The Great Connection
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Our goal is to live godly lives. Those of us who have tried to do that know how hard it is to accomplish in our own strength. We have made promises to God we failed to keep. We have disciplined ourselves with rules we have broken. It's not an easy thing to be godly when we try to do it by ourselves.
God knows that and He has an answer.
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."(NIV)
The power for godly living doesn't come from us, it comes from God. It comes through our knowing Him. When we know Him, He gives us the divine power we need to live like Him.
The problem we often have is we forget His power is our source and we take on the burden of godliness. That can only produce a religion that ends in failure and frustration. It is fruitless to attempt living the Christian life without the resource of God's power.
Dr. A. J. Gordon pastored in New England and was founder of Gordon-Conwell College and Seminary. He loved to take walks in the crisp morning air. One morning he saw a man behind a farmhouse pumping an outdoor water pump furiously. He was amazed the man could pump so fast without stopping.
He became so absorbed with the scene he wandered across the field to get a closer look. He saw it was not a man at all, but a wooden cut-out that looked like a man. The elbow was a hinge and the hand was wired to the pump handle. The man wasn't pumping the pump handle. It was an artesian well and the pump handle was pumping the man. That is what it is like to serve the Lord.
Too many people believe we have to supply the power for living the Christian life. We simply attach ourselves by faith to the One who has all the power we need. That eliminates any room for pride. Our success in godly living is due to the fact that we are connected to Him.
Dr. Manford Gutzke, in one of his sermons, told of an old sculptor who was ill. He was recuperating during the summer at his son's home. His son bought him a block of marble to work with and placed it in a shaded corner of the backyard. The grandson watched his grandfather work in the early days of summer but then lost interest. That fall, the grandson was in the shaded part of the backyard and saw a marble angel on a marble pedestal. He was puzzled for a moment, then grinned and looked at his grandfather. "You knew he was in there all the time."
Jesus knows what He can make of us when He first calls us. After all, when we were really messed up He called us. That's because He knew what He could make of us with His divine power. Our godliness is not because we are perfect. It's because He is perfect and He empowers us. We get blessed and He gets the glory.
Copyright © Wally Odum 2014, used with permission.
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