January 27: Delivered
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
Anna was caught in the stranglehold of an intense struggle. Her modest apartment was located in the center of Honolulu's drug district. I met Anna while conducting a series of lectures on Bible prophecy in Hawaii. She seemed powerless to resist the drug dealers who daily urged her to buy another joint. Frequently she gave in, indulging her growing habit.
At the conclusion of one of my evangelistic meetings she pleaded with me for help. "Pastor, I'm so weak! I seem powerless to resist!"
I pointed her to God's promise: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13), and Anna made a marvelous discovery. A new sparkle flashed in her eyes. Jesus really would help her! He would actually supply His power to deliver her. Two of my associates visited Anna almost daily. The word went out in that drug-infested neighborhood: "Leave Anna alone! She's going straight."
Anna's discovery can make a powerful difference in your life, too!
The Christian life is not an initial commitment to Christ and then failure. It is not endless struggle against temptation on our own. Our Lord does not save us, then leave us helpless to battle with the devil. The Christ who redeems us from sin's condemnation delivers us from sin's power. The Savior who died to forgive us lives to empower us. We do not save ourselves; God saves us. We cannot deliver ourselves; Christ delivers us. "Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. But every such effort must fail. Jesus says, 'Without Me ye can do nothing.' Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness--all depend upon our union with Christ" (Steps to Christ, p. 69).
Battling alone, we are powerless. The enemy is much too strong. His temptations are overpowering. The living Christ offers to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. He offers us His power, His strength. As we open our hearts to Him He will deliver us from the chains of sin that bind us. In Christ, through Christ, by Christ, with Christ, we are truly set free. He is our almighty Deliverer.
from On Solid Ground
Mark Finley | Review & Herald (2003)
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