Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you were in a place of genuine dependence on someone else? When was the last time you were so weak you couldn’t accomplish some task on your own? I still remember the day after having my appendix out. I had some sort of a reaction to the anesthesia that caused all my muscles to gradually clench until I was curled up in a ball. I could actively feel it happening, but couldn’t do anything about it. It was one of the weirdest, most helpless, not to mention scariest moments of my life. And the doctor on call just stood there staring at me. Thankfully one of my nurses broke protocol by not waiting on the pharmacy order to go through to give me some medicine that resolved the issue. Being weak and helpless is no fun. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. So then, what are we supposed to do with Paul’s glorification of weakness here? Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Philippians 4:11-13

“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content – whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you remember the “yanny” versus “laurel” fad from a few years ago? The audio illusion became an internet sensation for a couple of weeks in May 2018. The clip contained both of the words, but the former was more prevalent at higher frequencies, and the latter at lower frequencies. Which one you heard depended on which sound frequencies were picked up the most easily by your ears. A slight majority of listeners (including me) reported hearing “laurel” when they heard the clip. I even still hear “laurel” when the low frequency sounds are filtered out to some extent so that the “yanny” sounds are more prevalent. The rest (including my lovely bride) heard “yanny.” The clip came from a Georgia high school student doing some homework when he recorded the audio pronunciation of the word “laurel” (see, I knew I was right!) from Vocabulary.com. The poor quality recording he made is what allowed some folks to hear “yanny” instead. Without getting any of the back story or listening to an edited version of the clip to make one sound more prominent than the other, though (here’s a video where they edit the clip so you can easily hear “yanny” and then transition it back to normal – it was the first time I’ve ever heard what the “yanny” sounds like and promptly couldn’t any longer when it went back to normal), most folks will hear the clip one way and never know there was another option. What has me thinking back to 2018 this morning is this well-known declaration by Paul. Most folks have only ever learned to hear it one way (the “yanny” way), but when you play it with the pitch Paul wrote it, something entirely different – and better – comes to the fore. Let’s talk this morning about another lie Christians believe and why the truth is so much better.

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Morning Musing: Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

If there was ever a case to be made for a particular verse of the Bible being the official verse of sports, I think this one would win the prize. It seems like every professional athlete who is willing to publicly claim the name of Jesus makes sure to put this verse on something he wears to play. And snapped up out of its context, it seems to serve the purpose of sports well. But is there any more to it? 

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 22:36

“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.” (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

Sometimes when you’re reading through the Scriptures a particular verse catches your eye. Have you had that happen to you before? The reasons it does are manifold, but one of them is that it says something in a way you weren’t expecting. That’s what happened to me with this verse. 

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Morning Musings: 2 Corinthians 12:10

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Our own power is insufficient to the task of life.  We don’t have what it takes on our own.  We cannot make right what is broken in us by ourselves.  The only hope, the only power that is up to such tasks is the power of God.  His alone can overcome the various obstacles in this world and bring about the incredible life available in the kingdom. Read the rest…