The grammar of power

2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and discipline.”

Here is a verse so many Christians love to misuse for the courage to face daunting moments in life. We are reminded in quoting this verse you ought to not be fearful because God has placed within you power. We will quote this verse and challenge one another to live in the power God has given to you instead of neglecting it by living in fear.

But there is a misuse here, and it is entirely grammatical. We are placing a period where there are commas. We read and quote this passage as though all we need to do is not be afraid, but be powerful, PERIOD! We have removed the commas and cut off the rest of the passage.

No! You are not given a spirit of fear. Yes! You have been given a spirit of power, COMMA, AND love, COMMA, AND discipline. In the moments most daunting, you are given a spirit of power, and love, and discipline. In the most difficult and “fearful” moments of life how often have you ever been challenged to draw upon love and discipline as much as power? Could the spirit of power only be found in the compound of love and discipline? In the daunting moments of life when you are tempted to fear, will you discipline yourself to love God and people; because there is power in that!

On weeping for Jesus’ Cross

In our remembrance of the Passion of Christ, what do we mourn? What brings us sadness? I wonder if it is the same thing Jesus would have us mourn and be sad over. Do we still get sad for Jesus; do we do as Christ tells the Daughters of Jerusalem in Luke 23 on his way up the hill to Golgotha?

“But Jesus turning to them said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (vs 28)

Do we weep for Christ at Easter or our remembrance of the cross throughout the year? Or…
Do we weep for ourselves and the condition of the world? Do we weep for CHrist when we remember the cross (which he did conquer), or do we weep for the condition our own hearts are still in?

Persist

When I pray to my God, I cannot stop after one shot at it. I have to continue to come to Him, and never let up. My God will hear me, and He may be determining how dedicated I really am to seeking Him in this situation and circumstance.

Here I am in need of God’s answer and provision, and I come once or twice out of a hail mary desperation, but will i continue to come with the persistence of the widow in Luke 18? Will I pray and not lose heart? I have not often prayed in this fashion at all. I have to pray and not lose heart.

God will hear me and come to me, but I cannot lose heart in my prayer. Otherwise I reveal something very important. The amount and longevity of my prayer to God reveal just how dedicated I really am to that situation, that circumstance, or to that person.

Spotlight Myth [Video]

Below is video of me teaching about The Spotlight Myth. I kicked off a series through the Sermon on the Mount for this group.

Before and After Restoration

It is important to remind ourselves that the process of restoration is long and slow. It cannot be rushed or it will sacrifice the quality and integrity of the transformation.

When we realize that God is making all things new (Rev. 21:5), it is important to realize that is an ongoing present tense, which stretches itself over all of eternity. Our own personal and internal restoration is ongoing over a great matter of time.

But as you restore a piece of furniture over time, it is great to look at the before picture to recognize the progress thus far. While the piece is not yet finished and is still being restored, the progress is worth noting.

Our own hearts and lives are being restored one broken place at a time. The overall restoration project of our broken hearts and lives will not be rushed or it would sacrifice the quality and integrity of the transformation.

Also, though we wish for the final product to arrive within our own broken hearts and lives, we will not experience that complete change and restoration until that final day. There will be more broken places yet to be restored.

But take courage in the progress thus far.

Fear and Faith

When I search my heart and find my faith lacking lately, it is less about doubt than it is about fear. My lacking faith is really my increasing fear. I fear a great many things, and I wonder how or if certain things will happen. I am afraid of certain outcomes happening and other outcomes not happening.

I am confident in who God is. I am confident in what He is able to do. My lacking faith is not so much about any doubts I have. It is about the fears and worries my mind and heart feel at particular points in life.

Lately I have been wondering whether faith has more to do with lacking fear than it does with lacking doubt.

Thumbtack

225px-Thumbtack_logoIn the last few weeks, I have made a connection with the website thumbtack.com

It is a great service to professionals in various fields who would like to allow others know more about their services and talents. It has been a great connector for me as a speaker, writer, and even as an officiant.

The entire website allows for a freedom to accept and decline for the professional and for the customer if the services are not able to fulfill expectations (for instance: I am not likely to accept a wedding as that wishes to have ‘mention of God’ or a variety of other possibilities like scheduling, distance, etc.)

I would appreciate it if you know anyone who might need a speaker, writer, or other things listed here on my website to also direct them to My Thumbtack Profile.