But He (Jesus) 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Do you need an upgrade? Whatever device you use, upgrades are part of life. If you are online, your computer and your software need to be up to date. If you are on your smartphone, the operating system needs to be up to date as well. Your smart TV or Blu-ray player need updates. The necessity for updates is not simply derived from the desire for better things. No, in our world, they are a necessity.
Upgrades and updates are a necessity because there are people who like to steal your information. Updates and upgrades are essential because there are people who like to destroy your computers for fun. In order to stave off cyber threats, companies must constantly update their software. In order to use the Internet or anything connected in the cloud, we all must update our devices or upgrade our technology in order to be safe.
But wouldn't it be great if what we had for our software, spyware and hardware was totally sufficient, not just meager and adequate for the moment? Wouldn't you love it if your computers and phones reminded you that no upgrades or no updates were required any longer?
Well, that's the tension in our lesson for today. The apostle Paul thought he needed an upgrade for his life. He had a thorn in his flesh. He had a condition that made him feel insufficient. He prayed to the Lord to remove it. But Jesus did not address the insufficiency in Paul. He reminded Paul that His grace is sufficient for him in all things.
In our sermon yesterday, Paul emphatically reminded us too that in Christ we are "free at last" as sons and daughters, eternal heirs of God through Jesus Christ. The point? That which God gives you is enough. You don't need to look around for more. You don't need to supplant what God has given to you. He gives exactly what you need: His grace. Sufficient. For you.
In a world in which everything is in constant need of a better solution, a new idea, or the next innovation, God teaches us to rest securely in His grace. Psalm 46:10a says it this way: "Be still and know that I am God." Rest. Peace. In Him.
We can rest in God because He has accomplished all that we need. Jesus, on the cross, said, "It is finished" (see John 19:30). Paul reminds the Corinthians that "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are all 'Yes' in Christ" (2 Corinthians1:20a, NIV). Your sins. Forgiven. Eternal life. Yours.
And, incredibly, this God who provides for all our spiritual needs is with us daily as well. He invites us to trust in Him for daily bread. He encouraged us to trust that He will care for us more than He does the sparrows and the plants.
Updates. Upgrades ... for you computers, for your phones, yes, but for your life with God. No, God tells us that His grace in Christ is sufficient, period. Think about what that clear word from God to you really means, for life today, tomorrow and forever.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please strengthen my faith in You. Give me confidence to know and to believe that all I need, I have in You, by grace through faith in Christ. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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