Tag Archives: salvation

My God is Sufficient 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect inJesushuggingcryinggirl weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My grace is sufficient for you

Do you ever feel like all the bad stuff happens to you? Do you feel like everything would be perfect if you could just change that one thing? Paul could relate. He had a very close relationship with God, and had gone through a lot of hardship for the Gospel. These are things Paul felt he could justifiably boast about if he wanted to, but the Lord had also given Paul a thorn in his side. Something that reminded him of his humanity. We’re not sure what that thorn was, some say it was a stammer, others have their own ideas. What we do know is that it kept Paul humble. It kept him looking to God as the source of all goodness, and it was the way he was able to reach most people. It was through his weaknesses that the Lord used him.
For my power is made perfect in weakness
Have you ever noticed that the people you grow closest to are the ones with whom you’ve shared your innermost secrets. Those you have share your intimate, deep thoughts are the one’s with whom you bond the most. In our Bible study on Tuesday nights, you sometimes will have someone share something that you can tell is very painful for them. They share it, not because it was a great experience or that they come out sounding important or great, but because they learned about the Lord through their experience. When these kinds of stories, that show our weaknesses, are shared, others can identify. We have all felt weak, helpless and at the Lord’s mercy. Sharing how the Lord worked through those times binds us together as believers.
Boasting about your weakness
Boasting about your weakness is a very unusual thing in our society. Americans are taught to filter out the bad stuff and only tell the good (most of the time). We don’t like to sound weak, and we don’t like others to judge us, so we avoid telling them about our alcoholism, our struggle with obesity, our pain from the loss of our unborn child, the hurt we feel when being abused by those who are supposed to love us. We don’t like people to know that we don’t have it all together. We often see the mom with three beautifully dressed kids and think we want her life. What we don’t know is all the pain she feels because she is in a loveless marriage or the debt they’re incurring because of her overspending. We don’t know about what’s really going on with others, they’re trying to put their best foot forward, just as we are most of the time.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
How can we delight in these things? When we live our lives to bring God the glory, our weaknesses, the insults, hardships and difficulties are all opportunities for the world to see us respond differently than those who do not believe. We’re able to point our lives back to God, resting on His assurance to us that His grace, given to us by Jesus’ death on the cross, is sufficient for us. We can trust that all things will work for the good of them that love God (Romans 8:28), and that we will one day be with Him in heaven. This is our hope and our future. Spending eternity with our Lord who loves us and uses our weaknesses to draw others to Him and to increase the depths of our relationships with others.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
We are strong when we are weak, because when we are weak, we submit ourselves to the Lord’s will. We no longer are looking out for ourselves, but turn our eyes towards the Lord for our salvation in the moment and for eternity. And knowing where you’re going to be for eternity strengthens us and gives us hope. We are encouraged, strengthened and can persevere. We grow closer to others and the Lord through all of these humbling, weak moments.
Are you weak or strong?
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in My God is Sufficient


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My God is…Renewing a Right Spirit Within Me Psalm 51:9-11

Psalm 51:9-11 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart O God

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Renew a Right Spirit within me

My church often used this verse as an Offertory hymn. After 40 years of attending church, I can hardly read this verse without hearing that music. I’m humming it right now.

Definition of RENEW

1: to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection<as we renew our strength in sleep>
2: to make new spiritually : regenerate
3a : to restore to existence : revive
 b : to make extensive changes in : rebuild
4: to do again : repeat
5: to begin again : resume
6: replacereplenish <renew water in a tank>
7a :
<renew a license>
 b : to grant or obtain an extension on the loan of <renew a library book>
Why do we need God to Renew a Right Spirit within us? 
There are a lot of opinions on what was meant when these words were written. The Psalmist asked for God to create in him a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within him. This is my prayer as well. We don’t need God to create a new heart from scratch, we already have a heart, but I think what the Psalmist is trying to say here is that we can’t make our heart clean apart from God. Creating is an action that only God can do. He is the only one who can truly make something out of nothing.
Looking at the definitions of renew above, I am again blessed at the depth of the words chosen in scripture.
  • I want God to make me like new : restore me to freshness, vigor, or perfection
  • I want God to make me new spiritually
  • I want God to restore me to existence
  • I want God to make extensive changes in me
  • I want God to do again or begin again a good work in me
  • I want God to replenish a steadfast spirit within me


There are many times in my life where I have felt very separated from God. Where I felt there was no coming back from the sins that I had committed. I felt that no matter how much God loved and forgave others, I could not imagine how He might begin to get past the evil I had committed. I had turned from what I knew was right. I recklessly abandoned my beliefs to satisfy my own desires. I was selfish and self-seeking. Sure I hadn’t done what some of those in jail had done, but I felt that those who came to know Christ after sin were more likely to be forgiven. I had known Him since childhood. I knew what I was supposed to do. I knew that the things I chose were contrary to how my Lord wanted me to live, but I did it anyway. I couldn’t forgive myself, and couldn’t see how God could either.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me

This section of scripture really puts into words what I was feeling. Lord, fix my heart. I am doing what I don’t want to do and not doing what I do want to do. Lord I need a clean heart, a fresh start. I need to be renewed, and only You can make that happen. I want to be right with you again. I want to be able to make decisions that are pleasing to you and help me to spread your word. I don’t want people to look at me and think, that’s why I hate Christians, they’re all hypocrites. I want my actions to match my beliefs. I want to live my life for you, Lord.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

