Strong and proud – 2017.01.12

Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5: 3

Peter was a strong man. He dared to everything. To Jesus he said: Even if all the others leave you,  I will not! But Jesus knew Peter better than Peter himself, and He said to him, Before the cock crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times. But I have prayed for you.
I see so the young men in front of me, full of strength and faith. Nothing can shake them, they want to conquer the world for their Lord. Confident of victory sound in their prayers. – Somehow they remind me of Peter, strong, smart, fast with the tongue; – Without God can they hardly do anything …
But Peters´s confidence has been shaken. Since he knew he can not rely on himself, but only on the grace of the Lord. It is not so much on him, but solely on Him! And the strong man became a vessel through which the grace of God could flow. He was a man who was poor in spirit, and the kingdom of heaven belonged to him.
David was also a strong man. Everything succeeded. But God defeated his pride by a woman, Bathsheba. Thereafter, he was a different, fully dependent on the grace of God, so that God could say: A man after God’s heart.
Paul was a scholar who had learned everything. And he had a strong will. He wanted to ensure law and order by imprisoning Christians. He rejoiced when Stephen was stoned. Yes, with Him God had to be more than satisfied! But Jesus took him down from his high horse and broke his pride. Three days of darkness and blindness, and salvation through Jesus, made him a man who was poor in spirit. He was to bring God’s chosen instrument to the world, the gospel of God’s grace.
These worthies were very strong in our eyes. But it was their inability and grace that made them strong. They saw themselves as poor, incapable, unholy, imperfect before God. By grace you have been saved, and only by the grace!
If someone comes to God and weeps over his sins and imperfections and repeatedly complains he is not a hero. This may take ten years, this moaning and groaning about their own sin, and has no goal or end. Jesus must meet us and He must deliver us from the power of sin, from the old me and from the power of darkness. He must give us the Holy Spirit of power, of faith and love. Only then can we be poor in spirit, and the treasures of heaven are open to us. Pride must be humility, and wailing must be to the praise of grace. Then we are God’s heroes.

Thank you, Jesus, you have delivered me from all that separates me from God! You’ve filled me with Your Spirit! Now the spirit of whining to disappear. In you I am a new man, a messenger of God! Even I am weak and imperfect, but with Jesus I am strong!

Bible Reading Today: Psalm 45: 1 – 18

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