Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Shows His Strength When We Are Weak

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMKnowing where we are strong and where we are weak is very important. Knowing strengths and knowing our weakness is essential to understanding who we are in life. Have we ever taken the time to examine our strengths and weaknesses? Most of us probably know where we are strong but ignore our weaknesses.

I ask couples who come to be married to write down their areas of strength and weakness. I also ask them to do the same for their partner. Knowing our self and our partner is very important. Can we receive our life partner with all of their weaknesses? Or do we think we can change them? God can make changes in our lives and we can make changes in our lives – but rarely can another person make changes in someone else.

I know none of us are perfect. We are even far from being perfect. But – God’s grace is sufficient to forgive us and work in us. If only others could – and we could – forgive ourselves – as God forgives us. Paul battled with a thorn in his flesh and yet he proclaimed that God’s grace was enough for him. Even if what was a thorn in his flesh continued – God could help him overcome it!

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When someone points out that we are not a perfect church I am encouraged – really! I’m encouraged because when we fail – when we are weak – that is a time when I know that the good we do is not of us but of God. In other words – if people see our weaknesses as a church – that only proves that the good we do it from God – not from us – as an imperfect church. I hope that made sense.

Part of my task as a pastor is to encourage our congregation to be the Body of Christ. I am to encourage us to make ourselves available for God to work in – work through – and work in spite of ourselves – to His glory. Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I pray that more and more folks at First UMC of Laurel will see that our task is to contend for the Gospel and to be available to be the hands – feet – and mouth for God – as God works His work all around us.

Jude 1:3 – Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

Over and over again we are told that God is at work in us – even when we are weak – even when we fail. God even works – it seems – when we are weakest! It is in these times that we know that it is God at work and we lay no claim to His power and work and glory.

Hebrews 3:12-13 – 12 See to it, brothers (and sisters), that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Let us encourage one another – even when we are weak. Let us allow God to work in us to His glory. Let us receive His grace and forgiveness and let us forgive ourselves for our sins. If God has forgiven us and is working in us – we must get past the shame and blame game Satan wants to put us through.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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September 17, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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