The verse right after our reading above, Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”  brings me hope. Those years when I felt I could never be forgiven for the things that I had done, left me craving the joy of God’s salvation. I didn’t feel like I could hold myself up anymore, and became dependent on my Lord for my joy. He upholds me and He strengthens me. I know now that I am forgiven, not because of anything I have done, but because of His love for me, in sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins. He restored my soul. He renewed a right spirit within me and now I am being equipped to do what the following verse in scripture says, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”



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My God is…My Help Psalm 40:16-17

Psalm 40:16-17

But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

So many times I have found my self wound up tight. Worrying and concerned about this and that. It doesn’t really matter what it is I’m worrying about, because it’s all the same. I imagine horrible outcomes. “What’s the worst that can happen?” My mom would ask me. My mom used to try to get me to have a more realistic outlook by having me actually list the worst thing that could happen. I think she was trying to get me away from thinking vaguely about how badly something was going to end, but instead be realistic and see that I wasn’t actually going to die if something went wrong. “What’s the worst that can happen?”

I’m a bit fatalistic

I’m pretty aware of the fact that I’m a sinner and that I screw up. That has often kept me from even attempting things that may be difficult. I didn’t want them to turn out badly, so it’s better I just don’t try. What if I did try and fail. Horror of horrors! The problem with this way of thinking is that I’m relying on my own thoughts, strengths and abilities. But I have access to someone who is perfect, who can do it right and can see me through.

God has a better way

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! When I am willing to hand over my concerns and worries, I’m always surprised (yes it takes me a while to learn things), at how much better God’s way is than my way. I think sometimes when we try to take control, we block the opportunity to see small miracles. I was reminded of that the other day with my son’s glasses. The result was so much better than I could have imagined. The insurance came through in record time, three hours. There have been times I’ve been on hold with the insurance company for that long. I couldn’t believe the Doctors and the insurance would all work so well together to get it taken care of so quickly. I do consider that a minor miracle. Others offered assistance if the insurance didn’t come through.  If I had tried to control all of that on my own, I would have ended up paying more than we could afford at the time. But in God’s way, everything worked out better than I could have expected. His ways are better.

But the Lord takes thought for me

What a wonderful blessing we have in our Lord. We have a God who takes thought of us. He thinks about you. He thinks about me. He is interested in everything about us, from the safety of our children to the trip to the grocery store. Inviting God into everything you do, through prayer, allows you to open your eyes so you can see His miraculous works.

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God

I love this verse. It makes the Psalm writer so human. Just like us he’s impatient, asking God not to delay in being a help and deliverer. The beauty of this verse is that God doesn’t mind that we ask Him not to delay. He understands our needs and wants. I don’t know if the Psalmist was afraid he would not be able to let go of the problem if the Lord didn’t take care of it quickly, but I know I sometimes have that problem. I think it’s awesome to pray that God would not delay. He cares and wants to answer our prayers, so why not ask for all of what we need, even if part of that is to have some relief from our worry in a quick manner.

Great is the Lord

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” I find that as I let go of control over things I have no control over, I find God’s hand at work in my life. I can see more clearly how He’s in control and taking care of my needs. And remembering the way that He cared for my greatest need, being saved from my sins on the cross and rising again that I might spend eternity with Him, certainly makes me say over and over again, “Great is the Lord”.

Who is your help?

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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in My God is My Help, Psalm


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My God is…my rescuer Galatians 1:3-4

Galatians 1:3-4 May peace and blessing be yours from God the father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins just as God our father had planned, and rescued us from this evil world in which we live.

Who's your knight in shining armor?

Rescued us from this evil world
Do you think this world is evil? I’m guessing some of the people who read this will be confused by that question. To some the world is clearly going to hell in a hand basket, while others are quite content with their lives as they are living now. Most would agree that life isn’t perfect, but the latter might not be that concerned.

Is your life going too well? When our lives are going well, and things seem to be going as planned, we might find ourselves thinking we are doing ok. We’ve got a good family, we’re kind to others most of the time, and we even give some money to charity. Why would I need a rescuer?

Only the weak need a rescuer

I never dreamt of being saved by a knight on a white horse (or one in shining armor either). I don’t think I considered myself weak or in need of rescue. I wasn’t in need of rescue from actual dragons or warlords or even a mean stepmother. I grew up in a loving home, my parents are good people, and we even went to church every Sunday. My life was pretty sorted. Why would I need a rescuer?

I need a rescuer
Even if I don’t need a rescuer in my day-to-day life, and it seems like all is going well. I am still living in a world of sin, hate and destruction. I am sinful. I haven’t always done what was right. I’m not always nice to my husband and children, the very people I claim to love most, much less the woman who is rude to my son or says mean things about someone I love. I don’t want to do good. I want to lash out – get even. Not all the time, but sometimes my sinful nature just comes out. We’re all sinful. Sin means to miss the mark. So unless you’re perfect, you’re a sinner too.

The wages of sin are death
Why do people die? Because this world is full of sin or imperfections. Because of sin and imperfections our bodies don’t always work the way they were designed. Sometimes greed causes some to kill to get what the other has, but for most of us it just has us wishing them dead. The truth is all of us die. We can’t avoid it completely. And that’s because of sin.

My God is my knight in shining armor
In the verses above, we can see God’s plan for us, “He died for our sins just as God our father had planned, and rescued us from this evil world in which we live.” He planned to rescue us from death. Because of Jesus, we no longer have to fear death, because we have the promise of eternal life with Him.

Who is your knight in shining armor?

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in My God is my rescuer


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