Trusting God’s Strength… 2 Corinthians 12:9

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verse is 2Corinthians 12:9. What a verse!

Sometimes I get frustrated when I’m expected to do something I’m not sure I can do. Sometimes I get frustrated when I realize I can’t do what I hoped I could do. I’m sure you sometimes have these same frustrations.

But, this verse reminds us we are not expected to do it. NONE of us! At least, we are not expected to do it in our own strength…

God expects us to do NOTHING without Him! And, those things we can do without Him, are things that are temporary… or aren’t of much significance.

God does not call you because of your strengths. God calls you, knowing your weaknesses, doubts, and insecurities. In fact, God created you with weaknesses! And, since He’s God, He couldn’t have made a mistake.

Is it possible He created you with weaknesses in order to keep you on your knees before Him?

God won’t let you use weaknesses as an excuse for not doing what He’s asking you to do. If God is calling you to a monumental task, then He’ll give you everything you need to complete the task, starting with the Holy Spirit working within you.

The less you think you can do on your own, the more you’ll trust Him! Knowing our weaknesses leads to trusting God’s strengths!!

This Week’s Memory Verse… 2 Corinthians 12:9

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9. Let’s memorize what Paul said together, one phrase at a time…

“And He said to me,

‘My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’

Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

This Week’s Memory Verse… 2 Corinthians 5:20,21

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verses are 2 Corinthians 5:20,21. Let’s memorize them together, a phrase at a time:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God were pleading through us:

we implore you on Christ’s behalf,

be reconciled to God.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,

that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

A New You… 2 Corinthians 5:17

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17… “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

This verse is talking about Renewal… replacing that which is worn or old.

Not renovation, which is only replacing enough worn or old parts to be put back into good condition.

Not restoration, which is only bringing something worn or old back to its original condition.

Not refreshing, which is only polishing up the exterior.

Not rejuvenation, which is only making something as it was when it was young.

This is renewal. God renews us… making us as if we are new again.

Think about that… with a smile on your face!

This Week’s Memory Verse… 2 Corinthians 5:17

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;

old things have passed away;

behold, all things have become new.”

Let’s memorize this verse together… a phrase at a time!

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verse is 2Corinthians 5:10… and deals with the Judgment Seat of Christ… the believer’s final reckoning with the Lord.

In 2Cor. 5:1-8, Paul has been speaking of how we as believers have a desire to be with the Lord and receive our glorified bodies. But, just as glorious as that truth is, the fact that our lives are going to be judged is just as sobering.

There are 2 ways of assessing value on your life:
1. Carnally: “How much am I worth, and how important am I?”
2. Spiritually: “What have I done with my life in relation to Jesus Christ and what He has done for me?”

In 2Cor. 5:9, Paul says that – above all else – he is trying to please the Lord because his life will be judged!

I. This is not a judgment to determine fitness for Heaven!

Lost people will be judged because of sin. Christians will be judged for the works/fruit of their lives.
The sins of Christians will have already been judged at the cross of Calvary (v..21)!
If we are in Him, we are the righteousness of God (v.21).
There will be no Great White Throne Judgment for the Christian; only lost people will be there!

II. We shall appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ!
The word “appear” = ‘made manifest’ or ‘stripped down’.
The “judgment seat” = the bema seat… where rewards are awarded.
The fruit/works of our lives will be placed in the fire of God’s judgment (1Cor. 3:13-15).
Only that which is profitable and good and godly will last; the rest will be burned up by God’s judgment.
Every thought, word, deed, opportunity – missed or seized, motive – wrong or right, accomplishment, priority, etc. will be there! Good or bad!
Christians will be rewarded for the good, and suffer loss for the bad.

III. How can I increase the value of my life in the eyes of Christ?
See 2Cor. 5:14,15. We were dead in our sins… Christ died to give us life… We should not live for ourselves, but for Christ!

ILL: Imagine if someone saved your life… and you never said “thank you”, or sent them a card, or remembered their name, or told others about them… You would never do that!

