Digging Deep: Strength in Weakness (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)
Psalm 1describes the blessed person as one who has dug deep into God’s Word, making it the source of his daily meditation. In pursuit of this kind of blessed life, we briefly review the sermon from the previous Sunday. May you be like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in its season (Psalm 1:3). This week we look back at Pastor Kim’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.
“So the danger here… isn’t simply the ugly personality trait of being a bit arrogant, it is the idolatrous and rebellious robbing God of his glory; of raising ourselves up so that we become the greatest object of our own affections; of living as if we are the center of our own self-made universe. Most of us don’t think we are conceited because we are smart enough not to sound boastful, however if we are honest with ourselves, we are constantly tempted to exalt ourselves. By this I don’t mean simply, ‘I think I am so great… let me exalt myself,’ rather, we are constantly tempted to exalt our opinions, exalt our sense of importance, and maybe most consistently exalt our desires. One lexicon defined this word has ‘having an undue sense of one’s importance’ – I think that describes humanity, ‘an undue sense of one’s importance.’ My problem isn’t that I think I am better than everyone else, my problem is that I often live as if I am more important than everyone else.”
Is God using a trial to show you your pride or need for greater humility? In what areas of your life are you tempted to exalt yourself? (think of how you are at work or school, with your spouse or children). Spend some time in prayer, repenting and asking for grace to change.
Quote by Tim Chester, “Our problem is that we think of ourselves as being at the center of the world. We think of our lives as a story and, if we’re Christians, God is one of the characters in our story. We look for him when we need him and expect him to be grateful when we serve him. He’s a lovely piece of our story, but we still think of it as our story. But it’s not our story. It’s God’s story. Of course there is a sense in which God is there for us. But the bigger reality is that we’re there for God. We exist to give him glory. He doesn’t owe us anything, not even explanations. Meanwhile, we owe him everything as our Creator and Redeemer.It’s so much better to be a minor character in God’s story than to try to write our own script. Living with God at the center is the good and sane life. It’s better to enjoy the warmth of the sun than to light a bonfire in our home. It’s better to reflect the glory of God than to be consumed by the empty pursuit of our own glory.”
How can your life look different this week if you live not as if God is a part of your story, but as if you are a part of God’s story? What practical ways could you live that out?
“The thing is, [grace and power] will look unique and different in each of our lives. Some of you are trying to overcome sin. Some of you are trying to forgive someone who has devastated you. Some of you are trying to share the gospel with someone you love. Some of you are trying to endure emotional or physical pain. Some of you are trying to survive the crushing circumstances of life. To all of you Jesus would say, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…’ Beloved, don’t be discouraged by your weakness, embrace them and stand beneath the waterfall of God’s grace.”
Think of a current trial and then spend time writing down all the ways God has been gracious to you and sustained you. Praise him for his powerful grace!