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I wanted to share what the Holy Spirit was showing me in church yesterday. We are finishing 2 Corinthians. We were in chapter 12 talking about Paul. In chapter 11 he is asking the church at Corinth why they have gotten away from the simplicity of the Gospel that he taught them (v.3). The second half of the chapter talks about Paul's sufferings and "qualifications" to be thought of as authoritatively as the false teachers coming in.
Chapter 12 is where Paul talks about his thorn in the flesh (vv. 7-10). Paul has some infirmity that really bugs him. He asks God three times to take it away. God says, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Paul goes on to say that he glories in the infirmity so that God can be glorified. Verse 10 says that anything that happens to you for Christ's sake is good..."for when I am weak, then am I strong."
That's the part I want to talk about.

This is not exactly a revelation, but something that God has been pounding into me for the last month. When I, that is the physical, fleshly, mortal, corrupt "I", is set aside by me (thereby made unimportant and a weak influence on the situation) God in my life is shown strong. If you set aside your will, your fleshly desires, all that's left is God's will and work in your life.

Let's say a situation is presented where you are working with someone on a project. You may both have an idea about how to solve the problem. What does it actually cost you to give up your idea and go with the other person's idea? A little pride maybe? The upside is you get to show honor to the other person by putting them ahead of you...even though you may have really liked your idea.

In Matthew 22: 36-40, Jesus said there are 2 commandments:
Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Verse 39 does not say to wait for your neighbor to deserve to be treated with the same love and respect you give yourself. It just says to do it.

That is how we are to treat people. Less of me, more of Christ.
John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."
Interesting that there's a but there. The but can be translated as "moreover" or "now". Meaning Jesus must increase in my life. Now for that to happen, I must decrease. There isn't room for both.

Jesus Christ, whom we say we emulate if we are Christians, was the uber example of the commandments in Matthew 22. Jesus left Heaven, lived 33 years on this Earth, endured rejection from his own people. He died a horribly painful, humiliating death and separation from his heavenly Father (that's the cup He mentions in Gethsemane - God's wrath). Who do we like to say He did that for? You and me, right? Yes, but that's too quaint. Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Jesus did not wait for us to deserve His love. We'll never be worthy of that. That's how much He loves us. And He asks us to let the Holy Spirit empower us to love each other that way.

If you don't have Jesus empowering your life and you want this power, pray this:
God, I know I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sins (mean it). I believe you died on a cross and were raised 3 days later to save me from my sins and an eternity in Hell. Jesus, come into my life. Make me new. Be my savior. In Jesus' name, Amen.

P.S. all I got in church was John 3:30. I guess God wanted me to think a little more about this. :)

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