A shield against thorns in the flesh

By MELVN SWOYER St. John Lutheran Church Thorndale

Thorns in the flesh. Have you been hurt by thorns in the flesh?

You enjoy the beauty of a flower, but suddenly get pricked by its thorns. Your love for beauty caused you pain and suffering.

Thorns in the flesh are warnings from God. You cannot indulge your fleshly desires without suffering the consequences.

If you walk on the wild side, your spiritual nature is compromised. Eve wanted to be like God, so she ate from the forbidden fruit in the garden. Adam was too lazy to resist, so he also yielded to temptation.

"To keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness'." (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

You can surrender your thorn to the nail-scarred hands and side of the Son of God. Jesus will cover your weakness with His strength.

By His wounds you are healed. He will help you withstand the temptations of the devil.

The seven deadly sins — lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride — are washed clean in the blood of Jesus on the cross.

His grace is more than enough to take care of your thorns in the flesh.

Stay close to God in prayer.

Receive the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion.

Keep your mind on God's Word and give no strongholds for the devil to enter your life.

You don't have to be holier than other people. You are a sinner, yet a saint.

False love of things in this world can no longer enslave you. True love of God has set you free.

You turn to God in weakness and find the strength of amazing grace.

Prayer: Lord, I lay my sins at Your altar, trusting in Your grace to save me, walking by Your Spirit to guide me to the living waters of Your truth, mercy, and peace.


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2009-07-09 digital edition

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