December 04, 2021
It is a wonderful thing to have confidence if it is placed in the right source. Paul speaks about the secret he's learned to be content in any and all circumstances. He knows how to live in prosperity or in "humble means." What was the key to this contentment?
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Break this simple sentence down and you’ll find a gold mine of truth.
I have the ability to do anything required of me through the power of Christ. I am fully able if I am in Christ and Christ is in me. This promise is for me!
"do all things"
There is no circumstance that I have faced or will face that cannot be handled. This is a tremendous confidence that should completely eradicate any fear or anxiety.
Here is the key phrase and most critical thought. Paul knew and trusted in Christ's sufficiency. It wasn't that Paul had confidence in himself. In fact, earlier in this book he said that he "took no confidence in the flesh." He knew his own ability was woefully deficient. But He knew Christ's power was limitless and Christ lived inside of him! He knew that any demand made upon his life was made upon Christ within him.
"who strengthens me."
Not only did Christ have strength, but Christ would strengthen Paul. This was personal (and it is so for us). His power would be activated through the physical, mental, and emotional body of Paul so that Christ's strength and his strength would seem synonymous. They would work in perfect harmony. It would be as if Paul had strength to face anything when, in reality, it was Christ in him and Christ through him.
When you stop and think--really ponder--what this means it is staggering. What an absolutely fearless way to live! How worry-free you can exist! How beautiful that you can "rejoice in all things" as Paul commands us to do! But there is a big “if.” You only have this strength if you trust in Him and His sufficiency within you to meet any challenge of life.
Father, thank You for the promise of your sufficiency. Thank You that all You have and are is mine when You are in me and I am in You. Open my eyes to see this today and to completely rely upon Your strength. And remind me to give You all the glory as You live through me.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023