Not lying: 2 Corinthians 11.31

“The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying.”

2 Corinthians 11.31

Paul appealed to God as witness and judge. Only God knows a person’s heart and true motives. For this, he should be praised, since he judges rightly.

God sees our weakness, v. 30, and comes to our aid. How do you glory in God’s knowledge of your weakness?

#weakness #God #VOTD

Encouragement Note: On failure, weakness, the way back

Note: The following text is from Chris Underwood, from Chicago. Chris is in SJCampos for three months working with Embraer. It’s been a pleasure to have him in the congregations here. He sends out a monthly “Encouragement Note” and graciously allowed us to share it here.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ―Mary Tyler Moore

Romans 5:2-4 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”

No one plans at an early age to lose a child, to become an alcoholic, fail in marriage, file bankruptcy, lose their faith in God, or find a point in their life trying to figure out how I got myself in this much trouble. Failure happens to all of us at some level physically or spiritually. Continue reading

#correction, #encouragement-note, #failure, #restoration, #weakness

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1-10-2017 Answer To Cruelty

“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NKJV). Whether this is discussing physical or spiritual weaknesses, a Christian’s attitude should be to help and not hinder.  Meanness toward the weak showed a lack of respect for God: “’You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14 NKJV). “’Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” (Deuteronomy 27:18 NKJV). “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NKJV). “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#cursed, #meanness, #mercy, #weakness

Maturing in relationships

How many times have you heard it? “I’m not perfect.” Never use your imperfection as a badge of honor! Continue reading

#maturity, #relationships, #weakness

God’s design is to make you a showcase for Jesus’ power

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Everywhere you turn in our culture people are trying to escape from weakness.

Aging is a sign of weakness so we have products and procedures to “reverse” the signs.

Sickness is a sign of weakness so we have infomercials and an entire industry to help us be more healthy. Continue reading

#adversity, #divine-purpose, #weakness

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(#59) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:16-Keep A Lid On It!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:16: “A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame.”

The contrast is with a “fool” who is quick to explode, and a “prudent man” who can control his temper. “Wrath” is the “shame” of the second phrase. Losing control of one’s thoughts, words, and actions makes a person a “fool,” and everything done or said in that condition shows total weakness, not strength! Policemen and Soldiers should show strength “under fire.” Road rage or foot rage, it is all the same. All athletes that erupt or benches that empty, demonstrate what weaklings they are. Whether involving an “ex,” a “former” spouse or friend, or provoked child, domestic disputes that end in violence are committed by a “fool.” Wrathful explosions are always from wimps, never from winners! Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego were stronger than Nebuchadnezzar who was “full of fury” and cast them into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:13, 19). Saul of Tarsus was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1) until he ran up against Jesus Christ (Acts 9:3-20). Jesus Christ was the epitome of “prudent,” “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

Other proverbs that express this include: “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated” (Proverbs 14:17); “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29); “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1); “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32); “A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again” (Proverbs 19:19); “Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25); “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). Like an unprotected city, “an angry man” has no defense for what he says and does! Medals for Bravery should be given to each person who “rules his spirit,” as Purple Hearts should be given to those who have to live with “a quick-tempered man.” Don’t learn the ways of an angry man by using “harsh words,” rather master the art of “a soft answer.” This wisdom from above for Christians is summarized by James: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#angry, #bible-study, #fool, #harsh-word, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudent, #quick-tempered, #rage, #road-rage, #temper, #weakness, #wimps, #wisdom

Peter

What can be said about Peter that has not been said? I don’t know, but as I was reading I reflected on his determination to not deny the Lord. Before his denial, the Lord took him, James, and John out nearby to where He desired to pray. The three disciples were fatigued. They genuinely wanted to stay with Jesus as He prayed, knowing this was a time of great anxiety for the Lord. They had been with Him through the years, and in this stressful time they most surely wanted to be there and support him (not that they knew what to do or say). The Lord returns from His area and time of prayer and finds them all sleeping. He speaks to one, but He speaks to all, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). It was not long after this that Peter denied the Lord.

#prayer, #temptation, #weakness

Satan is not a one-talent tempter. Nor d…

Satan is not a one-talent tempter. Nor does he make one-time attempts. He never sleeps. He studies his prey with intense dedication. He knows our weaknesses and our weak moments. His wiliness merits our best attention.

All that can be said of Satan, for ill, can be said, and much more, of the Lord, for good. The Lord is not a sleepy guardian. His eye is always on his people. He knows our weaknesses and our weak moments. He knows us thoroughly, for he made us. He gives us every advantage, every resource, every escape from the evil one. His sovereignty merits our humble submission and willing obedience.

#god, #satan, #temptation, #weakness

Does Prayer Change Anything?

In Eric Rauch’s article, “Does Prayer Change Anything,” Mr. Rauch observes the following:

“One of the best descriptions of the purpose of prayer can be found in Arthur W. Pink’s book, The Sovereignty of God.”

He quotes:

“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. Prayer is a confession of creature weakness, yea, of helplessness. Prayer is the acknowledgment of our need and the spreading of it before God.”

Paul said it another way: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

#attitude, #confession, #dependency, #description, #prayer, #purpose, #sovereignty, #weakness

Strength Through Humility

No equation of strengths and weaknesses makes someone better than you. Our strengths, mixed with humility, lift us high (James 4:10), while we strive to overcome our frailties through transformation in Christ (Romans 12:1-2).

#christ, #grace, #mercy, #strength, #weakness

Sensitivity and Weakness

Are you sensitive? I have often looked at people who I thought to be overly sensitive to be weak. They were weak, I thought, because their sensitivity was worn on the shirt-sleeve and one would no more turn around than to see that the sensitive one was offended and had their feelings hurt – over silly and trite things no less! Around people like this, people like me must walk on eggs, in order not to crack the thin shell.

