I cannot do this!
While I was undergoing radiation treatments for cancer, I was scheduled to speak at a large conference. My strength was totally, completely depleted, and I had no idea how I was going to have the energy to present the closing keynote address. As I sat on the front row listening to my introduction, those thoughts screamed out in my mind: I cannot do this! But, immediately, God seemed to say, “That’s exactly what I needed to hear.”
God promises us victory at the point where we seem to be completely depleted and defeated. (The Bible is filled with hundreds of examples!) The apostle Paul wanted to convey this powerful truth, but he was at a loss of words. So, he just made up a word.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).
The words translated “more than conquerors” is that created word—upernikwmen—a combination of the Greek words hyper and nike.
If you have a “hyper” child, there’s no need for a description. Hyper means “over the top,” “above and beyond.” And we all recognize the word Nike from athletic wear meaning “victor.”
So Paul describes believers as “over-the-top victors”—those who transcend death and life, angels and demons, the present and the future, any powers, heights and depths, and anything else in all creation (Romans 8:38-39).
As I weakly made my way to the stage, I was immediately filled with over-the-top energy for the 40-minute talk. In fact, it was one of my most energized and Spirit-empowered talks ever! But as soon as I sat back down, the exhaustion instantly returned. God had provided hyper nike just when I needed it!
God wants to do that for you as well. That’s why Paul writes:
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
So let’s get out there today and be “over-the-top victors”!
Copyright © 2011 James N. Watkins
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• “In this world, you will have trouble”
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Nike and the Nike “swoosh” are registered trademarks of the Nike Corporation.
True colors shining through
Fall is my favorite season with cooler temperatures, fresh cider and spectacular colors! As the chlorophyll—the green pigment in leaves—drains from trees, we see the true colors of the red and yellow maples, yellows of birch and reddish-purple of dogwoods. Their true colors come shining through in fall. Click for my fall photo essay.
Imitation of Christ releases in 71 days!
The classic devotional by Thomas à Kempis arranged and organized into 90 devotional readings.
“The Imitation of Christ is one of the great spiritual works of the Church. More than five hundred years later, it remains not just a classic, but a road map to the life the Lord wants each of us to live.”
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan: Archbishop of New York
“This influential book is an incredible gift to this century. James Watkins has stayed true to the original text but in language that continues to speak from the soul of Thomas à Kempis to the soul of a twenty-first century seeker. A message for which our world has deep hunger. This is literally a soul-changing, ultimately world changing book; a must for every person serious about being a Christ-follower.”
Jo Anne Lyon: White House adviser on faith, general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church
“Thomas à Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ is a timeless classic. Watkins has succeeded in providing a clear and accurate rendering of this great volume for a new generation of Catholic and Protestants alike, while avoiding modern idioms that would date the text. I’m looking forward to reading this many times.”
Rev. Randolph Sly: Priest, Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
“The Imitation of Christ devotional is truly a gift to the church. Watkins provides timeless, profound truths in everyday language, introducing modern Christians to the power of Thomas à Kempis’ words and life’s work. A deeply moving, wholly convicting, and truly life-altering book.”
Mary DeMuth: author of Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Changes Everything
“Each morning I eagerly go to this modern version of The Imitation of Christ knowing it will convict and teach my spirit, giving me spiritual focus throughout the day. It is the best devotional I’ve found in many years.”
Lissa Halls Johnson, author and speaker
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