11 July 2012
His Name is higher, above other names
His Name is Jesus, His Name is Lord (3X)
We lift You higher, above other names
Your name is Jesus, Your Name is Lord (3X)
Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Topic: Perfect power in weakness
Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows.3And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows—4was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.6But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me,7even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep* me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.*8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me,9but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power* is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
One fascinating and awesome feature of being a Christian is that it is God Himself who called and chose us as His own. We did not choose Him, for the Scripture says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. All we had to do was answer the call and say yes to Jesus. Yes to His call, work and life- to be His ambassadors here on earth. Knowing Him and making Him known to everyone around us. Whatever we do for Him, others or for ourselves is by His power dwelling in us. Without Christ, we can do nothing. In our weakness, God’s awesome power becomes even more evident, that everyone will know that He is the sole source of our strength. As Christians, we should always remember that it is the Holy Spirit in our lives that empowers us to live for Christ and to be His witness in the world. Even when circumstances seem tough, unbearable and against us, we must never forget that God is for us. And if God be for us, who can be against us? Nothing and no one can prevail against us.
1. What are some of the things that make us appear to be weak?
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated.38Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;* the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’42Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’43Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.44So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
2 Corinthians 12:7-8 (KJV)
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2. How will you explain God’s sufficient grace and perfect power in our lives even in the face of apparent weaknesses?
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him.2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary* and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence* at him.4Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.6And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching.7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.8He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.10He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.11If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.13They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12, 16-18, 12:9-10
Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.2We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practise cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.6For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.11For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure,18because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.9but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power* is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
3. How does God make His power perfect in our lives despite our weaknesses?
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower.2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes* to make it bear more fruit.3You have already been cleansed* by the word that I have spoken to you.4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become* my disciples.
So then, brothers and sisters,* we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba!* Father!’16it is that very Spirit bearing witness* with our spirit that we are children of God,17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God;20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now;23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.24For in* hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes* for what is seen?25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes* with sighs too deep for words.27And God,* who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit* intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.*
28 We know that all things work together for good* for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.*30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.*35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or
famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are the children of God- called and chosen by Him to be His own. May we live our lives confident that the Holy Spirit is with us- guiding, teaching, loving and protecting us at all times.
Lord we are so grateful for Your Power working in us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. We yield our hearts to You Lord, asking You to fill us with Your Spirit now and always. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.