Our strength to ride a bull, get through a work day or overcome adversity comes from God

Our strength to ride a bull, get through a work day or overcome adversity comes from God

By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

Where do you draw your strength from? Strength to achieve success against the odds. Strength to overcome adversity. Strength to just get out of bed when it feels like the world has crushed you to the point of defeat. Strength to break a habit or…. Strength to beat a sin.

As much as God allows it, we can find some success on our own strength, but personal strength isn’t limitless. Physical strength eventually runs out. So does emotional strength.

God’s love is limitless. He can forgive anything so long as we come to Him with genuine repentance, a desire to be forgiven and a belief that Jesus died for us to take the punishment meant for our sin.

And just like His love is limitless, so is His strength.

Job 36:22-24 “God’s power is unlimited. He needs no teachers to guide or correct him. Others have praised God for what he has done, so join with them.”

Many of us can make it on our own strength through much of what God will allow us to go through but I would much rather face this world with the hope that comes through a saving faith in Jesus and the strength that comes from God to overcome whatever trial or temptation He lets me face. Some bull riders, for example, who suffer a serious injury never come back and that can be the right decision for them. Others come back from physically and mentally stronger than before and with more determination than ever. But they’re still going it alone, ignoring God’s will for their lives.

If I rely on God, I’m going to learn and gain far more through Him, God’s going to be glorified and He’s going to make me more like Jesus in the process.

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

That means, even those times we might think we’ve failed, that we weren’t strong enough, God’s strength is there to get us back up to serve and honor Him. Serve self and rely on your own strength and what genuine good comes of that for a Christian? Usually without realizing it, what we’re doing is robbing the glory from God. If we truly believe God is real, I don’t think that’s a good idea to take glory from Him.

Acts 12:21-23 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

When we realize our strength comes from God, whether we succeed or fail, He can still be glorified by how we handle our circumstances and showing others we are trusting and relying on Him through good and bad.

Find the good, share the good

Find the good, share the good

By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

Instead of what was said by someone running their mouth about you, imagine it eventually getting back to you that someone was out there saying what a great person you were or what a great thing they saw you do.

When we have a saving faith in Jesus, he changes us and we begin to do good works. Works are the words and actions we put out there based on what we know the Bible teaches us is right and good and that we know will glorify God.

Instead of talking at Waffle House with your buddies about why ‘that gunsel’ keeps getting on bulls or entering the sorting when he can’t even sit right in his saddle, what a life-changing moment it could literally be

for someone to have it get back to them how you never see them without a smile or laughing, even when competing in the mud.

Find the good, share the good.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

When Jesus is truly in us, good starts to come out of us as evidence our salvation is real. We start to do “good deeds.”

Jesus tells us that if we’re in Christ, we’ll produce good fruit. In Matthew 7, he’s specifically talking about how to tell if someone is a false prophet or not but we learn from him that those who are real followers o Christ will be producing good fruit, which again, would be the good works we do. The words and actions that show our faith is in Jesus because they follow his teaching.

Matthew 7:17-18 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

He also teaches us that all of it comes from God.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

None of the good we do can be accomplished without God doing the work in us and through us. It’s done together.

No one that competes in rodeo succeeds without some help. It can be the spotter behind the chutes, it can be borrowed equipment,the loan of a horse or it can be advice. Even the biggest loner determined to accomplish something on his ‘own’ power, has help somewhere along the line.

We need God to accomplish what He has planned for us. We may do the ‘good works’ but they are given to us by Him and it’s by His power we succeed and He gets glorified.

On one hand, when our faith is real we can’t help but do good as God works through us, but on the other, the author of Hebrews is telling also us to look for ways to help others do good. It’s still God through us, but the encouragement or help we provide helps someone else to do good. Find the good, share the good.

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