An all sufficient grace

Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that he’d rather boast in his weakness, so that the power of Christ can abide in him. Why? Because then he can be made perfect through the Almighty’s strength since his own efforts inevitably fail.

How often do we believe things could sometimes be different in our lives…when we are just not pleased with our lot in life or with the way the Lord has made us and the cross we have to bear? We can compare ourselves with others and bemoan, or we can be filled with gratitude that the Lord has created us in His image and loves us beyond our imagination.

Moses stuttered. Apostle Paul had vision issues. Jacob had a limp, and Leah was deemed ugly. There’s plenty more examples. So many figures in the Bible suffered in the flesh and yet the Lord used them mightily for his plans and purposes.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger 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 ~ Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Who’s your refuge?


    There are no atheists in fox holes. That’s what they say. Of course, when the chips are down, people cry out to God for help. But where is their Creator at any other time? Do the worldly believe they’re getting by in this life on their own laurels? Or that life is a random game of chance to be gambled upon?

The worldly panaceas offering help from the cares and burdens are, for the unsaved, the first place they look for relief from the pain of living. For the children of God, the ones Christ calls his brethren, our solace is met at the cross.

When you rise in the morning or lie down at night, the struggles that plague you have only one solution; it’s found in the arsenal of the Master Physician.

  “Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings, I will rejoice” ~ Psalm 63:7

The world is a battlefield for control of your mind and heart. The combat skirmishes will always be here until we’re promoted to heaven, but there is assurance that in Him, your battles are already won.

Whether it physical, emotional, or mental pain that take precedence and attempt to sabotage your peace, rejoice in the Lord and count it all joy. Why? You have the Lord! Praise Him through the pain and watch and wait on what the Lord can do.

 

God has blessed America

She stands tall on Liberty Island above the sparkling blue-green waters of New York City’s harbor. Her verdigris silhouette can be seen for miles as the robed Roman Goddess of Liberty beckons to the tired and poor and those who wish to breathe free. She stands upon a broken shackle signifying the abolition of slavery and bears a torch to welcome immigrants from far and wide. Her iconic presence sends a message of hope to the world.

As I stand on the banks of the sunny harbor, tears draw to my eyes. The vision of liberty for America and its enactment throughout the years is without parallel. Where else but on this continent can a person with empty pockets and no education begin a life, raise a family, and through hard work, establish roots that are watered by personal strength and creative efforts? Through perseverance and innate skills, where else can one break through to nurture a dream, whether to open up a popsicle stand or an entire grocery store chain?

So fortunate we are to live in a nation where We the People are the sovereign and have the opportunity to partake in our God-ordained government. By casting our vote, we exercise our rights under the Constitution as well as our free will. By holding our leaders responsible, by keeping their feet to the fire, we can demonstrate our desire to be a Godly nation by being the salt and light that God calls us to be.

Sadly, standing near Lady Liberty is another statue. It hasn’t been erected yet—at least, not formally with an edifice. It is the statue of progressivism. While our country was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as endowed by our Creator, progressivism has inserted itself as the arbiter of liberties. It doesn’t fly under the banner of how the nation was founded and is now pounding on the door of freedom and liberty. With its tyranny and social justice, progressivism is standing at the threshold of the new social order.

This new way of politics seeks a sense of universal oneness—a spirit that we are all united by our very essence, that man is indebted to do away with the inequality, and where class distinction is eradicated. This attitude drives out the need to employ attributes such as natural talents and abilities, personal drive, initiative, ambition, creativity, endurance, and work ethic, which is what America is about. It sucks up the human spirit and further dehumanizes society by thwarting efforts to rise up to a productive lifestyle, all while eschewing capitalism as a valid means of entrepreneurial-ism and mode of free enterprise. This was not in the Founder’s blueprint for America.

I’m saddened by those who don’t understand that when man inserts himself as the standard by which all things are measured, such as with progressive socialism, communism, or globalism, things are doomed to failure. That they don’t see the thwart of its effects on the human spirit, alongside the self-centered sin of mankind that deifies man and ignores God, is truly blind and egregious.

America, land of the free and home of the brave, is the best idea ever conceived by human minds. It is precious. When vicariously witnessing the struggles of war our countrymen have endured and the blood and treasure sacrificed, I appreciate this country more with the passing of time.

Lady Liberty—the silent spokesperson for the bright and shining star on the hill—has weathered many storms. I fear, though, that despite her beauty and grandeur, she, too, may have a tear in her eye. But beyond the sadness, there is something within her, something palpable that she feels. The same fortitude that encompassed the spirits of the likes of William Bradford and the original English separatists, who braved the stormy seas and led hardscrabble lives on these shores, is still alive and well in America. Those same qualities of perseverance, endurance, and drive to succeed are thrumming just below her surface. The banner of hope she holds out is for not only immigrants but for every American to stand under—strong, determined, and willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to keep America thriving as a nation and a beacon of freedom for all.

A shepherd’s love

One of the most beloved and well-known passages in all of the Bible is found in the book of Psalms. In Psalm 23, the pastoral images of green pastures and still waters bring peace and contentment to the psalmist, David, and to every believer who reads the comforting words.

The Lord as our Good Shepherd is a timeless metaphor that speaks of his people as sheep who often go astray but can still hear the shepherd’s voice and know it well. The shepherd’s love for his sheep goes beyond the realm of understanding that one could be so indebted to such a lowly animal.

In the famous psalm, David establishes the providence of our Lord’s divine care, guidance, refreshment and security both now and through eternity. To rest in green pastures…led by the still waters as the Lord restores our souls is our joy and such a far cry from the stagnant pools and boisterous crashing waves of life.

Even through our most trying of hours, he’s there through the shadow of death and every storm of life, knowing our frames are weak. He directs us with his rod of discipline and staff of support as we lean on him in everything. To comprehend that his love will carry us into eternity is utterly unfathomable, and we need to share this precious news with the world.

 

How wise is your wisdom?

There’s a lot of talk in the world but not enough wisdom. Plenty of humanistic philosophy, folklore, skewed rhetoric, and plain lies. If what you’re hearing it isn’t Godly, it’s false, a fake, a knock-off… because man-made philosophies are only man’s wisdom. Man is corruptible. Therefore, take it for what it is.

Sometimes, wisdom masquerades as truth, but inside there is a core of falsehood. A little stone or pebble coated in milk chocolate is not a peanut M&M; it could break your teeth. We need to be cognizant of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” because the devil always seeks to deceive us. Though, if we are one step ahead of him by being steeped in the knowledge of God, it’s easier to spot the deception.

If one were to compare a one-dollar bill to a counterfeit bill, it might be difficult to discern the difference. However, if one has studied the true dollar bill in all of its context and nuance, it would be quite easy to spot the fake knock-off because you’d recognize the real thing, having been so intimately acquainted with it. So, it is with the Lord.

Free will shapes our lives in the choices we make. We grow toward maturity when our choices intersect with God, for in him is true wisdom.