Love – God’s Greatest Weakness?

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 2 Corinthians 13:4

Weakness – dfn. lack of physical strength; lack of power, influence or strength of character; a weak point in a system or somebody’s character. (Source: Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)

Can God be weak? Is it possible for the great God of glory to exhibit any weaknesses? Or can God “choose” to be weak to achieve a much greater purpose and cause? One thing is certain and one thing we all agree upon is that love is weak. Love does not operate from a position of power or strength. Love assumes the position of weakness, giving instead of taking and being the recipient of pain versus the one causing the pain, And the list goes on. That stated, how do we respond when the Bible says that “God is love” (I Jn 4:8,16). If God is love and love is weak then what does this say about God’s person, nature, being and character?

As we probe this a little further we will find out that God does and always has a plan. And His plans are perfect. And His plans have always centered around one goal and purpose – to show all of creation how magnificent, how wonderful and how glorious He really is (Ps 145:10-11, Is 6:3, Col 1:16, Rev 4:11). And we will discover that this whole subject of weakness has an astounding ending. Let’s dive into this a little.

 The Progressive Works of God

In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth in a miraculous display of creative power. We know that, but what we sometimes forget or do not think about is that these acts of creative power were not conclusive.  After each day of creation God said that “it was good” six times (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21 & 25). The number ‘six’ is the number of man, the number of incompletion. This tells us something. It tells us that God had something else planned that would supersede His “good”. What is that? The answer is: God’s ‘best’. God said that His acts of creation were good. What God did not say was that He was “finished” with His work of creation. It would take 6,000 years before He would say that his work of creation on earth was “finished”.

God’s way of revealing His character and will through HIs sovereign acts and ways is progressive in nature (Is 28:10, 13). His plans unfold the way photographs were originally made. Photographs used to be formed after light-sensitive photographic paper was immersed a chemical bath called a “developing solution” after being exposed to a light source projected through a film negative. Images would slowly emerge over the paper’s surface while the solution swished over its surface until the entire scene photographed appeared. Such is the revelation of God, a step-by-step progression of events unfolding to culminate into the complete understanding and knowledge of all that God is.

Progressive Steps – A Man, A Family, A Nation & A World

God’s first step in revealing His character and nature started with a single man, Adam. Adam, the first created being made in God’s image was his first choice to begin exposing who He was through communication and fellowship. Adam failed in fulfilling all that God planed for him because of disobedience. So, as God always does, He moved on. God then chose a family to work with and continue to unfold his perfect plan and will. The man was Noah and he found grace in the sight of God (Gen 6:8). The Lord worked through Noah and his family to preserve a remnant of mankind from judgment (the flood) looming over earth’s inhabitants. After Noah and his offspring fulfilled their God-given role He moved on to something bigger – a nation.

The Lord chose the people of the nation of Israel (through the faith of Abraham) as the next step to reveal His will. The Lord started what would be a journey of almost 2,000 yeas to prepare a people who would glorify Him and be a witness of his power, mercy, goodness and grace to a darkened world. Again, the plan fell short of its intended expectations. Israel would eventually become divisive, indifferent to the ways of God and fall into relative oblivion amongst the nations of the earth.

After failing to achieve perfection yet again, God in his last and final attempt to fulfill His perfect plan decided to take matters into his own hands. This final plan would supersede all others in scope and power and go beyond the limitations of human futility, family frailty and national hostility. God’s final and perfect plan would encompass the entire world and involve all of Heaven, including Himself!

But God faced a dilemma. Because of the nature of this final plan Heaven could not be its launching pad or its  operations center. Why? Because this plan demanded a part of God that He had up to this point not revealed. This final plan demanded God’s total and complete commitment of His love and forgiveness only attainable through profound weakness. And He was up to the challenge.

Earth – The Manifestation of God’s Greatest Weakness, The Perfection of God’s Magnificent Power

Heaven is a place of eternity and timelessness where demonstrations and exhibitions of God’s glory, might and power are in full display. Heaven is not a place for weakness. When God determined it was time to manifest and reveal the most glorious aspects of His character, nature and being He would have to do it at some other place and in some other form. And He did. It is the place we know as planet Earth. God designed earth for two  purposes; to heal the breach of sin in Heaven (Lucifer’s rebellion) and on earth (Adam’s fall/man’s sin) and to reveal to all of Creation the glory of of His character and manifestation of His greatness weakness – His love. To gather together IN ONE “all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10).

He began the process on earth as a child in the “likeness of sinful (weak) flesh”:

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:30-33

God himself stepped beyond the curtain of Heaven’s glory and power to become weak, weak like you and me.
However, he did it unlike you and I. He became flesh and lived without committing sin. Jesus was truly the Lamb of God. Perfect. Sinless. Blameless. Guiltless.

