But [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I want to blog, to write something encouraging; my heart wants to express things but I get tired from the mental work and the things that pull at me and chip at me. None of it is overwhelming, individually, but collectively it can be wit-dulling and energy-sapping.
My mind understands manhood backwards. I’ve grown older thinking much of what I saw around me as “manly” was the definition of “being a man.” It isn’t necessarily.
Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, defines the characteristics and behaviors of men and His definition is unchanged in the face of my predecessors’ or my contemporaries’ thoughts, feelings on the matter or choices.
While reading about the split of the kingdom of Israel after Solomon’s death I ran across the description of Jeroboam.
Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. 1 Kings 11:28
I wanted to revisit how God described Saul, Israel’s first king.
[Kish] had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome peson than he among he sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. 1 Samuel 9:2
Romans 11:28 From the standpoint of the gospel they [Israel] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; (NASB – sent from CadreBible) Paul wrote this to Christians almost 2,000 years ago. Today my grafting into the heritage of Abraham begins & ends with Jesus. It is by His holy sacrifice I share in the lineage and history of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. I don’t share the last 2,000 years of history with my Jewish family; there are many things I don’t share in that contribute to the personna of being Hebrew but in the faith of Abraham, faith that was credited to him as righteousness, therein I am, likewise, a follower. I am still a believer that the Messiah of God will one day and for all eternity rule from Jerusalem but that isn’t a threat to any people but rather a wonderful, loving example of God’s patience with all people in how Christ has not yet returned. God waits, calling everyone to enjoy the wealth of the riches of His glory in exalting Him. It is grace that allows me to follow in Abraham’s faith and it is love that stays God’s righteous and holy judgement. I thank God for such a complete plan that allows both Jews of the chosen heritage, His beautiful nation, and those of us not born physically into that heritage, but born spiritually, to partake in His love and blessings.
Sometimes I feel depressed and in those times, if I take a moment to consider instead of reacting to my feelings I realize that it’s my focus that’s not right. My place, my purpose is to be a self-cognizant creation; one who isn’t self-reliant and one designed to heap praise on a being more worthy than I. My feelings come from forgetting my place in the universe and focusing on things I cannot change.
It’s been years since I took a high degree of personal responsibility in exercising my faith publicly.
I used to work in a small church as an assistant pastor, worship leader, Sunday school teacher, prayer leader, pew cleaner, grass mower, in-home visitor, transportation provider … you name a service small churches provide and I’ve probably done it. I’ve been through several neighborhoods in southeast TN door-to-door. I’ve prepared sermons, studied, prayed, fallen flat on my face in front of hundreds of folks and had the blessing of being present when the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spoke through me.