You write…

I am teaching a study at church – Living the Gospel in Weakness.  We are primarily studying Paul in 1-2 Corinthians, with a couple of Psalms here and there…  Here are the break downs (I’ll spare you the long list of texts connected to these themes).

I.   The normalcy of weakness (for the purpose of living the gospel with normalcy)

II.  The necessity of weakness (faith as dependence)

III. Boasting in weakness (far beyond understanding weakness!)

IV.  Ministering in weakness (the angle of effective ministry to a weak world)

V.  Worshiping in weakness (worshiping from a posture of poverty not performance)

OK.  Me blog no time today. 

BUT, as I am getting quite a few readers, it might be nice to turn this on you.  It actually would help me in my teaching of this study (and in this being a virtual community of transparent gospel-dependers) if some of you would “comment” on how you have experienced the normalcy of weakness such that you are able to live in the power of Christ.  Or, how you have learned that you actually need your experiences of weakness (necessity) so that you will depend only on Christ and his righteousness to cover you before God.  Or, how you have been able to naturally minister to another person in their weakness precisely because of your gospel magnifying weakness.  Or, how you have experienced rich worship of God because you had to – in your weakness and frailty – come to him from a ‘posture of poverty’ and trust that he received you as a worthy worshiper in Christ.

Perhaps this is a blogging attempt at ‘gospel hospitality.’  This is about making room for you to share your weakness so that we recognize our common condition and so cling to Christ as our only strength.  Be brief.  Be bravado.  Be wordy.  I don’t care.  Just want to give you room to share…

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4 thoughts on “You write…

  1. Sarah B says:

    Well, as much as I would like to share experiences in all of them, I only have 10 minutes left in my lunch break, so normalcy it is.

    This past February and March were tough for me. I was only pausing from my work to eat and to sleep, and the eating wasn’t healthy food that would make me feel good, and the sleep wasn’t 8 hours a night, which borders on an idol for me. I was living in a hotel during the week, so I only saw non-work or Christian people on Saturday (during which I was often working) and Sunday (during which I felt like I should be working). I stopped going to C3 because I had to drive out to York Sunday night so my fellowship dropped to close to nil. And I felt like even though I was working 14 or 15 hours a day, I wasn’t getting anything done. I missed deadlines, my work was sub-par, and most of the people working with me were going through the same thing. Nagativity ran rampant in the audit room: we composed a song with the one line, “I hate my life” repeated over and over again, Then, on Valentine’s day, I lost my cell phone, so I couldn’t keep in touch with family and friends for two weeks.

    And I have never been more in love with my Savior in my entire life. I had no where to look but up, and it was ENOUGH. On February 5, my pastor in Erie sent an e-mail to the entire congregation with this quote, ‘You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then, He is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm.’ Robert Murray McCheyne (Scottish preacher of the early 1800’s). Sometime soon after, probably towards the end of February, we were singing the song “Price of Peace” in church, and the last line hit me right between the eyes: “You are my prince of peace, and I will live my life for you.” Now the song is about God, but isn’t it cool how he still gives to us in worship, even though he doesn’t have to? Jesus is my prince of peace. He is my prince. He is my prince and he wants me to love him as much as he loves me. Now, boys, I realize this won’t mean quite the same thing to you as it does to me, but I grew up on Disney. Snow White and Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and singing “Some day my prince will come.” My whole life had been about finding my prince. Not that I sit around obsessing about it, because I am an SP (Myers-Briggs and happy in my box) so I pretty much just revel in the moment, but always in the back of my mind had been the thought that my life wasn’t quite complete without that guy, and I kept a weather eye on the horizon just in case he showed up. And I’m still convinced that God’s got marriage in my future, and I’m still convinced that I will fall truly deeply madly in love with my husband, and I’m excited for that to happen, but I don’t *need* it. I need God. I need Jesus. My prince has come, and being in love with him is more amazing than anything I could imagine.

    Do I still slip back into old feelings and habits occasionally? Absolutely, but they come fewer and farther between, and I’ve got all eternity to grow this relationship. Plus, busy season is right around the corner, so I see another time of clinging to my Savior on the horizon 🙂

    Yikes, and it is now 10 minutes *past* my lunch break. Sorry for writing so long and so disjointed, guys. Hope this is close to what you were looking for, Jim.

  2. Sarah B says:

    Whoops, I mean necessity.

  3. brother john says:

    I sure hope this comes out right, because if it doesn’t I am going to sound incredibly arrogant. Here it goes!

    My struggle is a lot of areas with weakness, but I will focus on one for now. My struggle/frustration deals with ministry in weakness. Because my life is what the world would call conservative and “put together” – what weakness do they see? I try to love others well, engage in conversations, try to point people to Him, etc. I am not saying that I am perfect – for I am far from it, BUT once again, what weakness do they see? Most of my battles with sin (at least in front of non-believers) are internal. When I do screw up, I usually admit my wrong doing and seek reconciliation – but what about the other times, when I don’t screw up?

    Here is my beef with weakness – I want Christ to be seen as strong and me weak, but what does that mean in this setting? I know we don’t intentionally sin so that grace can abound or so that others see us as weak. What does it mean? Is it simply giving God the credit and pointing to Him for “my put together life” – or is there more that I am missing? Sometimes I find myself trying to CONVINCE people that I am not “put together” so I can try and relate to them better. I intentionally knock myself down in hopes that we will be able to relate.

    Confused. Slightly frustrated. Wanting God to do more. Any words?

    I don’t think this what you were looking for, but it may help all of us somehow.

  4. weakchristian says:

    Just want to say to Sarah – thanks for modeling transparency. O, and the quote about the howling wilderness, by McCheyne is money and may show up in a sermon near you.

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