Archive for February 2010

Learning from Our Weaknesses

February 28, 2010

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:14).

The world, and often the believer right along with it, looks to and for greatness, prestige, prominence, honor and reputation. God looks to and uses foolish, weak, base and despised things.

For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence (I Corinthians 1:26-29).

It is as weak earthen vessels (II Corinthians 4:7-18) that God teaches us valuable lessons in preparation for our celestial position with Christ in the Heavenlies.

In Our Weaknesses We Learn of Calvary’s Love

We learn of the timing of His love: while we were sinners.

But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

We learn the extent of His love: great.

But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us (Ephesians 2:4).

We learn the endurance of His love: nothing can separate us from it.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

In Our Weaknesses We Learn Humility

In our weakness He removes all other supposed sources of personal strength. It is all about Him, and not about us.

Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:3).

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me (I Corinthians 15:10).

In Our Weaknesses We Learn of the All-Sufficiency of His Ability

In our weaknesses we learn that we are the workmanship of God (Ephesians 2:8-10), and He will accomplish His work (Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness …” (II Corinthians 12:9).

In Our Weaknesses We Learn Patience

God’s work in us takes time. We are able to learn patience with ourselves and with others. Our brothers and sisters are the workmanship of God as well.

What a difference that understanding can make!

We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience (Romans 5:3).

In Our Weaknesses We Learn the Reception of Others

Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

When we see ourselves in our weaknesses, and our reception by Christ in that state, it becomes the basis by which we receive others. It deters us from judging, or setting aside our brothers.

But why do you judge your brother? Or, why do you set at nought your brother? (Romans 14:10).

In Our Weaknesses We Learn to Deal Graciously with Others

Our weaknesses cause us to learn the true nature of grace. In our own failures we learn to be gracious with others.

Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, dealing graciously among yourselves, according as God also, in Christ, deals graciously with you (Ephesians 4:32, Concordant Literal Translation).

Put on, then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, pitiful compassions, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another and dealing graciously among yourselves, if anyone should be having a complaint against any. According as the Lord also deals graciously with you, thus also you (Colossians 3:12-13, Concordant Literal Translation).

In Our Weaknesses We Learn to Forget

We cannot “go forward” “in the past.” Understanding the divine viewpoint of our weaknesses we are able to forget the past.

Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

As weak earthen vessels God prepares us for our “high calling” position with Christ in the Heavenly places!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook, #214
© 2009, 2010

The Real Work of God

February 25, 2010

While the world of “Christian Service” goes on with its endless activities of “ministry for the Lord,” God is quietly, steadily, faithfully at work in your life.

As impressive as all of the religious activities may appear to be, it is often little more than religious fluff. True ministry is intensely personal, borne out of self-sacrifice for another. It is freely being spent (used up) in the situation of life where Father has placed us, and regardless of how you may “see” things or “feel” about the value of your personal sacrifice, it is in the silent, unrecognized giving of yourself and your daily life in the seemingly routine details of the day that you are used in HIS real ministry. It is in your regular avenue of living that your role as a “Son of God” is manifest in the real “work of God”!

I am not talking here of an occasional “act of service,” but of your daily living sacrifice for Him in every detail and circumstance of life, being His available vessel – His cannel of care and love – in every single situation, every single day, day in and day out.

Your life is what true ministry is all about. It is not something that you “go and do.” It is who you are as our Father lives His life in and through you. Your daily sacrifice is what true ministry is all about. To give your life as a living sacrifice to God is a tremendous amount of hardship, care, burden, heartache, difficulty, trial and inconvenience.

Anyone can participate in a religious activity (so-called “Christian service”) for an hour or two here and there and go home and relax; but true ministry is about life, it is sacrificially lived in real life – in our homes, at work, at play, anywhere we are – every day.

Sacrificial living is about your Father doing His work in you. It is not about recognition, display, grandeur or applause. It is about responsibility, devotedness and faithfulness “in a few things” and with those who have the appearance of being “least of these.” There are many places of pretense of ministry; but your daily life is exactly where Dad is doing His work – in those circumstances and activities that might appear to you to be just the daily duties of routine.

Many Christians are busy with their convenient “churches,” “ministries,” “fellowships,” “Bible studies” and “serving the Lord.” Sadly, though, things are not what they always appear to be. The life of our Father is about real life – everyday life – about God’s humble work in you.

What we are talking about here is the real work of God in our lives – Everyday real. Painfully real. Routinely real. Monotonously real – but nonetheless the real work of God!

For the most part, in this life you will go overlooked, unrecognized, unappreciated and un-thanked. This is par for the carnal course, but do not let this discourage you from your GREAT ministry. One day all the things of this life will be brought into the light. So,

… Don’t be weary in well doing: for in due season you will reap, if you faint not (Galatians 6:9).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 2010

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