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God's Grace is Sufficient (CC)

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Sermon Text: July 15, 2012 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Zion, Torrance, California www.ziontorrance.info Let us rise for the reading of this morning's Sermon Text recorded for us in Paul's 2nd Letter to the Corinthians where we read from Chapter 12 beginning with Verse 7: TO KEEP ME FROM BECOMING CONCEITED BECAUSE OF THESE SURPASSINGLY GREAT REVELATIONS, THERE WAS GIVEN ME A THORN IN MY FLESH, A MESSENGER OF SATAN, TO TORMENT ME. THREE TIMES I PLEADED WITH THE LORD TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME. 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 ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, SO THAT CHRIST'S POWER MAY REST ON ME. THAT IS WHY FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, I DELIGHT IN WEAKNESSES, IN INSULTS, IN HARDSHIPS, IN PERSECUTIONS, IN DIFFICULTIES. FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG." This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: The relationship between a pastor or another called worker in a congregation, is certainly an interesting one. You could compare it to a marriage. You could compare it to an employer-employee relationship. I mean it's one that we don't think of a lot except maybe when we're in that "Calling" process. That process where a congregation allows the Lord to use them to bring His servant to work among them. And that Call Process is one that kind of irritates some people, because they don't feel like they have enough control over that situation. Because they really want to know what that person is all about that they are calling. They wanna know, that if it's a pastor: Can he preach well? Is he good with children? Does he know how to handle old people? Is he friendly? What does he look like? What's his family like? Are his kids under control? If his house in order? All of those things that come to people's minds when they're in that process. So imagine somebody in that process, realizing that the pastor that they have just called, has persecuted the very Church he is now proclaiming. Not just persecuted it, but hunting down men, women, and children to put them into prison and to put them to death. To destroy any knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And then they find out that some of the other congregations that he's been leading, there was a lot of trouble in those congregations. People were arguing and fighting. Sometimes he had to escape in the nighttime. Some of those places it was so bad that he got beat up and left for dead. But he had the Law after him as well. I think a congregation, humanly speaking, would be nervous to have that person come and stand among them. Or let's flip that around. Think of the pastor having received a Call and accepted it, coming to a congregation and he finds out that the people that he's coming to are stubborn, rebellious, and obstinate. Ezekiel was told, you go and preach to those kind of people. And I don't care what their response is. It's not up to you whether they hear you or not but they will know when you proclaim the Word of the Lord to them that a prophet has stood among them. And Jesus Himself, in our Gospel Lesson, went to His home town and people didn't accept Him. Couldn't understand how that kid that grew up here ... Mary's son, that carpenter, that brother of the people that were with them were doing these miracles and proclaiming this message. It really is an interesting relationship that God brings groups of people together and says: Proclaim my Word. Do the work together. And the thing that has to come back to you and to me is that we are so unfit to do this work. I stand before you, not as some perfect saint. I stand before you as a sinner ... in thought, in word, and deed. But yet you have called me to preach God's Word to you. And I stand here, not by my own power, but by the power of God. And in the strength of God who says to me each and every morning: "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU ... " And you, as a congregation, are not perfect either. You also are sinners in thought and word and deed. And yet, God comes to you with that same message each and every morning that: "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU." Because when we start relying on our own strength, on who we are and what we are, we have strayed from God and it's not going to get us anywhere. Our own strength cannot save us. Our own willpower cannot bring us to God and keep us in His favor. Our lives are living proof of the fact that daily we sin against God. That we do not do the things that He wants. That we fail to live up to the calling that He has given to us: Me, as your pastor, and you as His congregation. And we realize: We can't build the Church of God by our own strength. We can't even save ourselves. And we come back to the fact that all we can do is fall before God in sin-laden hearts asking Him for forgiveness. Because we are weak. Sin makes us weak. Our sinful nature always has us straying from God and doing what WE want and doing those things that are easy and not getting up and doing the difficult things. That's our weakness. But in our weakness we'll fall before God begging and pleading for His mercy, for His grace, for His undeserved love. And maybe that becomes one of our greatest sins in that we somehow think we deserve to have God's love. We deserve to have God look out of His heaven on us and think: There is the most wonderful of My human beings. Therefore I have to have him or her as My own. I will save that person because they are good ... truly good. There is something good inside of them. That God's grace ... God's grace is that He loves us knowing that we are sin-filled human beings. He knows our hearts. He knows the thoughts that are in our heads. He knows those things that we try to keep and hide from each other because we would be thoroughly embarrassed to let anyone else know that's what we truly are like. And yet, in love, He gave us His Son. Sent us Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Sent us the Holy Spirit to bring that knowledge of all the work that Christ has done ... to our hearts ... our stubborn obstinate rebellious hearts to make them His own. To understand His love. And to realize that in that love is our strength. And God's grace is sufficient for us. That God's grace and His love is enough for us because it has saved us from sin, from death and the condemnation of an eternity in hell. It has given to us life and health and strength. An eternity with God in heaven. And we trust in that strength. We trust in God's power. We put our hope and all of our trust in what God has done and what He continues to do in our lives. That greatest blessing of faith causes us to trust that God will give us the things that we need for our eternal welfare. And in spite of our weaknesses He uses us. He uses us to do His will. To preach His Gospel. To proclaim His Word. To share that in our lives with people who need to hear it. And when we do that, we can certainly be aware that the adversary is going to attack us. Hardships are going to come. People are going to insult us. They are going to misunderstand what we say because they do not have faith. They are not going to like our message at all times because it speaks sometimes to their own sin. But they don't understand that grace. But we rely on God's Word the strength and its power to do its work. To proclaim that message; to teach it. And sometimes like the Apostle Paul, we have to realize that some of the things that come into our life are here to keep us humble. And to keep us focused on Christ. And to keep us coming back to Him. Because maybe the Lord knows that for us as individuals if we didn't have that hardship, we could easily forget Him. If our life was easy and carefree, we could go through it without ever stopping to thank Him for what He's done. But God knows what we need and He uses the things of this world to keep us in our faith. To keep us focused on Him and on His strength. Because when we rely on ourselves, we are only going to fail. We are only going to fall. We are only going to end up with work that is uncompleted ... unfinished. Because God is our strength. And what is so amazing is that He uses our weaknesses to accomplish His will. That He uses you and me to be the ones to proclaim His grace ... His love in this world. And we come back to say: I know that in my weaknesses God still shows His strength. Because I can stand before you today and say that I am a forgiven child of God. By God's grace. By God's strength. And that's what I live in each and every day. When I get up every morning, I thank the Lord that He is with me and He has forgiven me. Because I know that Satan and the world is going to come full force to disrupt that in my life. I'm a weak person. I sin, but God has forgiven me and has given me His strength to live in that power and to live in that conviction. And God has done the very thing for you. He has forgiven your sins. He has given you His strength and His power by the Holy Spirit to stand up each day and proclaim: I am a forgiven child of God. And come what may, I am with the Lord and He is with me. I trust Him. I will not be afraid. I will do what God has asked me to do. I will proclaim that grace that is so wonderful. That sustains me through each of my days. And I will hear the words that God spoke to the Apostle Paul and make them mine. "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU ..." 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9a Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 12 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 42
Posted by: hischild on Jul 17, 2012

The answer to "Why me?" is revealed in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 as Pastor Dave delivers this Sunday sermon at Zion. www.ziontorrance.info

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