Saturday, September 24, 2011

Strength to Kneel

Okay, so I admit I am a bit out of shape.  There I said it.

Strength is definitely an area I could use some improvement in...but... thing I have discovered working out cannot prepare me for nor get me used to is kneeling.

You see, recently I have been participating for the first time ever as a Group Leader in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  In our various leadership meetings, we do something I honestly have not done in far too long.  We kneel and pray.  Often the floor we are kneeling on is basically concrete covered in a nice shiny thin layer of linoleum.  (I now bring a pillow to kneel on, as many of the others do.)

I didn't think much of kneeling until I actually started doing it regularly during our leadership prayer times.

Kneeling is truly humbling.  It not only lowers my position and posture in reverence, but it also reminds me of just how weak I am.  In this case, physically weak, though my physical pains cause me to recognize how much my heart is out of shape in the prayer and humility arenas.

Additionally I am reminded that we often get so caught up living in a self-absorbed world of thinking we know what is best for us that we become too weak to kneel in humble reverence and submission to the One who created us.  The One who alone can give us the strength we need to endure the difficulties of this life.  The One who can give us the strength to admit when we are wrong and turn away from our self-indulgent, destructive lifestyle so many have fallen victim to.  The One who can give us the strength to kneel.

When was the last time you knelt in prayer?  Ever?

Are you in a self-serving period of life?  
Do you even recognize it?  Do you recognize your need to kneel in humility?

Do you, like me, need strength to kneel?

Go now to the One who made you---Jesus Christ---the only One who can give you the strength and wisdom you need to face the many challenges of this life.

The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.
~ 1 Samuel 2:7 ~

You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
~ 2 Samuel 22:28 ~

You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.
~ Psalm 18:39 ~

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
~ Psalm 25:9 ~

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that he may lift you up in due time.
~ 1 Peter 5:6 ~

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
~ James 4:10 ~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Life of John Knox published by Attic Books

John Knox.  Have you heard of him?

If you are fairly knowledgeable about The Reformation, then you probably have.  But honestly, before receiving this book to read and review from Attic Books, I had not heard of him.

This short, easy-to-read biography of "The Scottish Reformer" was written and published by the American Sunday School Union (now American Missionary Fellowship at back in 1833 and has recently been reprinted beautifully and republished by Attic Books.

Here is their description of him and of this biography:

Rare vignettes featuring the Protestant Reformation's fiercest defender! John Knox had a life of exciting adventure, harsh imprisonment, and brilliant scholarship. Fighting battles both political and religious, Knox bravely defied royalty, nobility, and the established power of the Papacy to speak the truth. A fiery and inspirational preacher, he fiercely upheld the authority of Scripture and salvation through Christ's sacrifice. In perilous times, Knox risked his life daily in a fearless and tireless defense of the faith!
After reading Life of John Knox, I am inspired once again to continue living a life that speaks with actions as well as words of the Truth, power, and encouragement of the gospel of Jesus Christ and who He is in my life.

This man had the conviction and courage to stand up to---of all people---Mary, Queen of Scots!  He engaged both politically and theologically in a passionate yet respectful manner in order to stand for the Truth  of God's Word and not just follow along with the accepted ways of living and practicing "religion."

I hope to daily become more and more like him in my walk of faith.

I leave you with this quote from John Knox himself as you go about your days in this life on earth:
Do as you will answer before God, who at present works powerfully, however blind the world remains; fight ye in the truth, and for the liberty of the same; and be assured of triumphing with Jesus Christ, to whose mighty protection I unfeignedly commit you.
Amen and amen!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Attic Books, an imprint of New Leaf Publishing Group. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.