I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:13 KJV

God is all about empowerment… but not in the way most of us think. In 2019, empowerment basically translates to achieving our goals by our own ability.

God’s view of empowerment is one that stands apart from our own efforts. He empowers us when we learn that, to achieve anything worthwhile, we need to lean on His strength.

Paul brings that out beautifully in this verse which shows that we can do anything as long as God is working through us.

As an author, I’ve had to learn to rely upon God for inspiration to create moving stories. I’ve had to wait for the guidance on how to reach the masses with a message that’s burning in my heart. And then I’ve had to learn to rely on Him to withstand the criticism of others.

Without His strength I would have failed time and time again. I’m sure you can identify with that feeling. But this verse is a constant reminder that, no matter how overwhelmed we feel at times, God’s strength in our feeble bodies can move mountains.

JP Robinson

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A life lesson from Sandboarding

My son, Ezekiel, and I just got back from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Preserve​ in Colorado. Of course, he was a natural at “sandboarding” while I… just kind of hung on for dear life!

But I learned that “sandboarding” has a lot in common with life and great writing. You take the plunge then hang on for the ride!

Even if you end up with dirt in your face, the trip is worth it.  🙂

Enjoy today. 

” Take the plunge then hang on for the ride! Even if you end up with dirt in your face, the trip is worth it.” —JP Robinson

When you think of something heroic, a pencil is probably the last thing that would come to mind. True?

Same here.

But as I was trying to find an appropriate metaphor for a youth service that I’m teaching tomorrow evening, I realized that I had undervalued our standard 7.5 inch (19cm) combination of wood and graphite. Like most of us, there’s more to the pencil than meets the eye.

1. It was designed for a specific purpose.

The Bible shows us that our lives are no accident. Each of us comes to this world with a specific part of God’s plan that only we can fulfill. It’s up to us to find that purpose and accomplish it.

2. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

The true quality of a pencil isn’t how beautiful it is on the outside—what matters is that bit of graphite on the inside. Without it, you can’t make a mark on the world or achieve the purpose for which you were born.

Without the Spirit of God in our hearts, it’s impossible to achieve our true purpose. Jesus Christ taught that what’s in the heart determines what comes out of our lives. Our world sees the outward—sex appeal, careers and wealth—as indications of success but the pencil begs to differ.

3. It must be shaved down to make a mark on the world

Imagine you were a pencil, thrust between sharp blades that cut into your flesh. Sounds painful, right?

But that’s the only way the pencil can make a difference. Without the cutting, shaping and molding, it’s unable to write a thing. The same can be said of our lives. Christ molds, shapes and cuts us to His will in order to bring us to the place that our life’s story can make a “mark” on someone else.

But now, O LORD, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8 ESV

It’s easy to become discouraged, or even rebel, when life’s circumstances cut into our very soul. We’ve been conditioned to think of God as the author of good things—which He is—but we tend to forget that He’s also a teacher who corrects, inspires and challenges us by giving us hard problems to face. Only when we see God for who He is, can we truly understand who He wants us to become.

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JP Robinson