Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

The Forgotten Power

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"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways" (Psalm 119:1-3).

Searching for words to write and giving me a chance to ask the Lord to open my heart, I hope and pray that I can write the words that can make us understand how important this subject is to our lives with God.

In the world we live in, we can identify power with the people, who is rich, have physical muscle, born with status, and are very intelligent or intellectual for they have the social power and the influence to direct others.

As a Christian who believes in the Holy Bible, eternity, and the teaching of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we must have a different view when it comes to identify power.

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).

Our Lord Jesus Christ has all the power and the authority in heaven and earth but He chose to show us that power comes from oneself. He did not only tell us but He lived everything He taught us.

Although our Lord is the creator of Heaven and Earth and all things seen and unseen, He left His own kingdom and came on earth in order to be among us and helps us through our everyday struggle with sin.

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

In the Old Testament, we see that the children of Israel where waiting for the coming of the Messiah in order to give them earthly victory and power in the face of their enemies. Therefore when our Lord and Savior came on earth they did not accept Him because the image that they were looking for was absent.

Why is it that God decided to come in person and what was His message to us?

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ waited patiently for the right moment to come and show us the way to salvation. In order to be accepted by God, we must humble ourselves in the sight of Him and others.

Great mystery to know that our Lord is not only wonderful, loving, just and powerful but also is humble and that is the power He is trying to insert in all His children.

"Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'" (1 Peter 5:5).

What is humility? Can someone say I am humble enough?

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—" (Revelation 3:15-17).

Humility is not measured by the amount of the works you do for others, but rather it is a gift from the Holy Spirit to those who follow and practice the teaching of the Lord with joy and gladness. Therefore we cannot proclaim that we are righteous or humble.

There are many lessons to learn through the life of our Lord on earth, the kind of lessons that we are required to meditate on and pray for in order to understand them and acquire them:

  1. Losing one's self in order to gain it back (Matthew 10:39)
    To lose one's self is not an easy task but through the life of our Lord Jesus Christ He showed us that time after time. For example, He gave up everything that He had in the world and owned nothing. All His time He spent it praying, helping, and healing to the point there was nowhere to rest His head. Yet despite all of that He never complained. We see that clearly now in the life of the monks who follow His example and left the world and gave up all its treasures in the hope of following our Lord's footsteps.

  2. Learning endurance (James 1:2-4)
    Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also learned endurance; for example:
    • He chose to be born in a manger in the midst of the animals
    • He endured the mocking of the close relatives
    • He was baptized although He is sinless in order to free us from sin
    • He endured the accusations that He is a sinful man
    • He endured the accusations that He has an evil spirit
    • He endured the accusations that He drinks
    • He loves sinners and tax collectors
    • He endured the accusations that He did not respect the Law of Moses
    • He endured the accusations that He did not respect the Sabbath
    • He endured the accusations that He is against Ceasar
    • The spitting, the beating, and the mucking
    • The ultimate pain and humiliation of the cross

    Therefore we must learn to accept every condition that requires great faith, that our God is watching over us, and He will do the most wonderful and beneficial things for the sake of our eternity.

  3. The word that comes from the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:2)
    The idea of being acquainted with the word of God is to help us fight the devil when he attack us with many sorts of thoughts. As our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did fight the devil and was victorious over him, He fasted for forty days and forty nights and the devil saw that He was tired and hungry and tried to deceive Him and persuade Him to do things that would sadden God.

  4. Carrying our cross with joy and gladness (2 Corinthians 1:4)
    As Christians, we strive every day to be Christ like. Our aim is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's example of carrying the cross for the purpose of our Salvation and carry it every day, whatever it may be for each individual, with endurance, joy, peace, and gladness.

  5. Showing genuine love for others (Romans 12:9)
    Despite all that our Lord Jesus Christ went through in His short life with us on earth, He did everything with genuine love for everyone even the ones who hated Him and persecuted Him. Therefore we must keep in mind at all times that we are the children of God and to act accordingly.

The power that we all search for cannot be measured by the world we live in but it may only be considered weakness on our part since the people of the world do not understand the wisdom of God unless God reveals it to them. Therefore rejoice for the Lord is near to all who follows His word and practice it with joy and gladness.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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