reNEW: Your Strength

reNEW – to make new; to restore, reestablish, replenish, to start over.

Jesus said, “Hey! Watch! Look! I’m making all things new!”

This is the focus of a series we recently started at Live Youth Church.

Shawn Seeley, our Internship Pastor, recently spoke on reNEWing our strength. Here is a post written by him, it can also be viewed on his page.

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“The weaker I get, the stronger I become!” –Paul (2 Corinthians 12.10, MSG)

I love how the Bible shows us that we’re never stronger than when we are at our weakest. We’re never more able to accomplish the tasks God’s given us than when we shift the focus from our own ability, and trust His grace and finished work.

2 Corinthians 12.9-10 NLT

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Have you ever heard the song “Jesus Loves Me”? Chances are that you have. If not, here’s the most important part:

Jesus loves me! This I know

For the Bible tells me so

Little ones to Him belong

They are weak but He is strong!

The song is simple enough, and so is the truth in the lyrics – Jesus loves you, and even though you’re weak, He’s strong.

It’s funny how well some of us “know” this, but all too often forget the truth found in it.

Jesus tells Paul that His power is made perfect/works best in weakness, and that His grace is all Paul needs.

So, my question is…why do we rely on our own ability so often?

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly tempted to rely on my own ability to accomplish what God’s asked me to do. Maybe it’s just me, but something in me wants to do everything myself.

I have this false sense of strength in my own ability, and I have to constantly fight my predisposition to moralism by reminding myself of the gospel – the good news that everything I need to be made right with God has been done for me in the finished work of Jesus.

Have you ever heard, “Practice makes perfect”?

Vince Lombardi disagrees (and so do I).

He says, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

Last time I checked, I’m not perfect (although sometimes I try to tell myself otherwise) and neither is anyone else – that’s why God in Jesus had to come down and die for our sins.

So why do we think we can rely on ourselves to be perfect? Why do we rely on ourselves for strength? Let’s face it – we’re not perfect, our practice (what we do) isn’t perfect, and we can’t ever be perfect, no matter how hard we try.

Here’s the good news:

Only perfect practice makes perfect, and Jesus’ practice was perfect so yours wouldn’t have to be. It’s not “practice till you’re perfect, but “practice your perfection.” His perfect practice makes us perfect in our weakness!

Rather than relying on ourselves, which only stresses us out and leaves us feeling like failures (remember, we’re not perfect), we can rely on God’s grace in Jesus, knowing that although we’re weak, He is strong.

His grace is all we need, and His power/ability to do is made perfect/works best in our weakness/inability, so feel free to let God reNEW your strength by trusting in His ability and not your own.

Stay strong in grace,

Shawn

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