"But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!" - 2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP
Thoughts for Today
Considering the world's standards, these words of the apostle Paul are astounding. When we base our value on our performance, we are usually reluctant to accept any kind of failure or admit any weakness. They depress us and make us feel bad about ourselves. They often make other people think less of us. And yet Paul said he would gladly glory in his weaknesses!
Paul had learned he was valuable not because of his many accomplishments but because of Christ in him. Because God loved him and guided him. He had learned to rely not on his own strength and abilities but on the strength and power of Christ. And he learned that when he was honest about his own weaknesses, he opened the door for Christ's strength and power to work in his life. He had learned that Jesus' strength and power would "pitch a tent over and dwell upon" him! What a picture!
Consider this …
Admitting your weaknesses and failures to God, to others, and to yourself will help you refocus on the real source of power in your life: Jesus. It will show other people that you have chosen to depend on Jesus. It will open the door for the strength and power of Christ to rest on you--to pitch a tent over and dwell upon you.
As you walk with this kind of faith and trust in Jesus, you will begin to feel secure--and relieved. Relieved that you don't have to depend on your own abilities. You just have to trust Jesus and follow him--and let his strength and power rest on you. Like Paul, you will be able to glory in your weakness.
Father, forgive me for trusting in my own abilities and hard work to make me successful. I know the only way I can serve you effectively and live the abundant life Jesus promised is to depend on his strength and power. I thank you that through my weakness, Jesus can be glorified. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for the good plan you have for my life and the strength and power of Christ to walk on the paths you set before me. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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