This week's memory verse:
"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." - 2 Corinthians 12:9
We ALL need strength every day...strength to do what is right, strength to take care of ourselves, strength to just get through the day. Where does that strength come from? How do we get it?
Jesus is our High Priest...the only one who can be where God is and help us atone for our sins. Hebrews 4:14-15 says that because Jesus was tempted in every way - just as we are- and never sinned...he is sympathetic to our struggles with sin. He UNDERSTANDS what we are going through and is our example. God is wise...this is all part of his plan. He is compassionate for us and wants to deal gently with us and our ever present sin. Because Jesus came to earth in human form, he knows what it's like to be human.
Psalm 19:11-13 describes two categories for sin:
* Hidden - sins you don't realize - you are not aware of
* Willful - you know you are doing it - open rebellion to God's commands
God promises to forgive both! We need to be continually asking God to forgive our sins...and when we ask, we will receive. Isaiah 30:15 says "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.'"
Our sins---the things we do that is against God's plans and commands for us---THAT is what zaps our strength! We can't help that...we are going to sin. God knows that, and sent Jesus to help us with that. Jesus stands ready to give immediate and sympathetic help when we are tempted....he gives us strength! Sure...if you don't have Jesus is your life, you can rely on your own strength...pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going...but you will eventually fall. You are human...it's part of who you are.
Philippians 4:19 says that God will meet your needs, according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ. Jesus...our helper, our representative...he is our one true blessing from God! When we realize this, we can rely on him to give us the strength we need each day. God meets our needs THROUGH Jesus!
For those of you who don't believe...who don't believe that Christ is part of God's plan...you are welcome to keep believing that...but I am here to tell you from experience...I NEED strength every day....I mess up every day and I fail on my own every day...when I take the time to pray for forgiveness and ask Jesus to give me strength...it comes to me...I find I am able to do the things I didn't think I could do...My strength comes from Jesus! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!