Power Moves from the Weakest of the Weak - Purity 909
Purity 909 12/08/2022 Purity 909 Podcast
Purity 909 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of a pathway leading to the shores of Lake Ontario and to the Webster Pier, just off camera, to the right, comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene at Webster Park while on my meandering journey to Buffalo back on November 10th.
Well, It’s Thursday again and as is my habit I share photos of pathways on Thursdays, originally because that was the night I used to teach at Celebrate Freedom and encourage people to come and “get set free” from whatever “hurts, habits, and hang ups”, but although that recovery ministry is now disbanded, I still encourage people to get on, or to stay on, the path of Christian Discipleship because I have learned that the Lord calls us to allow Him into all the areas of our lives and doesn’t call us to recover, He calls us to be healed and set free from all the things that would keep us in bondage, especially the lies of the enemy and the world system that propagates them.
I encourage people to stay the course of Christian discipleship, because frankly, I need to hear these encouragements myself! While I have been set free from many of the things that used to tie me in knots in the past, to the point where I am utterly amazed at the extent of what the Lord has done in my life, I have come to recognize that I am still a work in progress and could easily be a Romans 7 Christian and lament:
Romans 7:19 (NLT2)
19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
My eating habits and spending habits are
still areas of my life in which I could say I want to do what is good but don’t! At Parties or Special occasions I will
release the restraints and sabotage my health goals by overeating or choosing
to eat foods that I know are laden with sugar or carbohydrates, the elements
that help our bodies store fat! (https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_7frg4jjd)
Last night, I went to my church’s Christmas holiday party for men, Starpoint Church’s “Men’s Sock Exchange” for the second year in a row and while I brought an appetizer that consisted of only of meat and cheese, pizza and cookies also happened to be on the buffet line and against my better judgement I threw caution to the wind and had some of each, and even took two slices of pizza home to eat before bed!
So back to the drawing board today. The good news is that other than Christmas Eve at my parents’ house, I don’t have any more holiday parties on the schedule and with this latest failure I am motivated to “correct the course” as I realized that in truth I have been a little mindless in my eating as I have been enjoying mQuest bars, which are nutritionally okay, two and three at a time, and the other night I decided to get in the “holiday spirit” by eating some Planter’s “Brittle Nut Medley” that I had bought for someone as a gift! DOH! So yeah, we have to be careful to stay aware of what we are doing because our flesh will cause us to slip up and excuse these “little indulgences” until the point where we are living in denial and sabotaging ourselves.
I confess all of this, because that’s what I do, and with the hopes that I will now repent. I have already brought it to the Lord in prayer and will lean on His strength to try to right the ship. Because man, I can be disciplined at times, but boy can I be weak at other times.
But I am not beating myself up about it, I just plan on doing what is right today, and will endeavor to do what is right tomorrow. That’s all we can do, one day at a time, one moment at a time. And the best way to stay on course is to keep walking and talking with God as we go. I noticed I didn’t really consult with the Lord in all these instances of failure… how about that. In all seriousness, I plan on seriously repenting and to start journalling my food intake to try to keep self-aware. I planned on doing that but the app I used in the past to do that changed and made it “hard”. I know “lame excuse” but I see the root of my failure, a lack of self-awareness.
Anyway last night, the men’s sock exchange was a fun event. It gives Christian men an opportunity to fellowship, to eat, and to have some fun with the “white elephant gift exchange” game, where the men can choose to keep the gift they receive or “steal” someone else’s gift. So when you get a gift you don’t know if you are going to keep it, unless it’s a lame gift, in that case you are pretty guaranteed that it’s yours, but you never know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
The order of the game is determined by a random draw of numbers, and goes sequentially from 1 to whatever, I think there was 30 people there last night. A few additional rules for the game include that number 1, the first person to select a gift has the option to steal a gift at the end of the game, because they didn’t have a choice being first, also in our version it was determined that you could only steal one particular gift 3 times. If something was stolen twice, the third thief would get to keep it as that item was considered “frozen” or “gone”. Also the person who was “victimized the most, who had been stolen from more times than anyone would also get a “special prize” – which turned out to be gift card to Starbucks.
Last year, I went home with a pair of Rudoph socks after having stolen a “good pair” of work sock from someone else, getting my just deserts right near the end of the game. So I was a little weary of what to expect and was trying to let go of any expectations of getting anything good and just have fun watching things take place.
I was even more weary after I saw my number, 11! I figured there was no way to “win” with 11 because if I got anything good there would be almost 20 thieves who could take it from me!
Sometimes, these games can be pretty sedate as you can have a crowd who wants to “play fair” but I have noticed that after the first person steals a gift, the stealing increases. The first few guys just picked presents but number 7 decided to steal a gift, a nice set of hiking socks, from one of the guys that went before him so the “game was a Foot”. The next couple of guys just picked gifts, but number 10 decided to steal from number 7, the thief had lost his ill gotten gains.
So it’s my turn, and I can see the opportunity before me. I could pick a gift and hope for the best, or I could take control of the situation and be assured of my final outcome right here, right now!
So, I stand up and walk over to number 10 and say: “I’m not getting “zonked” again this year!” and steal the Eddie Bauer, 6 pack of Moisture wicking, odor control, arch support, men’s hiking socks, for myself. Game recognizes game, and all the men given me a hearty round of applause, for real!
This is what we call a “power move”. It’s like a prison inmate going up and hitting the biggest baddest dude in the yard on his first day in the penitentiary. You establish your reputation for being strong or wise by some act that demonstrates “your power”.
