October 28, 2016
II Corinthians 12:9, 10
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I will take a short break from the series, From Egypt To Canaan, because I want to focus on something that has been upon my mind. I call it Sufficient Grace. And the Scripture is II Corinthians 12:9 and 19:
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 infirm-
ities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s
sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul was ‘boasting’ to the Corinthian Christians of his Hebrew background and – after his conversion (see Acts 9:1-8) – the persecution he endured as he boldly spread the good news of Jesus Christ! (See II Corinthians 11:22-33; Galatians 6:17). But he also was telling them of God’s miraculous “…visions and revelations of the Lord…” (II Corinthians 12:1). Then he adds in verses 7 and 8 of chapter 12:
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest
I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord
three times that it might depart from me.
It is then that our featured Scripture comes into play: God’s grace was more than enough to compensate for the trials through which Paul was going – trials God was not going to take away, and to keep the apostle humble and utterly dependent upon Him! And when Paul understood this, he not only accepted the Lord’s decision, he boasted (gloried – KJV) in his infirmities! For then he had to depend upon God! And he could then truthfully exclaim, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God gave Sufficient Grace!
And what is grace? A short definition of God’s grace is “His unmerited favor!” We don’t deserve it! We deserve His condemnation! But He gives us His favor anyway!
There is another Scripture I want to bring to your attention, Romans 5:20 – just the latter part of the verse: “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Oh, how I thank God for this short statement!
• I have heard it often said by parents of grown children, “I sure would not want to bring kids into this world today with all that is going on in society!” And they may add, “Look at what our grandchildren are going to have to face as they grow up!” Even young couples thinking about starting a family have told me, “Should we have children? What are they going to have to overcome as they grow up in this modern society? It is much worse – drugs, sex, liberal education, and so on – than when we were growing up twenty years ago!” But I tell them of Romans 5:20, and then say:
Look, no matter how bad wickedness and sin get in this old world, God’s grace
is always, always greater! With godly upbringing and much prayer surrounding
your young ones, they will make it! If God is leading you to bring children into
this world, do not be so frightened that you neglect that leading!
• Think of our presidential election coming up in just 13 days! Some people are very discouraged at the choices for President of the United States that are laid before us. But I recall what a fellow pastor recently said to me: “It does not so much matter who sits in the White House. It matters Who is on heaven’s throne!” Jesus Christ is on heaven’s throne! He is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”! (Revelation 19:16). And God tells us in Daniel 2:21 that “…He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings…” (see also Job 12:18; Psalm 75:6, 7; Daniel 4:32, 34, 35). And the same goes for presidents! No one will be seated in the Oval Office without God putting him or her there! It may be for our judgment, our chastisement, or our blessing! But they will be in that high position only because the Lord allows them there!
Remember that whoever is elected President, whoever is appointed as judge to the Supreme Count, whatever laws are passed – as stated above: “…where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” No matter how bad wickedness and sin get in this old world, God’s grace is always, always more! Depend on it!
…AND VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8! God very often uses our humble human participation to manifest His will! I believe He will do just that in this election also!