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Posts Tagged ‘grace’

Verse 9: “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

In an old Justice League of America issue, #34, “The Deadly Dreams of Doctor Destiny”, Dr. Destiny was attacking members of the Justice League through dreams that he would later materialize into real life…with deadly differences. In Superman’s dream, the Man of Steel was attempting to stop a rampaging stone warrior statue come to life. A pair of glasses snapped onto his face out of nowhere…glasses, that he discovered, removed his weakness to Kryptonite! At first happy, he was dismayed later when the giant defended himself with a gold coating and attacked Superman with fire. Now Superman had the weaknesses of Green Lantern (yellow) and the Martian Manhunter (fire)! Recovering his wits in time to figure out a way to defeat the giant in his dreams, he awoke in his bed, wryly observing that he’d gladly have a weakness to Kryptonite than trade for the weaknesses of anything yellow or fire!

Paul here is reflecting on his pleas to the Lord to remove “the thorn in his side”, and God had said no, and even more, replied that His grace was sufficient for him. Ever notice how we’re not surprised to see a feat of strength by a strong person, or some incredible achievement by someone very talented…but we remark on how miraculous it is to see such achievements done by someone unlikely? That’s God in action. He told Paul that “His strength was made perfect in weakness.” That way, credit is given to God for the miracle than to the vessel it was accomplished through.

Our music minister at church sang a beautiful solo today entitled “Gratitude” (arranged by Heather Sorenson, composed by Nichole Nordeman); in it, the author prays for needs, but remembers to thank God for what He gives, even when the answer is no to the prayed for need. Christian, remember to thank God in all things, and thank Him that His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses!

Something to think about!

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verse 8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”

George Mueller was a Christian evangelist in Bristol, England, who opened up first his home as an orphanage, and then later other orphanages. He never solicited donations or went into debt to procure the funds needed for building and operating these orphanages, trusting in God alone. (If you have ever seen the Veggietales video Gideon: Tuba Warrior, there is a retelling of his story on it.) As far as I have heard and researched, he was never in want as long as he trusted God for all his needs.

That’s what Paul is talking about. For those who trust in God, and who give cheerfully to God, God will not only bless with the grace for your needs, but for the needs to give “for every good deed”. I know there have been times when God has provided for my famly when we truly had a need and trusted in Him for deliverance. But let me remind you, it starts with trust in Him.

Have a blessed day!

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verses 8-10: “and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”

Our church had a memorial devotion service the Wednesday (I think?) after 9/11/01. Everyone was still in shock, of course, over what happened in New York and Washington. We came together as a church to pray and to seek God in the midst of all that evil and tragedy that happened. Our pastor asked certain deacons to pray for specific things from the pulpit; one of them was to pray for our enemies. I’m the one who chose that subject, I guess because I really had to pray in the love of Christ on that one!

I remember praying that even if Osama Bin Laden walked through our doors that night, and if he sincerely and earnestly asked God to forgive him, and if he accepted Jesus in his heart, that he would be a Christian and go to Heaven….yes, even him. I drew upon the parallel of Paul; while he was not called a terrorist to my memory, that is what he did prior to his conversion….he was terrorizing the Christians of that day, and persecuting the church.

Yet God used that “chiefest of sinners” and turned him into the greatest missionary the world has ever known. The tone that resounds in Paul’s words is that of humility. He wasn’t Pharisee-prideful over how religious he was…he called himself the “least of the apostles”. However, he didn’t stay stuck in the past…he said “by the grace of God I am what I am”. Simply put, it’s about his second chance. The same second chance that Jesus gives you and me when we accept him.

By the grace of God…

Have a blessed day!

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verses 5-6: “(Love) does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;”

I had written a reference in my Bible to Luke 6:35-36 and 2 Samuel 9 (I think it’s 9, I must confess that I need to sharpen my pencil that I keep in my Bible!). I wrote these in hearing a sermon preached on this passage (and if I’m not mistaken, I believe it was our own pastor…I want to give credit to my fellow servant).  Please read both these passages.

The account in 2 Samuel 9 is that of King David showing kindness to Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth, when David inquired about any living relatives of Saul’s household. The Bible footnote here states that this is a display of covenant loyalty (the covenant that David and Jonathan had made with each other), and that it is a beautiful display of grace. David wished to show this kindness for Jonathan’s sake, to honor his dear friend; I marvel that it was
Mephibosheth, who truly needed that grace, since he was crippled and lame in both feet.

The parallel is drawn to Jesus’s own words from the Sermon on the Mount in Luke 6:35-36: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”

We are the ones who truly need that grace; we are the ungrateful and evil ones to whom God is kind. Remember, we are sinners saved by grace. And we need to be imitators of Christ in this, too.

Something to think about.

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