Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany my weekend sermon on June 6/7, “When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong" (2 Corinthians 12:7–10). The questions can be used for discussion in small groups or for personal reflection.
- Paul’s first response (v. 7)
- Jesus’s answer (v. 7)
- Paul’s final response (vv. 8–10)
Main Point: Paul prizes human weakness because it is a prerequisite for the display of divine strength.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he 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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
Brian Walker pointed me to the website of H.B. Charles, Jr, who says a blind and deaf Christian was asked why he attended church, since he could not see or hear the service. He answered, “I just want people to know which side I’m on.”
The following was posted at the Women's Ministry blog today, as encouragement to register for the upcoming Spring Conference, featuring Nancy Guthrie as speaker. The deadline for the early discount rate is quickly approaching! MOMS, register now!
Guest post by Laura Wifler:
I’m sitting here with a big stack of books in front of me overwhelmed with gratefulness to God for his work in the lives of those who have written these books or have lived the stories in these books. Most have been through deep waters of suffering and come out on the other side with an understanding and wisdom richer and more valuable than much gold. James uses the phrase “the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). The word meekness means humbly patient and long-suffering.
So many families are facing the hard and perplexing reality of having their child diagnosed with a developmental disorder. Acronyms like PDD-NOS, ADHD, RAD, FASD, OCD and ODD are scribbled onto a child’s records with increasing frequency. Almost one child in 100 has an autism spectrum diagnosis. A diagnosis is helpful in some ways for families. It can open the door to receiving medical, therapeutic and educational support. A diagnosis also sheds some light and gives helpful insight to parents or others who are in a child’s life.
Greg Lucas is too good a writer to remain a cop. He tells the diaper-fouling story of a strong teenaged son with the mental capacity of a 2-year-old who makes daily routines a violent battle. His story of love, disability, and lessons of grace published by Cruciform Press, in Wrestling With an Angel, is compact, like dynamite. Want a few sticks to explode in your heart? Here are a dozen brief excerpts:
Here are some gems from the disability conference at the north campus today.
“We don’t have incredibly bad luck [in losing children], but we are in the hands of God.” –Nancy Guthrie
“Next to salvation and my wife, my disability is the greatest blessing in my life.” –Mark Talbot
“Exhale the grieving and lament; inhale the promises.” –Mark Talbot
My name is Brenda Fischer. My role at Bethlehem is to coordinate the Disability Ministry. In this role I have the opportunity and great blessing of meeting some remarkable people.