Wednesday, July 20, 2005

May we remember all we possess

Even for those of us who profess Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are prone to look at ourselves and highlight (if such a word is suitable) our deficiencies, or "soft spots," as Ron Jenson might say. Not to imply that we should ignore them, for to do so long enough could lead to our being overtaken by them. But we need to see ourselves as the Lord sees us, rejoicing in the positive qualities He has blessed us with, and working on the weak spots in His power.

I, like you, have received a variety of positive and negative messages, to varying degrees. Some were spoken, some implied. I was blessed to hear words like, "I love you," "You mean a lot to me," and "You have such potential" from my family growing up, and now from my wife and stepson. Or if not spoken, to have such messages sent by way of a smile, a warm hug, or a changing of one's schedule to spend time with me.

I too often focus on the negatives in my life. And while I know I have work to do on those areas, if I could even begin to tap into what "Christ in you" means, I, like each of you in whom Christ dwells, could spread the message and power and love of Christ in a way never before seen.

May each of us see that wrapped inside each commandment and admonition of the Lord is a promise, a promise that in Him we don't have to steal or lie or hate or lust, because His Spirit is there to strengthen us, if only we'd seek Him out and surrender each moment. I so often rely on what feels good, whether it's such things as not working when I should or laying in bed too long. I lose my temper too easily at times. I look at the splinters in others' eyes while ignoring the logs in my own. And while I thank God for helping me see these shortcomings in myself, and I regret it each time they show themselves in me, I too often allow them to creep back in. Yet if I am wise and stay focused on drawing close to the Lord, I won't be overcome so regularly.

Neither will those of you in Christ. Whatever you struggle with is not strong enough to overcome the power of Christ within you. May we keep praying that the truth of Christ in us will be in the forefront of our minds and hearts, so that the enemies (our sinful nature and Satan) are seen as virtually powerless in the face of God's glory.

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