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Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 12’

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Church is for the weak …

It is a sentence, a belief, an experience …

a truth.

I have no problem with owning up to that statement as reality for me, personally. I have no problem telling others that I go to church, that I believe in the crucified, dead and buried Christ who also rose on the third day, and that He is coming again …

because I am weak.

I have the hereditary disease called sin. It affects every part of who I am, and how I live. It is a guaranteed death sentence.

It may not have been me (or you) who said yes to that fruit of the tree in the garden (if it was an apple, and if it was me who was tempted, I would have said yes even more quickly than Eve), but we still carry the genetic markers for sin, because we still make mistakes, we still mess things up, we still say and do ridiculous things … we still die.

John 3:16 states, “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” You see I … we, were all conceived into sin, all conceived with a destiny with an end. But Christ came, just as the perfect young lambs that were slaughtered in the Old Testament stories. It was through the sacrifice of this spotless lamb, in the form of Jesus, that our sins were erased … our life here on Earth had a purpose … that eternal life was made available.
That does not mean that we have it all together. Every breath we take provides yet another opportunity to sin all over again, but, in the eyes of our Creator, that sin was erased … before we even thought about it.
I recently read the following:
“Satan knows our names, and calls us by our sins,
Christ knows our sins, and calls us by His name.”
I am a sinner, but, through the grace of God, I am cleansed of that sin by the blood sacrifice of His Son.
I am weak, but God’s grace is greater!
And it is in church where I am reminded, regularly, that the prescription for my weakness has been paid for, administered, and it is a once and for all application.
“Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

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As I spoke with a dear friend, my heart was so full of so many contrasting thoughts. She has been going through a really tough time lately. Actually she has been going through a tough time, probably for years. Recently though, her husband left.

We have all been through times when we beat our chests, and moan from a place so deep within us that the moaning is inaudible, except at extreme volumes, in our own ears. We might not have had a husband move out, but we have had our heart so broken that we were not sure how to keep going, how to keep it beating, how to keep breathing … how to stay … alive.

Maybe we were unsure of how to do all of that because we really just wished that our heart WOULD stop beating, that our lungs WOULD stop breathing, that we would no longer be alive. Maybe, our heart was so broken into pieces that we could not imagine going on another day.

I am sure that my friend had felt all of those feelings. I am sure that she has had days when she awoke in the depths of despair, and had no idea of how she would life her head. But, the other day, as I was speaking to her, I was in awe of the woman in front of me. She was hopeful, she was confident, she was ALIVE!

My friend talked of the various ways that God is working in and through this horrible situation she is going through. She talked about how her needs are being met. She talked about how this horrible, awful, hurtful situation has allowed her to know the love of God, and her need for Him only. She talked to me with the most peaceful, beautiful smile on her face, and bright wonder in her eyes.

She brought 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 to life for me:

“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.
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.”

She did not say her pain was gone, nor did she tell me that the pain was all worth it. What she did communicate to me, with her hope and with her words and with her outlook on life is that, DESPITE the hurt and pain, she is resting in the strength of someone who can shoulder it for her. And her reliance on that source of strength is empowering her to live life more alive than maybe ever in her life before.

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