October 4, 2012
“I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 New American Standard
Have you reached the place of “all things”? That’s the place where Christ is your real strength. That place is different in each one of us. Your “all things” may be wrapped in family matters .. personal struggles .. financial burdens .. stored up fears .. lingering habits .. self-condemnation .. and what you prize as your identity. The former prosecutor of Jesus-Followers didn’t write this verse to give you a shortcut or a cheap fix. He wrote it so you could find your freedom and real strength in Christ and not your self. He described his own journey and in all of those places he discovered that it was Christ who delivered him .. and not himself. That line is different in each of us. Jesus himself isn’t going to condemn you for those “things” you hold onto for strength. He knows that if you walk with him daily you’ll begin to see where you are relying on yourself or other resources as your momentary strength. No one reaches that place on their own. Your failures don’t qualify you and your successes don’t insulate you. We don’t like to give Him all things .. at least not all at once. It means I’m turning it all over to His care .. His timing .. and His answer. That just goes against the world’s insistence that you have a right to hold onto to as little or much of yourself as you feel is right for you. It’s a lie. When Christ turned over his “all things” .. he did it for you. So He knows the real battles you face. He knows how hard it is for you to let Him have your “all things”. He knows what it will cost you. But what He offers is a real strength that comes with his indwelling life. When you turn over even the smallest unseen places of your life .. you discover that Jesus has already embraced you in his love. He isn’t holding it back until you turn it over. He’s loving you to the point that you really don’t want to carry it any longer .. you’d rather have Him. And He only takes a moment …
“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing .. absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:38-39 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to the Fellowship of All Things following Jesus and friends of Priority One (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks to Bob McCook for the “all things” seeds!