Christ (part 3)

2 Corinthians 12:7-10  And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the 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.  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 infirmities, 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. 

Philippians 3:13-14  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

  • Reflect On: 2 Corinthians 12:7-12 & Philippians 3:7-14 
  • Praise GOD: For revealing His power in human weakness. 
  • Offer Thanks: That God has called you heavenward. 
  • Confess: Any tendency to rely on your own strength. 
  • Ask God: To encourage you to keep running the race. 

If you had to choose one word to sum up your Christian life, what would it be? Joy? Grace? Love? Peace? Power? Much as I am tempted to claim one of these for my own, I have to be honest. The word that most captures me is “weakness,” though I didn’t always think so. … 

Over the years, Christ has graciously revealed my need of Him, not once but many times. Through painful experience I have begun to realize that I am not strong enough to stay spiritually afloat for even a second should God withdraw His sustaining hand. The powers and principalities are too much for me, to say nothing of my flesh. Left alone, my sinful reactions to life would destroy me. But thank God I have not been left alone. He has held me up, above the raging waters and the roaring seas. He has loved me when I could not love myself, preserved me when I could not preserve myself. 

…Jesus, God’s “Anointed One,” finished the job He came to do. Like Him, we are called to finish well by reproducing the pattern of His life until it is time for us to leave this world. 

….I suddenly found myself thinking about my own funeral, wishing I could be there to preach at it, though I am no preacher. I had a picture of myself standing jubilant in front of family and friends, a smile spreading wide across my face, one arm raised in victory. I had done it—remained faithful to the end! Though I had nearly fainted on the way, I had managed to cross the finish line. I had won the race. And if I could do it, they could too. God alone had carried me across, and He would carry them as well. I wanted to shout out the words of Paul, telling them how my weakness had been Christ’s opportunity. 

Of course, I know that such a celebration is premature. But I look forward to it in hope. And as I do, I cry out to God for grace, reminding Him that my weakness forms the perfect backdrop for His strength. And as I pray, I remind myself once again that I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.






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