Thursday, August 28, 2014
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In the "olden days" if I had wanted to keep our home warm for the winter I would have had to go out and chop wood. I'm not sorry I missed that. But when I was little, my Dad had to shovel coal into a furnace so we could get heat, with a little help from me of course...very little. And then our home back in New Jersey had oil heat, and we always had enough heat. I didn't have to worry about running out of oil. And I didn't have to go get any. Our heating company always seemed to know when our supply was low. So for me that meant no chopping, no shoveling. Someone always made sure we never ran out.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Enough."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 12:7-8. Paul talks about bearing an almost unbearable burden in his life. He says, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me."
Later Paul mentions his thorn in the flesh when he talked about weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecution, difficulties-in other words, hard times. But he was able to handle every life stress because of one promise God gives him in the middle of his agony. Oh, and He gives it to you too. Second Corinthians 12:9, "But the Lord 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest upon me."
I've studied five semesters of New Testament Greek, and I don't remember all of it. But I remember enough to know how to look up what God said in the original language. In the Greek, word order is very important. And so God leads off usually with a word that He wants you to remember. That's the emphasis word. And this comes alive in the Greek, this verse, with "My grace is sufficient for you." Here's how it puts it in the Greek, "Enough for you, My grace." Wow! The secret of surviving every stress physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually: "Enough, My grace."
Remember the hymn, "Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. Tis' grace that's brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home." But up front is the word "grace." God wrote in indelible ink "Enough". God has promised there will always be enough grace. Grace is distributed at the moment you need it in the amount you need it. On a scale of one to ten, let's say you're facing a challenge that's a number three. You'll get number three grace. If it's a five, it's a five grace. In those moments when you've hit one of life's tens, God has a promise to keep. Grace to the tenth power.
It was like our oil company. Sometimes our tank ran low, but it didn't run out. Someone made sure we always had enough. If you belong to Jesus, you have the ultimate someone doing that for you. Grace isn't some mysterious or religious cloud. God's enough comes in the practical form that we need it. He's committed to see that you have it. If you need financial grace, God says He's going to see that you have enough.
Grace might come in the form of a person, or an idea, or a word of encouragement. Maybe some unexpected help or some advice you need, or a place to stay, transportation. See, God's grace is customized grace to what you need right now. That could be emotional grace, or physical grace. How many times the Lord has filled me with His strength when my strength was gone. It's always enough, and He's never late.
Like the fuel company I depended on for a warm house, your Lord is constantly monitoring what kind of grace you need and when you need it. And He said "to come boldly to the Throne of Grace to get grace to help you in your time of need." So, whatever you're facing, you're guaranteed that His grace will be enough and will be amazing.