Tag Archives: 2 Corinthians 9:8

To the God who is able and who is greater than all

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy.  Jude 24

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  John 10:29

Have you ever  had bad stretches where things are just hard?  I’ve been in one of those stretches.  It’s kind of like that book, Alexander’s No Good Horrible Day that overstays its welcome.  I messed up my shoulder this summer from a pickle ball injury, just short of a rotator cuff tear.  Someone suggested I should come up with a better story than that, but in the interest of truth, it wasn’t from sky diving or fighting a bear–just a collision in pickle ball gone bad.  And it has lingered to the point where my left arm has not been useable for two months, in constant pain, and I’m awaiting a cortisone shot that will hopefully fix things a bit.

In the middle of that I went to the eye doctor thinking I needed new glasses and I found out instead that I had cataracts.  This week I go to get the first eye done, and the next soon thereafter.  I don’t appreciate getting cataract advise from people twenty years older than myself.  But apparently with computers and UV rays, younger people are getting them.  But it doesn’t fit into my busy school schedule.

Doesn’t pain know  this isn’t a good time?  I had to get a shot in the rump the other day just to make it through the day.  So the two above verses are well timed words of encouragement, cups of cold water in the desert:

God is ableGod is able, and He is greater than all.  Aren’t they good words?  No matter what we face and when–God is able.  Ephesians 3:20 starts with the same proclamation: Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.  And 2 Corinthians 9:8, And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  All things at all times for every good work.

Do you get it?   God is able.  Do I get it?  God is able.  Get my eyes off of  my issues and put them on the God who is able.

And He is greater than all.  It is one thing to boast about your                                   football  team that you God is greaterthink is better than everyone, but then that team gets beat.   God never gets beat, so you never have to go to work on Monday and eat crow.  God always wins!  We can boast about Him all the time.  So why don’t we?  We know 1 John 4:4, Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

So it is time for us/me to live like it.  What’s a little pain, or a few setbacks?  Paul said, Our light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, in 2 Corinthians 4:17.  They are nothing compared to the glory that awaits us.

There, I’m encouraged already.  I hope you are too.

*Images by lovethispic.com; engageyourstory.com

 

 


God’s abundant grace that enables our obedience

the-power-of-gods-grace

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

This last summer I read a book by a Chinese man, Bob Fu called “God’s Double Agent.”  It’s a great story about his path to finding Jesus in the midst of communist China where this was not allowed politically.  He and his wife named their first daughter “Fengsheng de endian” which is abundant grace in Chinese.  Abundant means rich, plentiful, luxuriant and full of substance.  That name has stuck with me since.  To name a child ‘Abundant Grace’ is so awesome.

Paul wrote in Romans 1:5,We have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations.”  It was only by God’s grace that Paul became an apostle and was able to do the things he did.  One of the meanings of grace (besides it being an undeserved gift) is God’s enabling power that He gives to us to do what we are called to do.

It is also God’s enabling power to obey by faith, to have the kind of faith that leads to obedience.  If we do what we do in our own strength, we get the glory.  If we do what we’re called to do by God’s enabling power and grace, He gets the glory and we get the help.  And as Romans 1:5 states, we get God’s abundant grace to bring glory to God’s great name among all the nations.

Let’s break that down a little.  One of my all time favorite movies is “Chariots of Fire.”  In the movie Eric Liddle tells his sister in his lilting Scottish brogue,  “I know God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast.  And when I run I feel His pleasure.”  When Eric acted on the longings God gave to him, Eric glorified God.  God gives different people different longings.  When we obey those longings and walk in them, He gives us the grace to make what we do look easy.

For some, it is motherhood.  That is the longing of their heart and they do it incredibly well with the enabling grace that God provides.   But using motherhood as an example, it isn’t an end in itself.  According to Romans 1:5, God gives mothers the grace to be good mothers not to put their children on a throne and to be absorbed by endless soccer games and scrapbooking to chronicle their every day.  He does it to bring glory to His name through families, with the end of making His great name known among the nations.

Just how a family, a mother or an individual will bring God glory will be revealed by God as they  faithfully, obediently and Jesus-centeredly live out their lives.  And as we call on Him, He will pour out His abundant grace that enables us to be obedient and His abundant grace to overflow into others’ lives for the sake of God’s great name.

“Once more, never think that you can live to God by your own power or strength; but always look to and rely on Him for assistance, yea, for all strength and grace.” ~ David Brainerd, Missionary