Encouragement for Today - Nov. 19, 2008

November 19, 2008


Power Surge

Amy Carroll


“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by gettingto know, personally and intimately, the One [Jesus] who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!”

2 Peter 1:3 (Message)



After another act of childish disobedience, my tiny cousin stuck out her chin, grit her teeth, and spat out the phrase that had become her signature: “I didn’t do it, and I won’t do it again!”


Unfortunately, her slogan is often too close to the truth of my own life. In my own strength and with a huge dose of denial, I struggle with my weight, plus trying to control my wagging tongue, and to fight my self-sufficient attitude. Now, I’ve aired my (partial) list of dirty laundry and bad habits. Do you have a list of your own?


If you do, you can take a trip to Barnes and Noble and find a whole shelf or two of self-help books to aid you in overcoming these. There will be authors who address everything from negative thinking to bad behavior in your marriage. However, I’m not convinced about the power of the human spirit to overcome these problems. I have gone from Weigh Down to weight back up. I’ve moved from South Beach where the beautiful people live, back to the North Beach where those who could stand to lose a few reside. I’ve done “Weight Watchers,” only to rejoin Cake Watchers. I’m pretty disciplined in lots of areas, but in others I fail over and over again. As many times as I repeat “...and I won’t do it again,” I end up doing it again.


Our struggle with sin is the same way. I think everyone would say they want to be a good person, but most of us also often feel powerless to do so. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that He Himself gives us the power. All we have to do is tell Him that we need Him, ask forgiveness for past sins, and build a relationship with Him personally. In 2 Peter 1:3 in the New International Version it says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (emphasis added).


The truth is, I really am powerless to overcome sin on my own. The Good News, though, tells me that God has provided all the power that I need through a relationship with His son Jesus. I think I’ll head back to Barnes and Noble to return that stack of self-help books. I’m definitely a work in progress, but I have all the help I need.

Dear Lord, I turn to You for help. I can’t deny that I act in ways that offend a perfect God, and I acknowledge these things as sin. I ask for Your forgiveness. I want to give my life to You and build a personal relationship with You. Thank you for loving me and accepting me. I’m so grateful that in You I find the power for change. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?


i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio


Pierced By the Word: 31 Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper


Visit Amy Carroll’s blog


Application Steps: 

Read the Gospel of John in the Bible. It’s a great way to get to know Jesus!


Find a person who has been a Christian for a long time. Ask him/her to teach you about Bible study, prayer, and living the Christian life.



What areas in my life am I obviously powerless to change?


Have I come to the end of my own rope? Am I ready to agree that I need a Savior?


Power Verses:

John 14:6, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (NIV)


Romans 10: 9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (NIV)


© 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 19 November 2008.