Volume. XXV, No. 3
Sunday, 18 July 2010

Gods Sufficiency

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10).

This paradox “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10b) is the secret to Paul’s enduring and endearing service for God. Paul endured more than most men could endure, yet he constantly felt his bodily frailty. He worked much harder than most. He had been in prison more frequently than others. Paul had been flogged more severely and had been exposed to death again and again. Five times he was whipped by the Jews. Three times he was beaten by rods. Once he was stoned. Paul had laboured and toiled and had gone without sleep more than others. He had known danger and thirst and had gone without food. Paul had been cold and naked. Besides everything else, he faced the daily pressure of his concern for all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). His afflictions and his feelings of weaknesses made him constantly dependent upon God’s sustaining power.
Paul was no wimp when he encountered afflictions and infirmities. In fact, he welcomed and gloried in them for he knew that the power of Christ would dwell in him. Indeed, when we are weak in ourselves then we are strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we look outside of ourselves to Christ we receive strength from Him and experience His divine strength and grace.
Jesus Christ understands us and knows our needs and He will strengthen us. If we recognise our limitations, we will turn to God. We must rely on God to be effective in Him and for Him rather than relying on our own simple energy, effort or talent. Our weakness not only helps us to develop Christian character, it also deepens our worship, for in admitting our weakness we affirm God’s strength.
When we are strong in our resources or abilities, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own terms and that leads to pride. This is a formula for failure. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could be on our own. God does not intend for us to be weak, passive or ineffective but when we are confronted with these, we must turn to God and depend on Him. Only His power makes us effective vessels for Him and enables us to do work that has everlasting value.
The greater our weakness and trials for Christ, the more grace God will give us to accomplish His will. What He bestows on us is always sufficient for us to live our daily lives, do work for Him and to endure our sufferings. 1 Corinthians 10:13 teaches us that “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” As long as we draw near to Christ, Christ will bestow His heavenly strength and comfort on us.
The good will of God towards us is enough to enlighten and enliven us, sufficient to strengthen us and comfort us, to support our souls and cheer up our spirits, in all afflictions and distresses at all times. We can be strong in Him. The greater our weaknesses and trials for Christ, the more grace God will give us to accomplish His will.
We should glory and see eternal value in our weaknesses, for they cause the power of Christ to descend on us and dwell within us that we might be strong for the gospel’s sake as we walk through life toward our heavenly home. James 4:8 teaches us to “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”
The above paradox teaches us that Christian spirituality delights in weakness; because only in the acceptance and confession of weakness do we find supernatural grace of God flowing down to meet our needs. Our dependency must be on God. God never fails because He knows our needs and weaknesses.
To quote Tyndale: “Our strengths and abilities make us useful. It is our weaknesses that make us usable. Our skills and talents make us tools, but our failures and shortcomings remind us that we need a Craftsman in control of our lives. Whatever we accomplish on our own is only a hint of what God could do through our lives.” Submit in humility to be used by God.
Many people believe that to survive in this world a person must be tough, strong, unbending and harsh. This is the premise for unbelievers and the world at large. But listen to what God has to say in Zechariah 4:6. God says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit”. It is only through God that anything of lasting value is accomplished.
The paradox of the cross is that only in humiliation do we find God exalting us. Only in dying do we find God making us alive. Only in throwing our lives away do we find God giving life back to us. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6) for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5b).
Let us endeavour to walk by faith and not by feeling or sight knowing that if we totally depend on God we can be encouraged by Paul’s words to the Philippians when he testified that he can do all things in Christ who strengthens him.
We too can exercise the same conviction as Paul if we surrender ourselves to God and boldly proclaim that only “when I am weak then am I strong”. Thank God for His grace and His sustaining power. Indeed, our sufficiency is of God. He is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.
Dn Tony Law.

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang.
*Special thanks to all Sunday School teachers, organizers, helpers, food/drink/transport providers for the VBS.
*Budget proposals by all groups to be handed to Church Treasurer by today.
*All leaders to hand in their reports for financial year 1 Jul 2009 - 30 Jun 2010 to Dn Edwin D’Mello by 31 July.
*Next Lord’s Day - Fellowship Lunch will be outsourced. $5 per person. Free for children under 5 years old.
Looking Ahead
*ACM & Session Election, Sat, 21 Aug, at 7:30pm.
*Ordination & Installation of 6th Session, Sun, 29 Aug.
*Baptism, Confirmation & Membership Transfer, Sun, 5 Sept.
*Gospel Sunday, 12 Sept, at 7.30pm. Speaker: Dn Edwin D’Mello
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Pr Hai Seng Lim (Melb); Bro Gabriel & Sis Grace Lee & family (Adl); Bro Terence & Sis Evelyn Lee & family (Per); Sisters Cindy Chan, Shu Ai Cho, Melissa Chong, Lydia Fan, Vanessa Tan & others (Bris/GC); Michelle Lee & Shannen Seow (Adl); Catherine Teng (Qld); & others who have travelled.
2. Ministry of Pr Hai Seng Lim at VBS last week; organisers, helpers, parents & children.
3. Church activities - over the past week.
4. Delivery of a healthy boy for Mrs Sonya Rand (Lond).
5. Daily mercies, protection & guidance.
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao (Melb), Len & Richard Pearson, & Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. Healing & health - Bro Winston Selvanayagam
3. Cambodia Missions - Pr Zhang & Mandarin Ministry (Sihanoukville); Khmer pastors & their ministries in rural villages.
4. Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung - Missions work (Mindanao)
5. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry.
6. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman & Board.
7. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
8. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
9. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
10. Journey mercies: Bro Gabriel & Sis Grace Lee & family (Per); Sisters Cindy Chan, Shu Ai Cho, Melissa Chong, Lydia Fan, Vanessa Tan & others (Adl); Catherine Teng (Adl); Bro Jason & Sis Corinne Teng (Syd/Adl); & all others who are travelling.
11. ACM & 6th Session Election on Sat, 21 August.
12. Job - Sisters Xandrea Cai, Judy Li, Corinne Teng & Mag Yu (S’pore).
13. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Mira Horenung & Demelza Ting. 
14. Preaching of God’s Word at VBS will bring salvation to the many children who came.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041