Category: thoughts by Jason Weimer

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Hebrews 12:1

Be filled with the Spirit.” When I read or hear that phrase, I envision a cup being filled with water. And while this is a good word picture, it falls short in one critical area. Cups are stationary, even when filled.

The book of Acts shows that, when believers are filled with the Spirit, they’re anything but stationary. They speak God’s Word boldly. They endure persecution. They care for and do good to others. Being filled with the Spirit goes beyond brimming with joy, peace, self-control, and the like. He produces action.

Perhaps a more complete image is that of a sail. As a sail is unfurled, the wind fills it, giving it direction and empowerment. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. As we are filled, the Spirit steers us into God’s mission and the good works he prepares for us. The Spirit empowers us to live them out.

But, as Hebrews 12:1 indicates, sin and other hindrances threaten to entangle us. These are like knots tied in the sail. The more knots, the less prepared the sail is to receive the wind’s direction and empowerment. The most common knots in my sail are self-interest. I get sidetracked by distractions or trivial concerns. I fear failure and also what others may think of me.

Other potential knots can be habitual sin, addictions, or the love of money. As we identify what our particular hindrances are, we can “untie the knot” by confessing them, fixing our eyes on Jesus, and allowing the wind of the Spirit to propel us into the course he’s set for us.

Lord, I confess that I often become entangled by sin and other hindrances to walking in your ways and in your power. Open my eyes to see hindrances I might be blind to, and show me what it looks like to throw them off, that I might be more fully directed and empowered by your Spirit. Thank you for filling me with the means to accomplish your purposes in the world. Amen.

By Jason Weimer
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Jason Weimer Thoughts by Men

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 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9

Mass shootings. Natural disasters. Refugees displaced by war. Famine. Starvation. Racial hostility.

Simply writing these things wearies me. Yet they’re a mere sliver of all the atrocities and injustice in our world. The list could stretch for pages.

The Bible teaches that God is perfectly just, and that he promises to right all wrongs and make all things new. In his coming Kingdom, “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

This dichotomy births a lament in my heart: “How long, O Lord? How long until you intervene?” And, if I’m honest, in my lowest moments it provokes doubt in God’s goodness, his power, even his existence. Will he actually return to make things right? Does he care? Is he even there?

Perhaps you struggle with the same questions. Clinging to God’s promises in the face of such evil and suffering can be exhausting, and at times feels impossible. In 2 Peter 3:9, we find a glimpse into God’s heart and the reason for our waiting. He withholds his intervention of judgment and renewal because he yearns for people to repent and come to know him.

What feels to us like slowness in fulfilling his promise is actually an unimaginable long-suffering on his part, motivated by his love. He feels the weight of evil and injustice (see Genesis 6:5-6), yet he bears it for the sake of all who will turn to him.

Lord, thank you for your astonishing patience and love. Forgive my doubt and impatience, and increase my compassion for those far from you. Give me renewed strength to trust you and your promises, and use me to share your great love with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Jason Weimer
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“But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.’  Hebrews 1:8

William Ernest Henley’s famous poem Invictus closes with the lines, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Though written in 1875, the couplet could serve as a rallying cry for the contemporary Western world, where freedom is interpreted as “doing whatever you please,” and every individual is given a near-sacred right of self-definition.

The drive to set ourselves up as our own authority is the essence of humanity’s sinful nature as seen in Adam and Eve’s desire to ‘be like God’ (Genesis 3:1-6).

I feel this innate pull myself. I don’t like being told what to do or how to spend my money or time. I want to be free.

But today’s verse, and many others that echo it, proclaim Jesus as the forever King. The world is his, whether we accept it or not. Those who don’t follow Jesus understandably disregard his authority. Christians, however, are called to submission and obedience. If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

The ministry I serve with, Cru, invites college students to sign a counter cultural pledge to “go, do, say, and give” whatever God may ask of them. This invitation to yield all career, finances, relationships, and possessions to the kingly authority of Christ is both scary and difficult. It’s a daily, wilful choice. But doing so yields peace, purpose, and protection — the very things the autonomy of self falsely promises.

Father, thank you that you have set your Son on a permanent and universal throne. I confess my constant inclination to take control of my own life, and my actions that attempt to usurp your lordship over me. By the power of your Spirit, help me to yield all to Jesus and experience the peace and joy of living in your good Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Jason Weimer
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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Romans 8:35

My anger boiled into rage and I squirmed, trying to wriggle free from his grasp. I wanted to push him away, spit in his face, curse at him, and run. But through my tantrum, God’s warm countenance never changed. His grip held me firm.

I still don’t fully understand this experience after my dad died in a car accident when I was 9. In the aftermath, I lay alone on the family room couch and, in a vision, Jesus sat beside me and gently put his hand on my back, then scooped me into his arms.

What stuck with me wasn’t my venom toward Jesus, but his response. Unchanging. Loving. Constant and present. He didn’t chide me for my emotional outburst. He let me feel it and express it.

The experience brought a rich biblical truth to life for me: Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). No one can snatch his children from his hand (John 10:28). He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Perhaps there is something you’re afraid to bring to God. A deep wound, a nagging question, or doubt. The passages referenced above overwhelmingly state that nothing will cause the Lord to push you away. Even we are not strong enough to break his grip.

Lord, thank you for the promise that those whom you draw to yourself will never be separated from you. Show me what I might be holding back from you because of fear, and help me to draw near to You boldly and securely, bringing you everything. In Christ’s name, amen.

By Jason Weimer
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thoughts by Jason Weimer Thoughts by Men