First we need to ask a question: Was Jesus really weak?

He became sin who knew no sin (Is 53:12; II Cor 5:21)
He laid down his life so others might take their life up (Luk 22:19-20; Rom 8:32; I Jn 3:16)
He chose death so others might have live (Joh 10:15-18)
He became poor so others might be rich (II Cor 8:9)
He relinquished his God-given power so others might be empowered by it (Mark 5:37-39; Joh 7:37-39; Acts 1:8, 2:38)
He was a lamb before a merciless company of fearless beasts (Is 53:7; Mark 15:32)
He was speechless and defenseless while being falsely accused (Mark 15:3-5)
He loved and forgave the who betrayed him (Mark 14:18-21Luk 22:47-48)
He loved and forgave all who hated him and were ashamed of him (Luk 23:34)

Can we conclude that Jesus indeed chose weakness over power? Is that not how true love is supposed to work?

God’s plans are foolproof. If he fails to accomplish something one way, He will always have something behind the scene that will come through when needed.

Satan thinks he has it all figured out. He believes his dominion over the world is unchallengeable, his death threat forever intact and his plan of deception and destruction over mankind unequaled. Being the father of lies (Joh 8:44) he is the chief deceiver,  deceived and dead wrong.

There is one thing Satan never experienced in Heaven nor will he ever understand about God. And that is: God’s weakness and the profound love of God birthed in that weakness. Satan and his hordes of fallen angels are  completely dumfounded by continually being defeated by the power of God’s love. God’s love has the capacity (unlike any other agent known on earth) to attract the human soul beyond sin’s gravitational pull and cause it to fall in total surrender before its Creator. As one lady radio announcer phrased it: “God’s love is the most compelling force in the entire universe”. It most definitely is.

And here is how. God’s power is perfected in weakness:

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

The word “strength” in this verse is the Greek word “δύναμις” [dunamis] which is translated into English as “force” or specifically, “miraculous power”. The word “dynamite” is derived from this same Greek word. What does this all mean?

This tells us that God, in the most infinitely weak form possible, came to this earth in the “likeness” of sinful flesh to perfect His power. God became infinitely weak through his death on a cross so that He might become …………. infinitely powerful! So powerful in fact that Jesus is now worthy to receive all of the fullness of God’s glory, might and honor – “even in him” (Eph 1:10). Now that is something to get excited about.

From “It Is Good” to “It Is Finished” – Jesus, Our Seventh Day Of Eternal Rest

As mentioned at the outset, God said after each act of creation the words “it is good” (6x). This tells us that God had one more act of creation to perform – an act to bring everything full circle and complete His final, perfect plan waiting to unfold from the beginning of time.

According to God’s Word one day with the Lord can be 1,000 years or 1,000 years as one day (2 Pet 3:8). Therefore it is not coincidental that Jesus Christ appeared on earth exactly 6 days (6,000 years) after God’s work of Creation. God in the Old Testament rested on the seventh day from His work of creation (Gen 2:1-3) and also reserved this day for mankind’s physical rest (Mar 2:27). In the New Testament, Jesus offers those who believe and trust in him a new life with a new beginning (2 Cor 5:17). Jesus can be seen as the seventh day from creation offering mankind the gift of eternal ‘spiritual’ rest (Mat 11:28-29; Heb 3:11, 4:9-11; Rev 14:13). The Lord completed or finished His final creative week of seven days when Jesus fulfilled the Father’s perfect will.

What was that final act or work of perfection God needed to perform?

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. John 4:34  

God’s perfect will was to manifest Himself in weakness as the Son (flesh) of God on earth to offer salvation to a fallen world through his sinless blood and give the hope of eternal rest (life) to those under the power of sin and death by the god of this world. It was through this sacrificial act that God revealed to the world the most magnificent and profound nature of His person being – His deep, profound love.

The death of Jesus Christ as the sacrificial Lamb of God and Savior of the world was God’s seventh and final ‘work’ that fulfilled the Father’s will and ‘finished’ His creative plan on earth:

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30 

In conclusion, God’s perfected power is expressed and manifested in the form of the God-man Jesus Christ. Jesus is the embodiment of that perfected power and rules “at God’s right hand” in the seat of Heaven having all authority and power over all of Creation (Rev 1:12-18). All because of weakness and all because of love. God’s love. For God is love.

Be Blessed & Be Free in Jesus’ Name. Amen

(Credit: Photo of baby & finger)

A Song In The Night

I call to remembrance my song in the night: Ibird1
commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Psalm 77:6-7

Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

We don’t grow in God when the sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing and the birds are chirping a melodic song.

