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P.R.A.Y.E.R Journal for Sunday July 7, 2024 God's Grace and Humility, 2 For.12 2-12


Pray:

 Gracious and Loving God

  We worship and praise you.  Open our hearts to your grace.  Help us to understand with humility our weaknesses and our need for your infinite power, presence, and wisdom.  Make known among and within us your strength, that we might experience with grace and humility the power of your love and calling on our lives together.

Read:  2 Corinthians 12:2-12 

Apply:

·      Read the following verses.

 

“but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong”  (verses 9&10).

 

·      What is Paul trying to say about grace and humility? 

·      Write down one of your weaknesses and ask yourself how God might be able to strengthen you with grace and humility.

 Yield:

 How will you yield to God’s ways this week?

 Engage: 

 List the ways that you are the hands and feet of Jesus. 

 Remember: 

 Where have you seen God this past week? Remember to give God praise and thanks.

 

 Sermon Notes


Check out the commentary from UMC Discpleship.Org


Introducion:

Kayce and I visited Hendersonville N.C., a couple weeks ago. One of our favorite lunch spots is in the downtown area called The Three Chopt Sub Shop.  The owner is a Cincinnati Reds fan and has memorabilia all over the walls.  He also has a lot of simple rules for life posted in various places that I find interesting. I found this wall hanging to be very interesting, and decided to use it for today’s message.

We all know that life really is not that simple and at times can be very challenging yet when you try to apply the Bible to our life, many of the lessons can be pretty simple, especially when we are talking about our faith. Which brings me to our scripture lesson today from 2 Corinthians.

      When I first read our Bible passage today the first two words that popped in my head were grace and humility. to consider living with weakness and with strength. It takes an amazing amount of humility to recognize that some of the most important teachings of life are pretty basic and really simple—like faith.

      Faith is really simple. It’s not easy, unfortunately, but it is simple. Love God; love neighbor. Simple. Do as you would have others do to you. I like rule number 7: SMILE you don't own all the worlds problems. All of these rules for life seem simple. Let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe. Now that’s “pretty” simple. 

      But not easy. And why is it not easy? Because we don’t know how, or we think we know how and don’t want to learn. Or we think we used to know and refuse to be taught again. Or we think we should just be able to do it, to live the kind of life we long for without effort, without training and discipline. And maybe we should be able to. But we aren’t. We don’t. We can’t know enough. Or stuff gets in the way. Irritations distract us. Difficulties derail us. Suffering prevents us.

Conclusion

Paul’s point here, like his point earlier, is not really to draw attention to himself —despite what it might sound like as you read these verses. He is inviting us to see an opportunity for humility. When you are hurting, when you are weak, that’s the moment when you might finally realize that you need help, that you need to learn, that you need something you can’t supply for yourself. This thorn in the flesh is a tool, a teaching tool to keep Paul focused on the source of goodness and wholeness and joy in his life. And it isn’t himself or his accomplishments. It is the God who saves him, the God he experiences in the life of the community of faith, the God who speaks to him through many voices and in many moments.

      Notice too that this thorn doesn’t come from God. God doesn’t cause suffering to get us to pay attention or to change our ways or our thinking—despite what some loud voices in our world today are trying to tell us. Suffering isn’t punishment. But God can use any occasion, any circumstance to help us grow and learn, if we pay attention, if we ask in humility, then I think we will simply continue to grow and learn

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