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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Load

           A boy was helping his father bring wood into the house for the fire. The wood was heavy, and the boy’s knees buckled under the load.
            “Why don’t you use all of your strength?” the father asked.
            Gloomily, the boy replied, “I am.”
            The father gently encouraged him, “No, you have not. You have not asked me to help you.”
            Then the father stretched out his hands and picked the boy-and the log in the boy’s arms-up.
            When Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 ESV), he was not doing so in order that a guy who was five feet, two inches tall could be inspired to someday dunk a basketball. Instead, Paul was giving a church hope that by the power of Jesus, they too could overcome sin and demonstrate the qualities of Jesus in their lives.
            I believe this teaching applies today.
            Empowerment by God typically does not mean that God will MAKE us do the right thing… or that he will take away the temptation to do the wrong thing. Neither does it mean that if we strain hard enough, we can overcome sin exclusively by our own power and live out the qualities of Jesus.
            What it does mean is that God gives us the power to collaborate with him in his work, and God’s grace and love motivate us to offer everything within our means to participate with him in his work.  
            Here is a mathematical equation for you:

Jesus—the marriage of God and flesh=The Christian—the marriage of God and flesh.


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