Gleanings

sunset in Moab1

His Strength Made Perfect in Our Weakness

Every once in a while, the Lord lets me know how weak I really am. It is either through a physical difficulty, an emotional difficulty, a mental difficulty or a spiritual difficulty. And often, it is some combination of these.

I was reading today The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom. Corrie had become a spiritual leader for hundreds of women in Barracks 28 at Ravenbrucks – a World War II concentration camp in Nazi Germany. However, in the latter days of her imprisonment, Corrie’s responsibility of Bible teaching in the overcrowded barrack had become lifeless and meaningless to her. The unbelievably horrible physical trials in this concentration camp had caused Corrie to submit to acts of personal selfishness – and Corrie, understandably, had found it very easy to justify her actions. In this continual giving in to selfishness, Corrie had lost her joy, and it showed in the now mechanical way in which she led the Bible teaching and worship time.

God did not leave her long in this joyless state. One night as she led devotions in the barracks, she read the following from 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:

“For this thing (this “thorn in the flesh”) I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Corrie’s heart and mind were blessedly opened to what God was saying to her: Rejoice in your weakness. Because when you are weak, then I am strong.

Corrie writes:

“And there it was.

The truth blazed like sunlight in the shadows of Barracks 28. The real sin I had been committing was not that of inching toward the center of a platoon because I was cold. The real sin lay in thinking that any power to help and transform came from me. Of course it was not my wholeness, but Christ’s that made the difference.”

Joy returned to Corrie, and she was able to again minister to those around her, but now with a recognition of and a reliance upon Him who is Strong.

Fellow pilgrims in this weary land, be reminded of this blessed truth. Acknowledge your weaknesses, rejoice in your weaknesses, and then rest in His Strength. It is God Who is All and Who does All.

His Strength Made Perfect in Our Weakness

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Gleanings

bible reformedandbeingconformed.com

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her
commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there;
in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there;
in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.

Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits
aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius
and power.

America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good,

America will cease to be great.

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

For more great quotes by de Tocqueville:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/465.Alexis_de_Tocqueville

Great Quotes

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Gleanings

Patience and faith cannot be separated. Hebrews 11

“We shall not reach the goal of salvation except we have patience, for the Prophet (Habakkuk 2:4) declares that the just lives by faith; but faith directs us to things afar off which we do not as yet enjoy; it then necessarily includes patience.”

John Calvin; Calvin’s Commentaries; Translated by the Rev. John Owens; Vol XXII; Baker Book House; Grand Rapids, MI 1996

Faith and Patience

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Gleanings

Heard a good sermon on the Transfiguration by Joe Allyn (sermonaudio.com; Joe Allyn; trinityrpcna.org;  November 22, 2015 am sermon, “Listen to Him!”).

Here is a synopsis, but I encourage you to listen to the sermon yourself.

The face of Jesus was like the SUN, his clothes a bright white. In Him is LIGHT and there is NO darkness at all (as could be seen from the effects of His transfiguration). Pastor Allyn emphasized the reality of the occurrence – that the brightness would be (and was) unbearable in its physical reception as well as in its spiritual reception (Peter, James and John fell on their faces in fear.) Pastor Allyn made the point that if you had been living in that day and had looked toward the mountain on which this transfiguration had taken place, you would have seen a BRIGHT glow.

Jesus, in His transfigured form, was being manifested as GOD.

God, in the bright cloud that overshadowed the frightened disciples, proclaimed to them that Jesus is His Son and that He is well-pleased with Him.  And He says:

“Hear ye him.”

Following Christ’s death and resurrection, Peter, in II Peter,tells us that we have a more sure word of prophecy seeing that at the transfiguration, God tells us and shows us that Jesus is the Word of God.  Peter does not point to the physical reality of the transfiguration as end unto itself, but instructs us to the confirmation that the transfiguration gives us – that Jesus is the Word of God. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” II Peter 1:19.

“Hear ye him.”

Scripture Truths that came to me in relation to this sermon:

“In the beginning was the Word  and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:1

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

And my own poem to uplift Jesus, the God of Light and Glory, the Word:

Holy Jesus
Holy, Holy, Holy
Radiant God
His very Word
Humble Servant
Faithful Son
Elder Brother
Compassionate High Priest
Meek Lamb
Holy Sacrifice
Very Image of God
God

Hear Ye Him

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