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Illustration results for inadequacy jesus

Contributed By:
Scott Jensen

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Tags: Comfort (add tag)
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In a popular "Saturday Night Live" comedy skit, one of the characters, Stuart Smalley, attempted to console people as they struggled with their issues and dilemmas. In one of the more popular skits, he attempted to counsel Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player, with a non-existent struggle with his athletic ability. In each of the skits, a celebrity guest was "assisted" with advice on how to conduct a self-help program and get back on track. However, by the end of the skit, it was Stuart who was being consoled for his own struggles with inadequacy. He never seemed to feel qualified for the situation at hand. But, even with his own struggles, he always closed this skit with an interesting phrase, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, dog-gone it, people like me."

As Stuart Smalley could have said, "Remember, you're clean enough, you're forgiven enough, and dog-gone it, Jesus loves you!"

Contributed By:
Richard Wafford

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In Max Lucado’s book the “Applause of Heaven” reads, Even though by the “book” I’m guilty, by God’s love I get another chance. Even though by the law I’m indicted, by mercy I’m given a fresh start.
“For it is by grace you have been saved … not by works, so that no one can boast.” 9
No other world religion offers such a message. All others demand the right performance, the right sacrifice, the right chant, the right ritual, the right séance or experience. Theirs is a kingdom of trade-offs and barterdom. You do this, and God will give you that.
The result? Either arrogance or fear. Arrogance if you think you’ve achieved it, fear if you think you haven’t.
Christ’s kingdom is just the opposite. It is a kingdom for the poor. A kingdom where membership is granted, not purchased. You are placed into God’s kingdom. You are “adopted.” And this occurs not when you do enough, but when you admit you can’t do enough. You don’t earn it; you simply accept it. As a result, you serve, not out of arrogance or fear, but out of gratitude.
I recently read a story of a woman who for years was married to a harsh husband. Each day he would leave her a list of chores to complete before he returned at the end of the day. “Clean the yard. Stack the firewood. Wash the windows ….”
If she didn’t complete the tasks, she would be greeted with his explosive anger. But even if she did complete the list, he was never satisfied; he would always find inadequacies in her work.
After several years, the husband passed away. Some time later she remarried, this time to a man who lavished he...

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Contributed By:
Mark Brunner

“Thank You Sir! May I Do Another?” Matthew 4:1-11 Key verse(s): 9-10:“Then the devil left him and angels came and attended him.”

“Thank you sir! May I do another?” Crouching on the ground, the recruit seemed barely touched by the sergeant’s rough treatment. He was doing push-ups; and a lot of them. Each time he pushed his struggling frame up, the sergeant would rest his boot on the small of the private’s back and down he would go again. Then his overseer would bark, “What do you like, soldier?” The recruit, prone and struggling to complete just one more cycle of lift, would shout out, “Thank you sir, may I do another?” Although it was obvious that the recruit really wasn’t interested in doing another push-up, it was also certain that he knew exactly what he was doing. It was the sargeant’s expectation that the recruit would ask, so the soldier made it his will to meet that expectation. He had been drilled to believe that the pain and the effort would be worth it in the end. The sergeant had guaranteed him that when he was through with his “style” of training, the recruit would be fit for duty and able to deal with anything the enemy might hand out.

We, as witnesses to that scene, would probably see the sargeant’s actions as mean-spirited and unmotivating. Watching that recruit go up and down, always asking for more punishment, would put our minds in a spin. There is no logic to this kind of behavior. Wouldn’t the carrot and the stick be more motivating than pain and punishment? “It certainly isn’t the way that we would be motivated anyway!” Nevertheless, this tried and true regime has been used for centuries in training recruits. Why? Because it works. When a soldier is in a war-time situation there often isn’t opportunity to think things through. Following orders at that critical juncture is all that matters; even when those orders mean harsh, even death-defying tasks. There needs to be an action/reaction instinct in a soldier. Since it can’t be “fright/flight”, that which is innate in every person, the trainer needs to reshape the reaction to fit the action. And there’s only one way to do that--drill!

Our lives seem like that sometimes. Often it seems that God is laying out a harsher regime than we think is necessary. We blink and wince and then ask. “Is this what grace is all about? How can a loving God expect us to go through all of this?” Author James Packer writes: “Grace is God drawing sinners closer and closer to him. How does God in grace prosecute this purpose? Not by shielding us from assault by the work, the flesh, and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstance, not yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology, but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to him more closely. This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another -- it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak is that God spends so much of his time showing us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road. When we walk along a clear road feeling fine, and someone takes our arm to help us, likely we would impatiently shake him off; but when we are caught in rough country in the dark, with a storm brewing and our strength spent, and someone takes our arm to help us, we would thankfully lean on him. And God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn to lean on him thankfully. Therefore he takes steps to drive us out of self-confi...

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