I don’t know about you, but when I think of Paul, I don’t
think “timid.” Yet he is trying here to be gentle and kind like Christ. That,
to me, speaks volumes to us as well. Kindness and Gentleness are two of our
secret weapons. Have you ever heard it said, “Kill them with kindness”? Selena
Gomez has a song entitled “Kill ‘em With Kindness” and one of the lyrics says, “We
don’t have to fall from grace. Put down the weapons you fight with.” When we
lead with kindness, good things can happen.
Paul sees this as powerful as well. Afterall, Jesus never
led with might and weapons of war. Why should we? But like a shepherd protects
his flock, Paul wants to protect his people (us) from the lies of the world.
Paul reminds us, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.” What
does that mean? Think of war. Guns. Bombs. Death. Why?
What a beautiful passage of hope. This is one that we should read over and over again when we are feeling overwhelmed by our circumstances. What kind of faith do you have? Finish this sentence: “I believe in God, so I ______.” You may recognize that from our text today. Paul, like the psalmist believed in God so he “spoke.” When we put our faith and trust in God, we have so much more power to work with. I believe in God so I wrote a book would be one thing I could say.
We’re only given so much time on earth to do what we are called
to do. This text calls it right out. Our bodies are dying. But we don’t need to
live like we’re dying. Our spirits are being “renewed every day.” How
do you refresh yourself? Spending time in God’s word, in prayer, and seeking
his will for your life should give you plenty of refreshment. That’s why it’s
so important to not just “go through the motions.” Don’t put spending time with
God as just another “to-do list” item. Doesn’t God deserve your best?
How are you serving God? Maybe you’re involved heavily in a
church and are feeling overwhelmed wishing you could just say “no” when asked
to serve. (I am very familiar with that scenario!) Maybe you’re tired and
unsure how God wants to use you in this season of your life. Maybe you’re a
little angry with God because you see other believers acting in ways that are
not in alignment with what you believe God intends and don’t want to serve. In
any case, Paul says, “never give up.”
There are a lot of scary things going on in the world today.
I, for one, believe this is a time to rely on God more than ever. It is an opportunity
for us who believe and trust to be more vocal than ever. We can help people calm
their fear, find hope, and feel secure in the future. There was an interesting
passage in today’s reading that resonated truth to me. “Satan, who is the god of this world,
has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe.” How true is that? The
evil one is alive and well and causing havoc in the hearts of God’s people and
especially the unbelievers.
Have you ever failed at something you were good at? I think
of gymnasts who train and train and train some more. Then at a meet, with
medals on the line something goes wrong and their move just doesn’t happen they
way they’ve always executed it. I had an experience just this week during an interview
for a podcast appearance. I froze. The words weren’t there. I know my material,
but you’d never know it. I was crushed.
So, you can imagine the counsel today spoke to me in a big
way. Verse 10 says, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too
small.” I need to be strong and not let this set back get in my way.
You have probably had similar situations. You just want to curl up and hide.
But failure will happen. We will stumble. The Christian life is not a road
without bumps. Great men and women do not quit. They overcome.
When I think of Proverbs, I always think of Chapter 3,
verses 5 and 6. I have clung to this truth many times in my life. “Trust
in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek
his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Brilliant. It’s a verse I should plaster all over the house, including my
morning affirmations. My other life verse, Philippians 4:13, “I can do
all things through Christ who strengthens me” is equally powerful to
Do you have your own favorite Bible passages that have given
you support, hope, encouragement, solace over the years?