“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
1st Timothy 12-17
I absolutely love this passage of scripture. It is one of my all time favourites. I know people often say that, but this is true. I really think this is a portion of scripture that we all need to not only read, but memorize and get deep down inside us. This is about Humility. Paul, who was an apostle, a wise man, a strong leader, a great author, and one of the most foundational members of our faith. If there was ever a man who had a good reason to be proud it was Paul.
Think about it, if you argued doctrine with him, he could just quote himself from one of his writings. He could lay the proverbial smack down on you. Yet when he was talking to his disciple, the one who he was training to do his ministry, this is how he described himself. He says “I thank Jesus Christ… He has strengthened me… He considered me faithful… putting me into service.”
Think about that perspective. He is saying here “I thank God, He is the one who makes the ministry possible, not me.” Furthermore, he recognizes who he was, and all of the issues that he had. He called himself the chief of sinners. He didn’t think of himself as someone who was high and mighty. Someone who was better than. No, he remembered that He was someone who God brought out of sin. It was this humility that helped him to love the people that God was calling him to.
This is a common theme among many great leaders in the Bible. I love what King David said in Psalm 18:
“The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.”
Here David, the King of Israel, the man who God called and appointed, gives all the credit to God. Look how this portion ends, “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.” I love this, He recognizes that it is the right hand of the Lo rd upholds and Lifts Him. He recognized that even though He was a big shot in the worlds eye, It was the Hand of God that held him up and gave him that position.
After the birth of the Church, signs and wonders began to be shown through the Apostles. One great moment came in Acts three when Peter and John were up at the temple. This one day in particular, they had the opportunity to pray for a man who couldn’t walk, and God healed him.
But, when all the people were suddenly crowding Peter and John (as will happen when you start seeing the power of God released in your life.) They didn’t use it as an opportunity to pass the bucket or the business cards. They diverted the attention back to Jesus.
“Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus…”
That quote was from NASB which is how I usually quote, and says “Not by our own power or piety.” The NIV says, “by our own power or godliness” the KJV says “by our own power or holiness” But the Key in this verse is that it isn’t something that we did, but Jesus working through us.
As people we are often full of ourselves. We tend towards wanting to be recognized and great. This isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it can lead to bad things if the one we want to recognize us is anyone other than Jesus. If we find our significance and greatness in ourself or other people, we have missed it. Men may exalt us for a time, but only God will recognize us forever.
This is a trustworthy saying and worthy of full acceptance.
“He must increase, and I must decrease.” – John the Baptist.
Let us commit these scriptures to more than just our memory, but to our way of life. If these scriptures become the mode in which we think and live, then we will begin to see our love for others grow. Then we will see people being drawn to us because of our love. The bible never said that they will know we are Christians because of how great we are. No, rather they will know we are Christians by our Love.
I wanted to share something with you all briefly. I am really excited about this. My friend, Author, Worship Leader, & Missionary, Benjamin Dunn is coming to Kansas City this month. Some of you might remember that I have reviewed some of his previous music, and I highly recommend it.
Besides his music, He is also an author. His book “Happy Gospel” is a book about the exceeding love and grace of God the father. April 19th and 20th Ben will be teaching a “Happy Gospel School” in Kansas City at the Boiler Room. For two whole days, Ben and his wife Stephanie will be teaching from this book, and then expanding on it and helping to activate it in your life.
We have a Good, Good Father. He paid a high price to reconcile us, and He loves us. Join us at the Boiler Room for two days of teaching, worship, love and encounter with a Holy God. If you haven’t felt like God is passionate about you and He loves you, this is for you. If you struggle with receiving love, because of failed relationships, this is for you. If you don’t feel like you can come to God, this is for you. We have an awesome God, and His love is so strong.
The two day conference is $25 and if you want to Register and get a copy of Ben’s book, that is $40. So if you aren’t sure, let me show you the promotional video that Benn put together for this school.
I love Ben, and see the passion of God all over him. You can’t be around him and not feel the love of God overflowing. So If you are interested let me give you the full details and the registration link. If you register, let them know that you heard about it from me.
Venue – Kansas City Boiler Room
Address – 3829 Main St, Kansas City
Dates – April 19-20, 2013
Time – 11am-5pm & 7-9pm Friday & Saturday
We often as Christians touting a God who is all-powerful, and able to do anything. We love the fact that our God is able to do anything, because it reminds us How big he is. We quote scriptures discussing this very topic.
However, the truth is that there are things that my God cannot do. There are things that are just not possible for my God. This is a frightening thought to most, but for me, it is a source of hope. Now before you go ahead and call me a heretic, or search for the stones with which you plan on killing me, et me explain.
- My God is holy, and therefore anything that would conflict with His holiness is impossible. For instance, God cannot lie, because If He were a liar, that would not demonstrate holiness. God commanded that His people should not lie and therefore He, Himself will never lie. Titus 1:2 tells us this is indeed fact.
“…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,..” (NASB)
My God cannot lie. I am ok with this, because the fact that He cannot lie means every word from His mouth is true, and I can trust the things that He says to me.
- My God is unable to break His promise. When He gives His word, it is always true, because He cannot lie. Beacuse of this, if He makes a promise, He will always do what He said. Psalm 89:34 speaks to this.
“My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.” (NASB)
So far we have seen two things that My God cannot do, and the fact that He can’t do them all makes Him even greater. If he could lie or break a promise, there would be no reason to trust Him. I do not want a God I cannot trust. Thank You Lord that You are alway true, and never break Your word.
- My God cannot abandon me. He has given me His word that He will always be with me. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us this.
“”Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail (leave) you or forsake you.” (NASB)
My God has given me His word that He will not leave, nor forsake me. He is always with me, and is always working for my good. Once again, there is something that God cannot do, and the fact that He cannot is a good thing. Who desires to have a God who is only there part time. You wouldn’t want a part time daddy, why a part time God?
- God cannot be Racist, or Prejudiced. Acts 10:34-35 assures us of this.
“Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” (NASB)
God doesn’t judge us based on our color, or nationality, or sex. He loves us all, and simply wants us to Honor him and live right.
I could keep going, but surely you are beginning to understand. God is a good God and His character is Holy. Everything He does is a representation of His character. Therefore anything that violates His Holiness is something he cannot do.
This holiness helps us recognize His love. God’s faithfulness is something we desire out of all our relationships, but only God can live like this all the time. Man will fail. We lie to one another. We suffer from racism and prejudice. (Not all of us but quite a few) We abandon ourselves, and our families. We are human, and thus we fail, often. But God is Holy, and never fails in this.
I am thankful that my God cannot do everything, becuase the things he cannot do help me see His love and His character. How do you feel about this?