From Within to Without

Do you consider yourself to be “flawed” in some way? Do you “love” everything that you see in the mirror? Most of the time, if we have straight hair, then we want curly hair. If our hair is curly, we’d like for it to be straight, please. Is there something about yourself that you’d like to change? So often we say, “Well, if only I were _________, THEN, I’d _________. Are you guilty of this? I’ll be the first to raise my hand. We all make excuses now and then as to why we don’t do what we know we ought to do while we have the time and ability to do it.

Maybe you’re on the “short side?” Well, so was Zacchaeus, but that didn’t stop him from climbing up in that sycamore tree to see Jesus. When Jesus saw him, he called Zacchaeus to come down from that tree for He, the Son of God would be a guest of this “wee little tax collector” today (Luke 19:1-10). Perhaps you’ve lived a “good long life” and are getting up in years. Simeon was a devout older man and Anna, the prophetess, a widow of 84 years worshiped day and night, praying and fasting. They were chosen to live long enough to see Jesus Christ, the Son of God, when His parents brought Him to the temple as a babe (Luke 2:25-28). Peter, James, and John didn’t come from “money” – they were fishermen, yet they are known as Jesus’ inner circle of friends. The blind man who was standing outside of the temple begging for alms in Acts 3 had been born blind. But, the Lord took that “flaw” and used it to bring glory unto God. In every instance, once they “knew” God, their lives changed. They were no longer looking at what they could not do – they were now just looking forward to what they could do for the Lord. Their focus went from within to without.

Do you make excuses for why you aren’t doing all that you can for the Lord? Do you claim to be “too young” or “too old”, “too fat” or “too tired?” Are you too busy making a living that you’re not making a life? Some folks use their children as an excuse – “Little Johnny has ball practice after school and then, he’ll have to get his homework done. . . ., maybe we can come to Wednesday night Bible class next week.” “We can’t have anyone over at our house – you wouldn’t believe the mess!” Yet, we live there. “I could go on a mission trip, if I knew more,” but are you studying? If only ________, then I would __________. Are you making excuses?

Paul finally came to the realization that his “thorn in the flesh” was there for a reason – to keep him humble (II Corinthians 12:7). “For when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Corinthians 12:10). Even with all of our flaws, we are simply blessed, Courtney

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