2 Corinthians 12:1-10
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New Testament: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Summary: Paul’s Visions and His Thorn
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
God made a wonderful promise to Paul; and God makes the same promise to all of his (God’s) people. They do not have to depend on their own resources, for example, their strength, skills, intelligence or money. They only need to depend on God, and upon his kindness (grace). All that they need comes from him.
God’s people need that promise, because their own resources may fail. Even the strongest person can quickly become weak. An intelligent person may not know what to do. A rich person may lose his money. A healthy person may become ill. However, God’s grace (kindness) never fails*. In every situation, his kindness satisfies us completely.
Let us remind ourselves about how God showed his kindness to us. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. When we were still God’s enemies, Christ died for us*. Christ suffered that punishment so that God could forgive our sins (wrong and evil deeds).
God’s kindness to us did not end with Christ’s death. Each of us had wandered far away from God; but God worked in our lives to bring us back to him*. God’s grace (kindness) to Paul astonished him*; and his grace in our lives should astonish us, too*.
When we have received a right relationship with God, his grace (kindness) is constantly working in our lives*. His grace works both in us, and through us. It works in us, because Christ lives in us*. Therefore, his strength is in our lives, even when we ourselves are weak. Also, his grace works through us, to benefit other people. That happens when God uses us to bring other people into a right relationship with him.
It’s not uncommon to hear others say, and to find oneself saying, things like this: “If I wasn’t such a quiet person, then I think God would make much more use of me than he does.” Funnily enough, somebody else in the room is saying of themselves, “If I were just a little quieter and not as boisterous as I am, I think I might be more useful to God.” Another is saying, “If my circumstances were only brighter, then I think I would be increasingly useful. If my health were only a little better, if my mind were only a little quicker…” And so it goes on. “If I were not”—to quote Paul in earlier verses —“if I were not such an old clay pot, if I were something other than I am, then in the discovery of this new person, then I think I would be the kind of useful individual that God looks for his kingdom.”
By: Alistair Begg