As we walk with God, it’s good when others challenge us to be more like Christ. But it can be hard to accept what they have to say. After all, the sins and struggles they notice in our lives naturally cause us to become defensive and offended. It’s important, though. God uses other Christians in the sanctification process, and if we desire to love Him more, we must take heed when others notice sin living within us.
There are times when, as Christians, we need to be reminded of God’s work in our lives. This week, I invite you to ponder Ephesians 2:1-10 with me. In this passage, we find what we have been saved from, how we have been saved, and why we have been saved.
My previous article ended with Queen Vashti being removed from the presence of King Ahasuerus. This week, the search for a new queen begins. And the search is not a beauty pageant. It’s yet another selfish endeavor by King Ahasuerus.
I would be concerned if, when getting out of bed each morning, I had no thought of communing with God. If the demands of my day kept me from He who alone provides my every breath (Acts 17:25). If the notifications on my smartphone spoke louder than the cries of my desperate soul. If the urge of extra sleep kept me from spending time with the One who has awakened my soul from death to life (Eph. 2:5).
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:7-10 ESV).
Shortly before writing this, the apostle Paul described a time when he was “caught up to the third heaven” (v. 2) and “heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” (v. 4). Now, in response to those revelations, Paul talks about a thorn that keeps him humble and dependent on Christ. And that’s what I want to write about today.