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No, You Can't!

Have you noticed that as our society becomes more and more about the self, what you and I can do, building up self-esteem, the more more unhappy everyone gets? Think about the United States at this current time; depression, anxiety, anger, and rage are at a height I've never seen in my life time. A large part of social media is promoting of self, the shows we watch celebrate self, and even the people we follow (politicians, celebrities, athletes) seem to be shameless in promotion of self. Is it a wonder that we're so unhappy? This Idea of "yes I can" is actually pretty toxic. In my (not-so-expert) opinion, "I can quit at any time" is on par with "I can generate my own happiness." We have a problem with being fascinated with what we can do and generate. When I look at the Bible (and subsequently all of history that follows it), when everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes, it ends disastrously. In Genesis, we see that Adam and Eve choosing to follow their own will over God's broke their fellowship with God, the Tower of Babel, in arrogance, cursed the downfall of the first post-flood society, Judges, Kings, and Priests all fell because of self-love. Some define insanity as doing the same thing over and again, but hoping for different results. Our road of self-love is this insane cycle of hurting ourselves over and again. Self Love is still our downfall today. Marriages, business, churches, and families fall apart because personal preference takes the place of surrender and self-sacrifice. When Jesus came, He didn't seek His own Honor, but to do the will of His Father. He gave His life by serving others, and eventually literally doing so on the cross. When we focus on what we're not getting, what we want, what we expect, we're living in the antithesis of Jesus' calling. Jesus isn't calling us to "Live our best life now," He's calling us to come and die. What do we die to? We die to our pride, to our selfishness, to all the things that keep us from truly and remarkably experiencing everything the God of the universe has for us. We love God with everything, and we sacrifice for our neighbors, as Christ did for us. I am not enough, but God is! God fulfills all of my shortcomings, my fears, and failures. I am prone to wander and fall, but God is faithful and just to forgive. I would trust God over me every day. Are you experiencing a distance from God? What are you not surrendering? What do you keep trying to do over and again, only to get the same miserable results? By His power, and His grace He can transform you! I am not good enough, but God is more than enough to clean me up and make me new! 2 Corinthians 12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Sufficient Grace

12 Boasting is necessary. It is not profitable, but I will move on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don’t know, God knows. I know that this man—whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God knows— was caught up into paradise. He heard inexpressible words, which a man is not allowed to speak. I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses. For if I want to boast, I will not be a fool, because I will be telling the truth. But I will spare you, so that no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me, especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger[a] of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power[b] is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Footnotes:

a. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Or me, an angel b. 2 Corinthians 12:9 Other mss read My power

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