Grace is a gift most of us don’t know how to receive. We’ve been so inundated with the earthly systems of give-and-get and work-and-earn that grace is a concept few ever fully grasp. Yet it’s grace alone that has the power to transform lives. Grace alone has the power to bring freedom to the captives. By grace alone we are saved. Today we’re launching a new series, taking time every day to discover and receive the grace of our good and loving Father.
“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
By the Grace of God | Bethel Music feat. Brian Johnson
It seems like everyday I discover new ways in which I am weak and in need. Whether it be sin, physical exhaustion or emotional dependence, I am constantly discovering my need for help. But daily I also discover a God who is wholly sufficient in all the ways I am weak. Daily I receive rejuvenation from my heavenly Father who seems to take these weaknesses of mine and use them for his kingdom.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But [God] 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.” What great comfort we can find in the words of Paul here. And what amazing love our heavenly Father has for us that he would bestow his sufficient grace upon us.
We serve a God who turns our greatest weakness into our greatest strength. In his grace, all he asks of us is to have a heart open, willing and receptive to him. Our God is one who comes down to us and lays down his life that we might live through him. He’s the King of kings who washes the feet of the very men who would betray him. He’s the God of compassion who heals the sick and spends time with the sinners rather than the pious. He has given up any form of personal gain to devote his entire existence to paving the way for us to have restored relationship with our heavenly Father.
We serve a God whose grace is wholly sufficient for us. In fact, it’s only in living by his grace that we are made strong. Your heavenly Father says, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” In Christ we can boast in our need; for our need is our greatest asset. Christ demonstrated through his ministry that he works powerfully when people simply acknowledge their need of him. From the woman desperate to touch his garment, to Zacchaeus the tax collector, to the paralyzed man lowered through the ceiling– God works incredible miracles in the lives of those who come before him with all their brokenness and need. His power is made perfect in those who simply cry out to him in desperation.
In contrast, we see those in Scripture who come before God thinking they have it all, and therefore receive nothing from him. Mark 10:17-27tells us of a rich, young ruler who came to Jesus asking for his help but was unwilling to trade worldly success for eternal relationship. In response to the young man’s unwillingness Jesus says, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”(Mark 10:23). I don’t believe Jesus was just talking about monetary wealth here, although money is most definitely included. I believe Jesus is making a statement about anyone who feels satisfied in themselves and the world apart from God. You can be poor and still receive nothing from God because you live pridefully without acknowledging your need. One of our greatest gifts is weakness because in acknowledging our weakness we make space for God to move and work. Those who are satisfied with worldly success, pleasure and possession make little room for the incredible wealth of love, peace, passion and joy God longs to give those who simply acknowledge their need of him.
You see, this life is not about possession whether it be little or much– it’s about the posture of your heart towards God. The abundant life God longs to give you will only be received in areas where you acknowledge your weakness and need. It was the thief hanging on the cross, acknowledging his own sin who received the gift of eternal life, not the pious and successful high priest who, in his pride, fought to crucify the very Savior he had been asking to come.
Posture your heart today as all those who have received the incredible wealth of the Lord’s love have before you. Ask the Spirit to show you your dependence and need of God if you don’t already know it. Ask God to humble you and make you receptive to all he longs to give. May it be his grace that is sufficient for you today, rather than your own strength. May it be his power that proves strong in your weakness. And may you experience today all the sufficient grace your heavenly Father longs to give.
1. Reflect on your own need of God. Ask the Spirit to reveal to you your weakness. Spend time acknowledging your own sin, selfishness, pride and brokenness.
“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
2. Receive the grace God longs to give you. Spend time receiving his love and enjoyment over you. Receive the love, forgiveness, joy and peace your heavenly Father longs to pour out on the broken and needy places of your heart.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
3. Ask God to move in power through your life today. Ask him to guide and help you accomplish what is set before you today through the power of the Spirit.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
No matter how gifted you are, God will always work through you to greater levels than you could accomplish on your own. Surrender your life to him and allow him to lead you to a lifetime of his unmerited favor. Every day as you wake up acknowledge your dependence on God that your day may be lived in the abundance available to you. There is no better prayer you could pray in the morning than one asking God for his love, grace and power in acknowledgement of your need of him.