Pastor Craig Carter
North Kent Community Church
1480 Indian Lakes Rd., Sparta, • Church Phone: 550-6398
I recently spent some time with a friend and his family. He shared a personal story about his son, who recently went through some legal difficulties. We had the privilege of praying for and encouraging his family and his son through these difficulties. Since that time, my friend’s story has profoundly touched my heart and life. It has reminded me of how much I need God and am dependent upon Him.
His story went on to include details about his son’s arrest. He shared that after having been arrested, his son appeared before the judge, where his bond was set. His son had some money on him personally and was hoping to simply bond himself out of jail. Unfortunately, the judge set the bond amount for $12 more than he had on his person. He found himself $12 short! His financial shortfall required him to call his father for help. Of course, this was not want he wanted to do. His son’s desire was to just take care of his problem on his own.
Does this sound familiar? How many times in our lives as human beings have we tried to solve our problems on our own? We, like my friend’s son, respond the same way. We say, “I can take care of this myself.” The problem with this thought process is that God never intended for us to do things on our own. As a result, we too fall short. I do not like this feeling of “falling short.” It makes me feel inadequate and nobody likes that feeling. However, I have come to realize that is exactly how God planned it. Our “shortfalls” and inadequacies, if we let them, will cause us to rely on God for his help. The Apostle Paul knew this truth when he wrote, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Rom 3:22-24 –NIV). Paul reminds us that trust (faith) in Jesus Christ makes up the difference. We are redeemed from our sin, and our shortcomings, simply by trusting in God and His amazing grace. You cannot earn it, you must simply believe and receive it! In essence, God provides the $12 you need, but you have to ask Him for it. Have you ever asked God to make up the difference in your life? Have you ever acknowledged that you are a sinner and that you fall short? Even if you are a Christian, do you live with the realization that without God, you will always come up short of what you need? Or do you live a self-reliant life? In another portion of scripture, the Apostle Paul said, “In Him I live and move and can’t get away from him (Acts 17:28 -The Message). We realize that without him we can do nothing. You have to come to realize that your self-reliant nature does not like this truth. That is what I have come to realize in this story. My self–reliant nature always leaves me $12 dollars short of what I need. However, when I simply acknowledge my complete dependence upon God, He always makes up for what I lack. I just need to humble myself, like my friend’s son, and call my Heavenly Father.