Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Paul said that he had an ailment that continually bothered him. Every step, every moment, he was aware of its presence. What I always find interesting is that Paul does not blame God for it and he doesn’t blame God when it doesn’t go away. How quick are we to question God when he doesn’t act as we think he should. Paul responds in humility as God explains that He has given him grace in this circumstance and that we ought to remember that God is at his best when we are weak. So often that is when we feel we are closest to God, in our weakness. Paul takes it even further delighting in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, etc. What always kills me is this is SO obvious and yet so incredibly difficult. It makes me want to throw something how simple a concept these verses cover. God’s power is made perfect when we aren’t trying to be powerful. When we respond in humility and surrender, God can move in a mighty way.
I wish my ego was a more like Paul’s. I don’t like being insulted, persecuted, or in a hardship. Who does? I remember I have even said the words, “What am I going to do about this?” This comes with having a strong sense of responsibility. I feel ownership easily. But I wonder why it takes me so long to remember I am weak, God is strong. The things that I wonder how to fix, what does it look like to ask God. God help is so much better than self help.
Thank that your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Help me to remember who you are and to give me a glimpse of your strength. I know you can do all things. I give you my worries, frustrations, and seemingly impossible situations. You are king of my life. Thank you for your love and patience. Bless my marriage, my family, church and community.
But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!
1 Corinthians 6:6
This ties in closely with my SOAP from yesterday. Paul is again observing how believers are treating each other. In this passage he is talking about believers bringing lawsuits up against each other. In this day in age, everything is done with a contract and with a lawyer because people are afraid of getting ripped off or getting sued. In the early church, it doesn’t seem too far off. I think the heart of the issue is not the lawsuits in and of themselves but really how do we treat others believers and nonbelievers. As followers of Christ do we treat others with kindness, respect, integrity and selflessness? Or we out to get ours; make sure no one messes with us. The most important part of this verse is the last part and this in front of unbelievers. Paul was greatly concerned with how this looked to the outside world. Just like yesterday with unity: the world understands anger, dysfunction, cheating and greed. Why continue to give them something they expect? Let’s treat everyone with integrity and walk in unity with fellow believers. When it gets difficult and we feel hurt or disagree with someone, let’s have the guts to work it out together not put our grievance on display for the whole world to see.
I must continue to seek integrity first in the way I do things. May I say what I do, do what I say and do the right thing. It makes everything else so much easier. I will continue to challenge myself to follow God in being an example of Christ to a world that does not understand but greatly needs Him.
Thank you for your word that is challenging and continues to cut deep to my heart. Help me to walk with integrity and treat others with kindness and respect. Help me to see them the way you see them. Help me to have the grace and godly confidence required to have fierce and necessary conversations with other people. Lord I pray that the way I live my life would be an example of your love and sacrifice. Bless my marriage and family. Bless Grace Church. Provide for your church and help us to be a source of love and blessing to our community. Bless Generation Grace. Continue to help us reach out to the young people of Clark County. I love you. Amen
Had a request from someone to post recent art projects:
Uniquely You workshop:
Stage art project for Rise Together: Large frames, spray painted glossy black and the letters “RISE” hung in side with string and grommets.
Recipes Sermon Graphic
Family Movie Night
Banner for eNewsletter w/ new Grace branding
As always.. Gwyneth in Progress. So much to learn. I am currently pouring through Adobe CS5 Design premium and while I thought I had a pretty firm grasp on Illustrator, I learn new things every day! I am loving working finally with photoshop and using many spare moments to watch tutorials on Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, flash, the whole nine yards. Lifelong learning. Have also started in the old sketchpad. It will be a long time or never before those see the light of day. Yikes. Maybe I shall stick to painting and crafty business.