One day during the Civil War, an admirer approached Abraham Lincoln to say that back home the folks all agreed that "the welfare of the nation depended on God and Abraham Lincoln."

Lincoln replied, "They are half right."

I appreciate his dry wit and modesty. But then, is it really modesty when you're describing the facts of the situation? Lincoln knew that the future of the nation was in hands much bigger than his own. Yes, he had a job to do, an important role to play, but the fate of the nation was far beyond his ability to determine.

Lincoln, like every person in ministry, knew that in the course of human events, he was dependent on strength beyond his own. No spiritual victory can be accomplished by purely human efforts.

Those of us who are called to proclaim and to live the gospel recognize that we can't produce life transformation upon demand. No matter how talented or creative we are, no matter how intense or winsome, we are incapable of generating ...

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