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Two days before my open heart surgery, my Christian neighbor told me that she had received confirmation from God in her prayers that He would extend my life because:  "He knows you will tell everyone about it!"  And to that mission I have tried to be faithful…from the time I awoke from surgery to the present day.   My wife and I have used my "heart story" to witness to medical personnel and even waiters and waitresses in restaurants as well as many others that God brings across our paths each day.  Truly God has not only given me a "new song" but a whole new mission field.  And so my new life focus is reflected by Ps. 40:3,10 which I feel was written just for this time in my life:

"He (God) has given me a new song to sing, 
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done
And be astounded.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
I have not kept this good news
Hidden in my heart; I have talked about Your
faithfulness and saving power.  I have told
everyone..Of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Truths from God's Word

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001


Subject: Never Let Them See You Sweat



Dear Ethan & Emily:


In the very competitive and achievement-oriented society in which we live, the goal of most people is to "never let them see you sweat."  You would never boast about your weaknesses, reservations, failures, or inadequacies.   But that is just the opposite approach to life that Paul modeled for us as effective Christians.


In 2 Corinthians 11: 30, we find this interesting passage:  "If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am."  Then, again in the next chapter, he continues and elaborates on this theme:  "I am going to boast only about my weaknesses.  I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, because I would be telling the truth.  But I won't do it.  I don't want anyone to think more highly of me than what they can actually see in my life and my message, even though I have received wonderful revelations from God."


He next alludes to a physical problem he had:  "But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time He said, 'My gracious favor is all you need.  My power works best in your weakness.'  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.  Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG." (2 Cor. 12:5 - 10)


This parallels the experience of Moses who pleaded (boasted) extensively with God in Exodus 3:11 - Exodus 4:17) of his inadequacies, giving all the reasons why he could not do the job God was outlining for him.  ("I'm just not a good speaker...I'm clumsy with words, they won't believe me...they'll think I'm crazy if I tell them I have spoken with God!, etc")  God repeatedly told him:  "...do as I have told you.  I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say."  The job leading the Israelites out of Egypt was an awesome job, but it was only when Moses admitted his inadequacies and weaknesses that God could use him effectively. 


This was all a humbling experience.  Remember..Moses had been trained in Egypt as royalty and just as Paul, he had an extensive academic background and had every right to feel pretty confidant...he was a "top dog" of his times. Both Paul and Moses had many human capabilities and had much in their "resumes," but their greatest achievements and capabilities were revealed and unleashed when they recognized and boasted in their weaknesses....not their abilities and accomplishments...and in so doing, they allowed God to work thru them with awesome power and eternal impact.  We would do well to do likewise! 


Never forget:  It's OK to be honest with God and to let Him know when you are sweating!  That's where He wants you...and that's when He can use you!!



Well, it's off to work...and may you have a wonderful and blessed day.










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