MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU – PART 2
TEXT: II COR. 12: 9 - 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.
In this second of the series on the theme my grace is sufficient for you, we would be looking at an important lesson we ought not to forget about the grace of God. It is indeed the pillar upon which God’s grace upon our life can be sustained. It is a necessary quality that has distinguished the lives of men and women that God have worked with. This necessary ingredient is that of complete and absolute humility. Tragically, we have some children of God who have become conceited because God has worked through them and through their ministry. It is a reflection of their limited understanding about the grace of God and their lack of understanding on the person of our God.
If you look at the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ you would see that He would always acknowledge the father; even though He was equal with God (Phil.2:6). Many times in the bible, Jesus Christ confessed that He does nothing of His own except as He hears from the father. For instance, in Jn. 5:19, Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does (NIV). Similarly, in Jn. 14:10 Jesus Christ said “Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work” (NIV). In these passages, you can see our Lord Jesus Christ (whom we ought to emulate) demonstrating humility. Other references where our Lord Jesus Christ confessed to His dependence on God the father can be found in Jn.12:50; Jn.12:49; Jn.8:28; and Jn6:38.
Similarly, Apostle Paul displayed absolute humility throughout his ministry. Inspite of what God did through Him, he never failed to acknowledge the fact that all was due to the grace he received of God. In our passage, II Cor.12:9, Paul recognised that it is the grace of God that has made him to accomplish whatever he has accomplished. In so many other accounts, Paul never attributed any success to His own making and efforts. For instance, in Rom. 1:5, Paul said “Through Him and for His name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith (NIV). If you look at the passage, we learnt that grace is received; it is a gift; not necessarily dependent on your physical or intellectual abilities; a reason why we should not boast about it. Paul realising where he was coming from is very sincere about the source of his accomplishments. Perhaps, and probably learning from the experiences of people that were before him and those that have worked with him, he is always warning us about the dangers of been carried away by what God is doing through us. In Rom. 12:3 Paul warned, “ For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (NIV).
Again, in 1 Corinthians 15:10 Paul said “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (NIV). This leads us to another important fact about the grace of God. In this passage, we see Paul revealing to us the key (hard work) to the sustenance of God’s grace upon his life. When God gives the grace, He expects us to work with it and not to be complacent. In this passage Paul informed that in spite of the grace of God upon his life, he worked very hard to keep the grace. This corroborates what our Lord Jesus Christ was preaching in the parable of the talents recorded in Mt. 25:14-30 and Lk.19:12-28. The servants with the five talents made five more talents. For his being faithful, the master said in Mt.25: 21 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’. In contrast, when the lazy, 1 talent recipient failed to utilise the talent, the master took it from him and gave it to the faithful 5 talents recipient, who now had turned it into 10 talents. The master said in Mt.25:28 "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (NIV). I pray that we would not lose our talents in Jesus name.
In conclusion brethren, let us remember that we are what are by His grace alone. Whatever, we have attained in the physical or in the spiritual, we owe unto Him; and we should not take His grace for granted. Also, as it is often stated, to whom much is given much is expected. Let us learn from our Lord Jesus Christ as well as from Apostle Paul who informed that in spite of the grace of God upon his life, he is able to say that he worked harder than all others. What would be your testimony? Are you able to say that you have worked harder than all others in that which the Lord has committed unto you? How are you taking the grace of God upon your life?
May the Lord found you faithful in Jesus name.
Dr. Yinka Okude
RCCG, Jesus Sanctuary, Northampton