In HOPE
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David Timms 

Issue 5.13

Ministry Resource

This week, I'd like to mention again that I co-write a regular study entitled Bare Roots with Dr. Chris Davis - a colleague of mine here at the University. The one-page format is designed for both personal and group study. We're about to start a 7-week series on the Holy Spirit. If you'd like to subscribe to this free resource, just email Chris (cadavis@hiu.edu ) and we'll gladly include you.

HOPE Happenings

This Saturday evening - May 7th - the Music Department of Hope International University presents its Spring Concert "Sing for Joy" in the Pacific Auditorium at 7pm.

 

 

Strength & Weakness

The worst fear for many of us, is that others may consider us ignorant or incompetent. Consequently, we work hard to conceal our weaknesses and reveal our strengths. We highlight our achievements and avoid mention of our failures. Our personal worlds take on glossy exteriors, while below the surface we fear being found out.

 

After all, nobody like losers.The clumsy and uncoordinated never get picked for the team. Those with few skills have limited career options.

 

So, we write resumes that our own mothers would hardly recognize. We live in a world of bluff and bluster, where image is everything. Yet, all the while, we sense that our plastic shell is very brittle .

 

The Apostle Paul lived in no such bubble.

 

"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness...I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me...for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 11.30; 12.9-10).

 

Paul makes no sense to the modern reader.

 

We hide weaknesses rather than expose them. We boast in our competencies, not our deficiencies. We highlight our gifts, not our "gaps". In a world consumed by power, fame, and success, our reservations about transparency are understandable. We're in competition for admiration and kudos. We crave the affirmation of others .

 

Paul would not have fit in!

 

He recognized that our greatest testimony derives not from our own ability but from Christ's victory through us. He understood that no one is too weak to be used and no one is so great that God needs them. The bottom line of our effectiveness lies not in our capacity, but in His grace .

 

We think that weakness means useless. But nothing could be further from the truth. Competence is not His first criterion for choosing us. He looks for brokenness. Because only the surrendered heart is a truly ready vessel.

 

Perhaps the greatest mistake we make, at times, is to over-estimate the value of our abilities and underestimate what the Lord can do through a simply yielded life.

 

When Christ works despite our weakness, we really have something to talk about. Should our resumes have less of us and more of Him? "Able to do great tasks for the kingdom!" or "More yielded to Him now, than ever"?

 

The latter would be Paul's take, I suspect. May it become ours . 

 

In HOPE -

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and his views are not necessarily those of the administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/