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Saint James, Apostle
… that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Pirates stored their treasure in chests bound with chains and heavy padlocks. Banks and casinos store cash in high-security vaults. But God? He has placed his treasure in “earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7). In us! He doesn’t need chains and locks, laser beams or retina scans, to protect it. He’s God! Whatever we lack in security, whatever weaknesses we bring to the life he has called us to, his power is more than enough to carry us through!
James was an ordinary fisherman. Strong, passionate, and simply educated—how could he ever take on the responsibilities that Jesus wanted to give him? But he did. This common fisherman became the second head of the Jerusalem church. The same James who wanted to call fire down on the Samaritans who had snubbed Jesus became a chief advocate for opening the Church to Gentiles. Scheming James, who connived with his brother John to seek a special seat in Jesus’ kingdom, was the one trusted disciple St. Paul visited on his final trip to Jerusalem.
James wasn’t, at first, most likely to become head of the Church, most willing to include outsiders, or most eager to see others succeed in their ministry. He had no formal training in administration for what God had called him to. (So few of us do!) But God doesn’t depend on what you can do for him. His life and power will work in and through you as you yield to him. Just acknowledge that you need him and are willing to walk with him.
God always begins where your human ability ends. If you think he has called you to reach out to someone you find it difficult to be in the same room with, tell him. He’ll supply the patience and the wisdom you need. If you need to go on loving and serving your family when you’re bone tired, ask him for the strength. And if you’re too scared to do anything at all, tell him. He will help you. Take a step, and watch him take it with you. He’s all-sufficient; give him the chance to show you!
“Lord, I open my heart to you today. I am determined to walk with you. I trust your power to see me through!”
Psalm 126:1-6; Matthew 20:20-28
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