Paul said, “I am constrained by the love of Christ…” It got hold of him… just as it should every Christian! It wouldn’t leave him alone; he couldn’t get it off his mind. It was his motivation!
What Christ did for Paul shaped everything he did! And the same should be true for us!!
Every decision, every conversation, every activity, everything! When motives are right, the deeds will be right and profitable.

CONCL:
What is motivating your life?  Is it your own selfishness?  Is it the wisdom and the ways of the world?  The only way to face the judgment to come is:

  1. be saved by the grace of God, and
  2. live a life that is motivated by love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

This Week’s Memory Verse… 2 Corinthians 5:10

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a verse (or verses) of Scripture.

This week’s memory verse is 2 Corinthians 5:10. Let’s memorize it together… phrase by phrase:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,

that each one may receive the things done in the body,

according to what he has done,

whether good or bad.

Are you ready for that day this verse describes? Do you think Christ will be pleased with the verdict?

This Week’s Memory Verse… 2 Corinthians 4:18

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s verse is 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Let’s memorize it together… a phrase at a time…

while we do not look at the things which are seen,

but at the things which are not seen.

For the things which are seen are temporary,

but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

This Week’s Memory Verse… 1 Corinthians 10:31

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). Then, I preach my Sunday night sermon from that verse.

This week’s verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31… and should be easier to memorize than some:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Let’s memorize the verse… then live it.

Some Truths About Temptation… 1 Corinthians 10:13

Each week this year, I am challenging myself to memorize a Scripture verse (or verses). This week’s memory verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13…

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (NIV).

Let’s look at 7 principles about TEMPTATION that are given in this one verse…

1. TEMPTATION IS “COMMON TO MAN”
Everybody experiences some kind of temptation. Even Jesus Himself was tempted in all points (Heb. 4:15). The Lord was not exempted.

2. TEMPTATION IS UNIQUE TO “YOU”
We are all tempted, but we are all tempted differently. And what might be a temptation for you might not be for me… and vice-versa. We have different weaknesses and different degrees of weakness. I may be weak in money matters, so God allows me to be tested in this area with the purpose of strengthening me in this area. Your weakness may be in sexual matters, so God allows you to be tested in that area with the purpose of making you stronger in resisting sexual temptations.

3. TEMPTATION PROVES THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
Paul says the grace of God increases proportionate to the degree of sin (Romans 5:20). What he means is that the greater the sin the more grace is required. But, it is no excuse to sin as Paul is very careful to point out (Romans 6:1).

4. GOD WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO BE TEMPTED “BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN BEAR”
God knows your strength. He knows what you can bear. If you are a “babe in Christ,” like a 1st-grade teacher, He will only give you a 1st-grade test. Would you give your 3-year old boy a 50-pound bag of rice to carry? Of course not. So where did you get the idea God will allow a problem that is beyond your ability to carry? Are you a better at fathering that God?

5. TEMPTATION IS CERTAIN
Our text does not say “if” you are tempted, but “when” you are tempted. In other words, it’s just a matter of when. Problems are sure to come. The question is, are you ready? Do you know how to handle temptation? Do you know what the Word of God teaches about temptation? When are you going to prepare yourself?

6. “GOD WILL PROVIDE A WAY OUT”
Maybe it’s a mistake for us to pray, “God, I pray You will take this problem away” or “Lord, please spare me from trouble.” It is true Jesus teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation” (Matt. 6:13).
But, I don’t think our verse is telling us to ask God to make a way around our problems. If you read the text right, you will see you are already in the problem. “The way out” then, is God’s overpowering triumph and deliverance from the problem.
Don Moen wrote a song that teaches this idea…
God will make a way, where there seems to be no way;
He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide; hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day.
He will make a way. He will make a way.

7. GOD WILL HELP YOU TO STAND UP UNDER TEMPTATION
The moment you decide to trust God, He will infuse His strength through the Holy Spirit so you can say with Paul, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). He will help you go through the problem with peace in your heart and a song in your lips. You will be like the three Jewish young men who were thrown into the furnace of fire by the decree of Nebuchadnezzar. But you have to have the attitude of those young men who boldly proclaimed to the king, “If you throw us into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from the furnace. He will save us from your power, O king. But even if God does not save us, we want you, O king, to know this: We will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Daniel 3:17,18).