And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9
Today – and, indeed, throughout this week – I cannot hide my joy at the revelation of the cross that the Lord has brought into my heart. Throughout the last week, I had been ministering to several of our churches in Dodoma Region, and I ministered so well that the Lord decided to reward me. Yes, the Lord rewarded me; but you would be surprised at the way the Lord rewards us. I am sure my flesh would have loved it had the Lord rewarded me with a red Porsche (yeah, I particularly love the color red on a car); but the Lord did not do that. On the contrary, God is Spirit, and He had only one way to go about rewarding me: the spiritual way.
So how did the Lord go about it?
The Lord rewarded me with the revelation of the cross! The revelation of the cross is God’s reward to those He loves for in Hebrews 12:6 the Bible tells us:
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
(Perhaps today’s loving parents may need to take a leaf from the Lord about how to raise their children. I am so glad our parents brought us up the Biblical way!)
Anyways, back to our subject: me. The Lord has been showing me new (and old) areas in my life that need to die. Moreover, the Lord has been chastising me about how strong and wise I have become lately in the flesh, and He has been telling me anew how weak and foolish I need to become in order to carry His grace, His strength, His wisdom, His life.
There are many new (and old) areas in my life that the Lord has been showing me that I am still a strong, tough guy. These are areas where I am still holding onto my things, my rights and my life. It is in my rights especially that I have found I am still stuck way deep in the flesh. I am quick to claim my rights!
But the Lord has been quick to show me this weakness – and to give me the strength to begin to release them. Much of the time, of course, our rights and our life are things that are hidden deep within us, and we cannot see them. But when God shines His probing light into our hearts, we see them clearly. But even more importantly, we see exactly what we need to do about them.
Just when my heart begins to become cold and hard towards a person or a situation, the Lord points me to the cross; and I repent.
Sometimes the things that make us to stumble are so trivial that we feel ashamed to even admit them. And sometimes they are so deep we fear to admit them. But whatever the case, we need to bring them up to the Lord and tell Him, “Lord, this is my weakness. I have sinned here, and I need your forgiveness and the strength to go beyond this weakness.”
The Apostle Paul rejoiced at the revelation of the cross in his heart. He rejoiced at how weak and foolish he was required to become. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 he says:
“12… Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 13 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
What does Paul mean by “strong”? What strength is he talking about?
It is the grace of God. When we allow ourselves to become weak and foolish in this world for the sake of the gospel, then the grace of God is shed abundantly in our lives. And in that manner alone can we be of any value to the Kingdom of God. Of what use or value are we if we are not carrying God’s grace? Allow me to use the word “useless”. You and I are useless in the Kingdom of God if we do not carry the grace of God in us. And that grace comes to us when we have crucified the flesh.
God’s grace enables us to forgive those who wrong us; it enables us to love our enemies, and to pray for them; it enables us to ask for forgiveness when we wrong others. God’s grace fills us with the love of God through which we become of inexpressible value to our fellow men.
Moreover, the grace of God keeps us. It makes us to constantly be filled with joy, faith and hope.
I cannot possibly list a tiny portion of the benefits of the grace of God in our lives for when we talk of the grace of God we are talking about the life of God.
Suffice it to say that this grace was the Apostle Paul, and the Early Church chased after with all their strength.
[His grace suffices]