No. It is in the darkness where we  grow in God. For it is in the darkness where God creates His most majestic and wonderful works:

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:15-16

From most observations, the womb is a pretty dark place. Yet, it is in this darkness where the God of creation fashions and stitches together the wondrous fabric of human life.

The Apostle John wrote one of the most powerful, majestic and prophetic books of the  Bible, The Book of Revelation, while living in a very dark place. The book was written while  exiled by his countrymen and left to rot away on the forsaken island – the Isle of Patmos.

The real test  of our faith through time is to keep singing a song of hope and love to God regardless of our circumstances. It all comes down to the condition of the heart:

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:45

One real challenge to a believer in Jesus Christ is to keep a song alive in our hearts – even when it means singing it in the darkest hour of life’s night.

And it is one thing to write a song in the night and quite another thing to sing one  there.

The Master’s Master Sound Track

How many people have started out with a ‘Top-10’ hit single-like experience in God, only to find their song hit the proverbial cutting room floor through the corrosive effects of trials, tests and temptations?

And how many have started out with the potential to produce a spiritual symphonic masterpiece, only to be prematurely cut short in their walk in God and left with the copyright to a B-grade jangle fit for an alcohol-fumed honky tonk?

What does it take to produce a master recording for the Master? – everything we’ve got. Every note played on the vinyl of our life gets recorded in heaven’s master sound room:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:12

Every attitude, decision and action we make is mixed on God’s master sound board  and burned onto our very song, with our name as the recording artist.

However, the Lord’s grace gives us a chance to re-record the imperfect takes and get the music  right:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
I John 2:1-2

What Will Jesus Say About Our Song?

Will Jesus say to one of His angels?:

“Let’s hear the recording that Rachel (or John, or Cheryl or Chris) produced. I want to hear the sweet, harmonizing, perfectly mixed sound tracks that they produced while living for me in a dark and corrupt world.”

“I intentionally sent them musical rests (divine delays?) at several appointed times in their life. Did they interpret them as acts of unkindness from Me or did they keep a good attitude and allow those spaces of silence and rest get recorded on the master track? Let’s hear it.”

“And here, right there, I sent some harsh winds of adversity to get them to stay longer in the practice (prayer) room to hone their musical technique and gain mastery over their instrument. Let’s hear it and see.”

“And here, I decided to change the key right there to add dimension and rapturous breath to the musical arrangement. Did they perceive those abrupt and shattering changes as signals of my displeasure or frustration with their life? Or did they “roll with the punches” and allow faith to create the swelling and overpowering musical dynamics I was looking for? Let’s listen and see”.

“And lastly, I pulled out all the stops and really wanted MY glory to shine through their life. Yes. That time when it looked like things all around started to unravel and implode and only a MIRACLE from ME would bring them through.

It was that time I demanded an unparalleled display of faith and trust. It was their Paganini Caprice No. 24 moment, a “pull out all the stops” encounter with their angel of contention. Flesh against Spirit. Human will against Heaven’s will. The earth’s beggarly elements against Heaven’s storehouses of blessedness. Worldly ladders of cut-throat success against Heaven’s ladders of angelic succession.

It was all designed for a witness of My glory and presence in their life where no one could deny that God was doing it all. Come now, let’s hear it in all its splendor and musical genius”.

The Final Cut

How will our final life recording sound? Will it be something God would want to listen to? Will the recording of our life become one of His favorite soundtracks? Will we persevere until the end and finish the symphony that God desires to produce with our lives?

Only time will tell. We must not quit. We must not compromise. We cannot afford to stop short of applying track after track to the final, superbly mixed recording of our life symphony.

“Jesus, please help me to keep recording your symphony of love, hope and faith with my life . And Lord, help me to keep singing my song in the night!”

The Cure

pill 1O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Corinthians 15:55-57

Imagine a pill. Not just an ordinary pill, but a totally free pill that can perform wonders. Specifically, twenty-four hours after taking this pill any type of cancer will be cured one-hundred percent of the time, every time – guaranteed.

As sure as water makes you wet or as the sun makes you warm you will be emphatically, instantaneously and unequivocally healed after ingesting this pill.

How wonderful would that be? In twenty-four hours any gnawing pain or bodily discomfort – gone. In twenty-four hours any mass, swelling tissue or surface skin abnormality – gone. In twenty-four hours any internal organ dysfunction – gone. It is that powerful of a pill.

But there are some caveats surrounding this pill. The administration of this pill is carefully regulated due to its precise chemical composition, high production costs, potent healing power and the immense potential for fraud and monetary abuse (i.e., the black market).

Therefore, this pill can only be administered by one and only one authorized distributor and its team of highly qualified individuals each with impeccable integrity. Additionally, because of its unique healing power there are no generic equivalents for this pill. It is a one of a kind pill with no substitute or cheap imitation.

