Monday, October 17, 2011

II Timothy 2: 10 Grace Strengthening Exercises

It seems an oxymoron to want to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus". Strength doesn't need grace.

And yet I have known people whom grace hath made strong. Not overbearing. Not inflexible. But in their patience, commitment, and selflessness, their pressing into God in response to problems that would tear others apart - they are steel. Unbreakable. A fit tool for a lifetime of Kingdom building. Formed on the anvil and tempered in the furnace. As our brother Larry Staab, a graduate of "Hell Week" SEAL training, told me Sunday, "pain is just weakness leaving the body." So....straight to me from a fellow named Paul who oughta know, here are 10 Grace Strengthening Exercises.

1. Expect to suffer. Soldiers suffer. Follow orders anyway. It will please the CO. 
2. Follow God's rules even when it hurts and no-one is looking. Winning athletes can't take shortcuts.
3. Reflect on what I am taught, and expect God to give me insight.
4. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. (Especially when religious people who deny His resurrection are trying to kill me.)
5. Realize that even if I am chained......God's word is not chained! THE GOSPEL DID NOT DEPEND ON JESUS BEING FREE AND COMFORTABLE.
6. Endure everything for the sake of the elect.
7. Know that if I endure, I will someday reign. I won't win every battle, but God will win the war, and in some undescribable way I will share His victory.
8. Don't argue over stupid things. Rather, kindly speak God's Word.
9. Flee the evils of youth, pursue righteousness, faith love and peace. As our brother Dick Lawson recalls the the men of Nyack College saying, "we don't smoke and we don't chew and we don't go with girls who do."
10. Love opponents of the gospel. They are captives of the devil, in need of deliverance from him, not eternal death beside him.

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