A sister said to me some years ago that in order to offend her she needed to be hit with a two-by-four. That is my sentiment exactly! I am not sensitive and, perhaps, my lack of sensitivity is to my peril. My wife says often enough to me that I need to be more sensitive than I am. She is probably correct.

The fact is, though, I am not. As I get older I notice that more and more my sensitivity sensors (if you will) are starting to get a little more active. Frankly, I don’t like that much. Nevertheless, it comes and I need to “grow-up” and allow the sensors to take root.

The Proverbs writer said, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (24:10). I really like this verse because it gets to heart of what I am saying. However, is that true? Is it true that sensitive people are weak because it is perceived they faint? There is no necessary relation between a sensitive person and weakness. Perhaps it could be said there is more a relation between a non-sensitive person and faintness!

Weakness of faith has everything to do with lack of knowledge. The Holy Spirit, in 2 Peter 1:5-11, makes clear where the problem actually resides; when we fail to add the virtues mentioned in that passage to our lives – when adversity comes, and it surely will come, then our weakness will be exposed, and we will faint! RT

#adversity, #proverbs, #sensitivity, #weakness

Pound the Pulpit

When I was in school I remember hearing the fellows make a light-hearted comment on preaching. When you get to a weak point in the sermon, emphasize it with more vigor. It was (is) usually said this way: “weak point, pound pulpit.”

There are a number of thoughts on this to be shared. First, a preacher is to have no weak points in his sermon. Second, pounding the pulpit might be a good way to emphasize, but a good listener will hear the words without the pounding. Third, and the primary point of this post, those who speak the loudest are generally the weakest.

Surely, this last point will not be accepted by all; but, perhaps, at least it will be recognized as having some merit. I have heard countless times a person say something to the effect, “I will not be guilty of that ______.” (and with much emphasis this is said). At the time spoken, I think it is genuinely believed that the person who said this is quite sure of self in saying it. But, I have also noticed, that the loudest speaker, the one who emphasizes his (her) words the most, is the one who generally falls the quickest. It may be that the one who falls did not fall into the trap that another was guilty of, but a hard fall resulted just the same. Why is this?

No hard fast rule, but a thought for reflection. When I was playing ball in school, I noticed that many of the fellows had to convince themselves of certain things. A free safety was not going to be burned on pass coverage, a defensive end was not going to be hooked on an option play, I can hit any curve (breaking ball) thrown to me, and no change-up will catch me flat-footed, and so on. In my mind there was no doubt in me that these young men knew exactly what they were saying and they knew exactly what to do to prevent themselves from being embarrassed. However, I also noticed that many times that the ones who had to convince themselves had much difficulty executing the play and hitting the pitch as desired.

While the loudest and the one with much bravado may not be the weakest or the quickest to fall, be sure to look out. Do not look out in order to watch the fall (and say, “I told you so.”), but look out in order to help, to intercept, to encourage, and to strengthen. Paul said it this way, “Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too” (Galatians 6:1, NET).

#bravado, #preaching, #strengthen, #weakness

Pound the Pulpit

When I was in school I remember hearing the fellows make a light-hearted comment on preaching. When you get to a weak point in the sermon, emphasize it with more vigor. It was (is) usually said this way: “weak point, pound pulpit.”

There are a number of thoughts on this to be shared. First, a preacher is to have no weak points in his sermon. Second, pounding the pulpit might be a good way to emphasize, but a good listener will hear the words without the pounding. Third, and the primary point of this post, those who speak the loudest are generally the weakest.

Surely, this last point will not be accepted by all; but, perhaps, at least it will be recognized as having some merit. I have heard countless times a person say something to the effect, “I will not be guilty of that ______.” (and with much emphasis this is said). At the time spoken, I think it is genuinely believed that the person who said this is quite sure of self in saying it. But, I have also noticed, that the loudest speaker, the one who emphasizes his (her) words the most, is the one who generally falls the quickest. It may be that the one who falls did not fall into the trap that another was guilty of, but a hard fall resulted just the same. Why is this?

No hard fast rule, but a thought for reflection. When I was playing ball in school, I noticed that many of the fellows had to convince themselves of certain things. A free safety was not going to be burned on pass coverage, a defensive end was not going to be hooked on an option play, I can hit any curve (breaking ball) thrown to me, and no change-up will catch me flat-footed, and so on. In my mind there was no doubt in me that these young men knew exactly what they were saying and they knew exactly what to do to prevent themselves from being embarrassed. However, I also noticed that many times that the ones who had to convince themselves had much difficulty executing the play and hitting the pitch as desired.

While the loudest and the one with much bravado may not be the weakest or the quickest to fall, be sure to look out. Do not look out in order to watch the fall (and say, “I told you so.”), but look out in order to help, to intercept, to encourage, and to strengthen. Paul said it this way, “Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too” (Galatians 6:1, NET).

#bravado, #preaching, #strength, #weakness

Self-Control is one commandment I struggle to obey

This goes right along with the other nudge in which I never responded. I wanted to respond with “round” and add, “round as a butterball.” I do struggle with self-control in eating, thereby I am round. Now we know I am being a bit light-hearted here, right? Self-control in eating, in speaking, in thinking could all be used, as well as those already mentioned. Today I will do better because of this nudge reminding me of God’s word on those mentioned.

#struggle, #weakness

Which commandment is the hardest for me to obey?

Holding my temper, for sure. It’s not that I don’t want to hold my temper. I do. But I get frustrated and lose patience, particularly with those who lie. Also a problem are those who 1) continually and openly sin, calling good evil and evil good, 2) are hypocrites, and 3) hold one group to a set of standards and allow others to do as they please. These things drive me batty and cause me to stumble. So much for being “round”. 🙁

#struggle, #weakness