Another Pill

There is another “pill” that shares similar properties to the one mentioned. But this cure is for a more fearful word than the “C” word. And that is for the dreaded “D” word – Death.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is “the pill” (if you will) for the emphatic, instantaneous and unequivocal cure over death.

Yes, that is right. How often we do not see things in the light of eternity, the most essential element of our existence. That space known as forever. The place beyond the grave where the voice of time is rendered speechless. And where the well-worn timepiece tracking humanity’s earthbound busyness gently folds her hands.

It has been said that eternity can be likened to the following analogy. Imagine a metal sphere the size of the earth. Each year a bird flies by and brushes its wing ever so lightly against this enormous ball of metal. When this ball is reduced to nothing by the friction of the bird’s wing, eternity …..has….. just….. begun!

Wow! In light of this thought, to somehow miss heaven and not escape the curse of eternal death is sobering. We have got to make heaven no matter what it takes.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is our escape route. Jesus is our hope, our salvation, our healer, our deliverer, our Saviour, our Light, our Friend, our Father and our Everything!

Now, going back to the description of the miracle pill notice some similarities between the earthly and the heavenly:

Jesus is the cure, but we have to choose him:

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46 

The gospel is free to all who would embrace it:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

Jesus is only effective when allowed on “the inside”:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:4-5

God paid an extremely high price to defeat the “D” word – Eternal Death:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Corinthians 5:21

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians  2:7-8

Jesus Christ is the only cure and remedy for death:

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:17

There is only one formula for Salvation:

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Act 2:37-38

There is only one source of Salvation (no generics or cheap imitations allowed!):

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46

 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9

The Gospel Is Not Immune to the Black Market:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30

The church is the “distributor” of the message for the cure of death – the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

Jesus is the cure for death. And Jesus is not a pill. Jesus is a Person, a Prince, a Protector and a Provider. Embrace him every day, allow him on the inside and our victory over death is assured.

May God richly bless.

(Note: Any advertisements or web links that may be listed below this blog entry are not in any way endorsed or promulgated by the blog writer.)

Operation Restoration 2012

PrayingI will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons  from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;  (Isaiah 43:6)

Is there something special about the year 2012 now upon us? There is something unique about the number twelve when considering its significance in God’s word.

In the O.T. we read of the twelve tribes of Israel, the times God’s armies involved 12,000 men, the twelve yoke of oxen that Elisha departed to embark on his ministry with the prophet Elijah, and the number twelve appearing in construction of the tabernacle.

In the N.T. we know that Jesus was twelve years old when we first read of his supernatural wisdom and understanding (Luke 2:42-47), the twelve baskets of bread and fish fragments after feeding the multitudes, twelve gates, twelve angels, twelve foundations, and twelve manner of fruits in new Jerusalem (Rev. Ch.’s 21 and 22). And of course, Jesus’ twelve disciples.

If the number twelve (as some suggest) signifies “governmental perfection” in the Bible, could it be that the Lord is telling the church (His spiritual governmental body on earth) that this is the year of perfection or restoration? A year when God’s children who have lost their way find their way back home? A year when new or struggling ministries catch fire? A year when seasoned ministries are re-ignited?

The U.S. military coin their special operations with memorable names. Previous combat missions against the war on terror include;  Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Desert Scorpion, Neptune Spear, and many others.

The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ should be no less mission-minded when it comes to the battle with which it is engaged; the battle for the human soul. Is it not for this reason that Jesus came into the world?

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the
Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  (I John 3:8)

We can quote Acts 2:38 to perfection. How about we add this ‘3’ and ‘8’ to the memory bank as well.

This scripture is powerful. This is the summation of Jesus’ mission on planet earth; the saving of the human soul and to destroy the only thing that God (up to this point in time) had not exercised total dominion over – the power of sin and its ultimate conclusion, death.

The true apostolic church would have to expand their places of worship five-fold, seven-fold and more if all the prodigals were restored.

Let’s make 2012 the year of restoration, the year when the church gets a burden for the prodigal and see the lost make their way into the arms of a merciful and compassionate savior.

We serve a God who can turn a wasteland into an oasis, a valley of death and lifeless skeletons into a vibrant and triumphant army, and transform a hopeless situation into a masterpiece.

This Jesus we serve is the master craftsman when it comes to fixing people. Why? Because He knows the secrets of the human  DNA for He was the ‘sole’ architect on the original ‘soul’ genome project. Jesus Christ can and is the only one that can truly fix and restore the broken human condition.

Do you believe our God can do it? If so, why don’t we pray for God to heal the land and restore His church in 2012 .

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.  (Isaiah 58:12)