So even though, I was feeling pretty weak with number 11, I seized the day and felt pretty “powerful doing it”! I may not be able to wear these hiking socks until the spring but when I do I can remember this moment and laugh and take a little pride in how I “beat them” at their own game.
This is a silly example of course, and I know that I am quite weak in many ways, but this little anecdote from last night’s party demonstrates a basica principle of life and Christian discipleship. The Lord has put us where we are in life, in this time and season, and as we go we will be presented with opportunities and choices of what to do. And its up to us to:
1. Be aware – if I wasn’t paying attention to the rules or what was going on I could have missed this opportunity to “get something good”
2. Remember our pasts and learn from them - The sting of last year’s “zonk” was at the forefront of my mind and I was trying to avoid a similar outcome
3. Hope - Although, with my disappointing number draw, I was hopeful that “some how and in some way” I’d get something good
4. Act – although the circumstances fell in my favor, we call that being “blessed” in Christian circles, - I still had to be “bold and courageous” and act.
And these are our walking instructions on the path of Christian discipleship.
Remember Our Pasts, and what we have learned from the word of God in our pasts, – and learn from It
Hope – and Pray
Act – DO SOMETHING – When the time is right, Get ‘er done.
So although we can be weak at times, even us weaklings can pull off a power move on occasion, but I have to remind you just how weak we are and that the best way and the most power we can draw from is found when we follow the Lord.
So keep walking and talking with God, He will help you in your weakness and when you walk in His ways you can know His awesome power that launches you into a new life of freedom and victory
Unfortunately, I am weak and short on time so I will have to share a Bible verse from the NLT Promise book for men tomorrow..
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Church of Jesus Christ and Discipleship
The Body of Christ, continues
The earthly body of Jesus is crucified and dies. In his death the new humanity is also crucified and dies with him. Since Christ had not taken on an individual human being, but rather human ‘form’, sinful flesh, human ‘nature’, all that he bore, therefore, suffers and dies with him. All our infirmities and all our sin he bears to the cross. It is we who are crucified with him and who die with him. True, Christ’s earthly body dies, but only to rise again from death as an incorruptible, transfigured body. It is the same body—the tomb was, indeed, empty!—and yet it is a new body. Jesus thus brings humanity not only into death with him, but also into the resurrection. Thus even in his glorified body he still bears the humanity which he had taken on during his days on earth.
How then do we come to participate in this body of Christ who did all this for us? For this much is certain: there is no community with Jesus Christ other than the community with his body! It is in this body alone that we are accepted and able to find salvation! The way we do gain a share in the community of the body of Christ is through the two sacraments of his body, that is, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In a very transparent allusion, John the Evangelist reports that from the crucified body of Jesus Christ there issued water and blood, the elements of both sacraments (John 19:34, 35). This testimony is confirmed by Paul when he ties membership in the body of Christ strictly to these two sacraments. The sacraments have their origin and goal in the body of Christ. Sacraments exist only because there is a body of Christ. There they begin and end. The word of proclamation alone is not sufficient to bring us into community with the body of Jesus Christ; the sacrament is necessary too. Baptism incorporates us as members into the unity of the body of Christ. The Lord’s Supper keeps us in this community (κοινωνία) with Christ’s body. Baptism makes us members of the body of Christ. We are “baptized into” Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3); we are “brought into one body by baptism” (1 Cor. 12:13). In our death in baptism, the Holy Spirit thus appropriates to us personally what Christ in his body has gained for the whole of humanity. We receive the community of the body of Christ in the same way the disciples and followers of Jesus received it in the early days, and this means that we are now “with Christ” and “in Christ,” and that “Christ is in us.” Once the body of Christ is properly understood, the meaning of these expressions becomes perfectly clear.
It is true that all human beings as such are “with Christ” as a consequence of the incarnation, since Jesus bears the whole of human nature. His life, death, and resurrection are thus real events which involve all human beings (Rom. 5:18ff.; 1 Cor. 15:22; 2 Cor. 5:14). Nevertheless, Christians are “with Christ” in a special sense. What for the rest of humanity becomes a cause of death is for Christians a gift of grace. In baptism they are assured that they have “died with Christ” (Rom. 6:8; Col. 2:20), are “crucified with him” (Rom. 6:6), “buried with him” (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12), and “planted together [with him] in the likeness of his death” (Rom. 6:5), and that they will therefore also live with him (Rom. 6:8; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:12; 2 Tim. 2:11; 2 Cor. 7:3). The reason that “we are with Christ” is that Christ is Immanuel, “God with us.” Only if we come to know Christ in this way does our “being with Christ” become a gift of grace. We are then “baptized into Christ” (είς), into the community of his suffering. We become ourselves members of this body, and the community of those who are baptized becomes a body which is none other than Christ’s own body. They are thus “in Christ” (έν), and “Christ is in them.” They are no longer “under the law” (Rom. 2:12; 3:19), no longer “in the flesh” (Rom. 7:5; 8:3, 8, 9; 2 Cor. 10:3), no longer “in Adam” (1 Cor. 15:22). With their entire existence and throughout all expressions of their life they are henceforth “in Christ.”
Paul can describe the miracle of Christ’s incarnation in an almost infinite variety of perspectives. Everything we have said thus far may be summed up in the phrase: Christ is “for us,” not only in his word and his attitude toward us, but in his bodily life. Christ stands bodily before God in the place that should be ours. He has stepped into our place. He suffers and dies for us, and is able to do so because he bears our flesh (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1:4; Titus 2:14; 1 Thess. 5:10, etc.). The body of Jesus Christ is “for us” in the strictest sense of the word—on the cross, in the word, in baptism, and in the Lord’s Supper. All bodily community with Jesus Christ rests on this fact.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship