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Being Weak for the Power of God’s Glory

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Christine's Corner
Study His Word

It was late; well past bedtime, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of BJ’s. I was alone, frozen in shock, and my world was crashing down around me.

Learning of lies and betrayal had tears falling as the shock slowly thawed. My marriage was over. I remember the despair and fear I felt as I thought of the future. What was I going to do? I will admit that I cried long and hard but eventually found myself leaning on the only thing I knew would keep me strong.

My relationship with Jesus.

His love held me tight as my marriage died. His presence filled me as I looked to Him for how to walk through this new normal I found myself in. His grace enabled me to walk the path He wanted me to walk.

When I think of the grace Jesus showed the world before his death, I am simply in awe. To think of how he was beaten and mocked but still prayed God would forgive them is an example of the grace I wanted to share. I see God’s Grace as His Spirit working in me and guiding me to act and treat others in a manner pleasing to Him.

There was no way I could do this alone; I needed his divine influence to guide me.

We can choose how we move forward.

Everyone goes through hardships that mock our past, stills our present, and taints our future….if we let it.

As I look at verse 9 of 2 Corinthians 12, my eyes zero in on the words grace, sufficient, and weakness. I desperately wanted to have God’s grace, to react as He would have reacted to wrongs done to him. This verse gave me hope and courage to be obedient, knowing that He would show me the way when I was at my weakest. The Lord would use it to show His glory.

 It’s a beautiful thing to know that while we may feel broken inside, we can trust the Lord to give us His strength. When we open our heart and soul to him, the majesty of who he is will reveal the miracle that He is.

Even more, as I healed, people saw a transformation, a strength I didn’t have before. That strength was God’s grace and his grace alone. It’s a gift He extends to us all; we need to open our hearts to Him and accept it.

Trusting God in your faith

You may be in the middle of a situation that has you wondering how to move forward. You may feel scared and alone but know you are not. Our Savior is big enough to handle any hurt or injustice done. Not only does God say he will never leave us nor forsake us, but his grace will set you free. Free in the sense that you can lean on him in your most dire times, knowing his grace will sustain and strengthen you.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the grace you so willingly give to me. I ask that you pour out your grace and fill me with your strength in my moments of weakness; I pray your glory and grace shine through me for the world to see the power of your grace. Amen.

Our Bodies are like Clay jars, being molded by God.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
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Jars of Clay

Have you ever read God’s Word to find it didn’t speak to you in any way in particular? I have often read the bible as if it was a calming story that gave me comfort. However, when I read these specific verses, it was like sitting in a math class ( I am not a math person), and the equation on the board finally made perfect sense.

I have to say 2 Corinthians 4: 7-10 speaks to my heart in a way not many other verses do. I am not saying it is more significant than others, for every verse is incredibly valuable. However, when I read these verses the first time, it was like my heart started to thump in my chest.

How quickly things can change

I was at a dinner with friends when they teased me for believing in Jesus and the bible. It was all in fun and not meant to hurt. Unfortunately, something in the air changed, and the attack began. No longer were we enjoying a great meal, the onslaught of how “my God” was vicious and mean. Their comments were if any God would turn someone into a pillar of salt (the story of Sodom and Gomorrah) for not “obeying,” he was not a God he wanted to know.

No one likes the idea of being mocked for what you believe. Being laughed at can be one of the most humiliating experiences. As a new believer, I could not defend or explain my belief in Jesus and the Bible. It wasn’t the lack of desire to do so; it was where I was at in my walk.

Well, to say I was stunned into silence is an understatement. I was heartbroken these people I called friends would rage at me over something they clearly did not understand. The thing that made me want to sob was knowing their hearts were so hard toward God, and their ears would not hear anything I were to say.

Drawing closer to Jesus

I found myself thinking and rethinking that conversation for a very long time. It made me think of how Jesus must have felt as he traveled, sharing his amazing truths. How many people did he share the Good News to have it fall on deaf ears? How that must of devastated him.

At first, when I think of the brutality he endured on the cross for us, to cover our sins with his blood, I want to cry. But then, by chance, I read 2 Corinthians 4: 7-10, and the light bulb went off. It says we will be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, but it also says we would not be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed.

It also says this treasure in jars of clay shows that the power belongs to God. It helps us relate more to our God and brings us closer together. Friends, the jars of clay are our bodies, and the treasure it holds is the Holy Spirit, Jesus in us. Nothing can crush, drive us to despair, forsake or destroy us because we have that treasure in us to guide us.

I know the life of Jesus is seen through my responses to the affliction and persecution Christians often face. It allows us to feel a fraction of what Jesus must have felt when he shared the good news, only to be mocked or turned away. For me, it is a way for others to see Jesus through my actions. I feel a closeness to Jesus because I know he dealt with the same injustices that I do.

Turning hurts into joy

As I have grown in my walk with Jesus, my deepest desire is to be obedient to God’s calling for me. I have learned over the years not to focus on the hurts that are waiting around every corner. But to expect Jesus to be there with me and show me how I can use this body, he gave me to express care and love to those who use words and actions to hurt others. My friends, not everyone will be open to what I, or maybe you, will share, but that is ok. We need to share, plant the seed and let God do the rest. With great joy, I can say I focus more on using the Spirit in me to share love and happiness. I know Jesus will do the rest.

Heavenly Father, I pray people to see you acting through me to show and share your love, peace, and strength.

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week Two-Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

A Study of Genesis 17-20

We pick up in chapter 17 this week, God appears to Abraham and tells him that God is going to multiply his house and bless his descendants. We also see circumcision introduced.  Circumcision is a way for Gods people to uphold Gods covenant. God also gives Abram and Sarai new names, Abram is now Abraham and Sarai. Sarah gets some astonishing news, she is told she will give Abraham a son, even though she is well advanced in age. He will be named Isaac.

Abraham has three guest and excitedly puts everyone to work preparing food for them to enjoy. He learns they are discussing the towns where his nephew, Lot and his family, live, Sodom and Gomorrah. These are two very corrupt towns, God judged and sentenced them to be destroyed.

This is what I love, Abraham goes to God and pleads to save any righteous people found there. He started by asking if God would spare the town if just 50 righteous people found there. God promised he would. That is how much our God loves us! He will always give us the opportunity to repent. Abraham eventually was able to get the town spared if only 10 people were found righteous.  As we know from the story, Lot left with only his wife and two daughters. 

The Lesson

As they were fleeing, they were told not to look back, unfortunately, Lots wife did just that and was turned into a pillar of salt. I used to believe that it was a matter of her being disobedient. What I have learned through my studies is that it was because she did not want to let go of what she was leaving behind. A lifestyle in Sodom that was steeped in wickedness.

We finish this week with Abraham and Sarah settled in Gerar. Once again he takes matters into his own hands. He lets people think that Sarah is is sister. She was a beautiful woman and was taken by the king. God promised Abraham He would be with him, protect and bless him, but still Abraham took matters into his own hands. He still struggles with trusting God completely. 

Though we may be tempted to take over for God because of course, we think we know what’s best for us! 🙂 We must realize that no one knows us better than God and his plan for us is beyond perfect. We have to give up control and trust in HIM! The more we look over our shoulder at the past we will never be able to receive what God has in store for our future. 

Prayer and Encouragement

I pray this week brings you peace and comfort in that God does have control. That you do not have to fix what seems to be broken. I pray you step back and accept what He wants you to have. HIM! If you missed last week’s lesson, click here.

Until next week my friends. 

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week One – Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

A study of Genesis 12-16

It wasn’t until I started this particular study that I understood what a covenant is. A covenant is a PROMISE. In a biblical context, it is a promise from God to His people. Because we know our God is everything He says He is and does everything he says He will do; we can let ourselves absorb the meaning of that word. The covenant of God is His perfect promise to us. This study picks up in Chapter 12 of the book of Genesis. Our first week’s homework was based on chapters 12-16.

In these chapters we see a lack of trust in God, lying, favoritism, manipulation, and selfishness. Unfortunately, this is in reference to God’s chosen people; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and subsequently, their wives, Sarai, Rebekah, and Rachel.

These men, time and time again, didn’t trust our God enough to let Him do what He promised. Instead, they took matters into their own hands. And when it wasn’t them, it was their wives, giving maids to their husbands so children could be born or rearranging things for favorite sons to take what rightfully belonged to others.

The Lesson

When I was reading about these people I was amazed at how God responded; with love, and forgiveness. He offered compassion, and redemption, still giving promises of what He was going to do for them. In Genesis 12:1-3 God promised to make Abram a great nation, that He would bless him, He would make his name great, that Abram would be a blessing, and those that bless him will be blessed.

God didn’t stop there, He promised to bless all the families on earth. God made these promises in and through this week’s study as we shall learn. I learned that when God makes a covenant He will keep His word. He never changes, He never breaks His word. This week, I wondered A LOT why God used such dysfunctional people. Now I firmly believe it has to be to show us that God can use broken people in mighty ways. 

Prayer and Encouragement

My prayer this week is for you to know, deep inside, that God is always true to what the scripture says about him. That you can trust Him to always be the same, and never to break his word, just waiting for the opportunity to show you how dependable he is.

If you are in the midst of trial and just don’t know what to do, I pray that you take the step that could be life-changing. As we see in chapters 12-16, we as people can’t handle some of the things sent our way but God can! I pray that God keeps his hand on you this coming week, that you feel his presence and you find rest in it. Until next week my friends.