usually with me. So there you are. Blessings on all who read.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy birthed us from above into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, into an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, being kept in the heavens into us who by the power of God are being guarded through faith, into a deliverance to be uncovered in the last time.” (personal translation)1 Peter 1:3-5
In addition to being birthed into a living hope, we are also birthed into an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, being kept in the heavens into us…. Again I have translated a small Greek word (“EIS” written in English) as its primary meaning “into.” Other words such as “for us” are more common in this passage. However, note how changing that to “into” keeps it anchored in us and not in the “heavens” somewhere out there. This inheritance is in us as we sit in the”heavenlies.” It is not something stored up for receiving when we get there at some future date.
This inheritance is the result of our birth. We have been born into the family of God and nothing now separates us from our Lord. In the words of Francois du Toit, “Jesus Christ has eliminated ever definition of distance between us by abiding in us.” So very true. So we are in Him and we exist with Him. He lives in us and exists within us. The unity of this fellowship is complete. Both Ephesians and Colossians attest to that fact.
So this inheritance that is ours, that is by the power of God guarded through or by faith, is into us – not in a storage vault somewhere. Jesus is our inheritance and we live in Him, so the reality of that inheritance is now.
I think so many of us separate ourselves from Him so much that we see everything future. Hence we as a church (worldwide) have not seen the closeness of our fellowship. He longs to visit with us and share Himself in fullness.
When a child of a wealthy person begins to live as an adult, they already share in some aspects of the wealth they will inherit. Their training, their education, their lives are marked with the social aspects of those who will inherit.
So it is with us. Because of our Father, we have the best possible spiritual training and education – if we wish. All is in fellowship in Him. Paul said,”I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:19-20 HCSB That was not a “wish” Paul had, but that was the way he lived his life here.
So we too, are so deeply included in the fellowship of Jesus, that He lives and moves within us and we in Him. This inheritance, then that is guarded by faith, is in His presence and being within us.
Lord, thank you for beginning to teach us how close to us you always are and that you always bring all into us now. It is almost too much to really conceive of in our minds, but Lord we are so willing to receive in spirit, in heart, in mind.