Pat Jones: Can we be strong? |

Pat Jones: Can we be strong?

Pat Jones Executive director, Love in the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley

I was listening to a song today and a line in the song was, “You must think I’m strong.”

I really began to think about that. I know that line was addressed to God, but it triggered my mind to think about it in context of why some people appear strong to us and able to withstand so much tragedy or problems.

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children,” says John in 1 John 3:1a.

We are his children, joint heirs with Christ. As I ponder that concept, I feel unworthy, too ugly for God to look upon, yet I boldly accept that gift given freely out of his colossal love for us. That love is available to any who will receive it. It’s yours and mine if we but accept the gift, open it and use it.

A gift under your Christmas tree isn’t truly accepted just because you have it under your tree — you must first claim it, then open it, and make use of it. It’s a gift free to us, but it wasn’t free to Christ, who paid with his life simply because He loves us.

As God’s “dear children,” we have an unshakeable self-worth we can cling to whenever the world rocks us. Our foundation can be steady and firm in confidence and boldness because we’re a dear child of God.

Living a Christian life isn’t immediate. There is growth that must take place to become strong.

In this new life, we are to go through the lifelong process of becoming more like Christ (Romans 8:29 says God chose his people to become like His Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters).

In Christ, we can eventually gain victory over sin.

God purifies us, but there are actions we are to take to become morally fit, such as daily prayer, Bible reading, worship, and so forth.

If you have accepted the gift and are growing in Christ, you won’t want to keep on sinning because you won’t want to be indifferent to sin and will work toward gaining victory over sin. This is not immediate; it takes time on a daily basis to gain this strength.

Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of your will. That’s a line from another song.

The greatest act of love is giving oneself for others. God showed us this active love with the gift of his son. God’s personal choice to love us is amazing.

When we accept his love, we can allow ourselves to have the self-worth and confidence provided by that love. I can only conclude that we will not only appear strong, but we will be strong through all the conflict we encounter in this world.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, KJV).

We can be strong.

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