Updated: Sep 8, 2018
8 Jul 2018, Pentecost 7
Our gospel passage for today (Mark 6:1-13) gives me great encouragement. It tells us that God takes ordinary people like you and me and then he gifts, or equips, us for the purpose that he has for us.
When Jesus called the twelve disciples together and sent them out to preach he indicated that they were to step out in trust – they were not to take anything with them on the trip except a walking stick – no bread, no beggar’s bag, no money. But he gave them authority over the evil spirits by which they were able to drive out demons from people, and he gave them power to heal the sick.
In the passage from 2 Cor 12:2-10 the Apostle Paul, possibly the greatest missionary that has ever lived, teaches us that we must rely upon God’s grace. Many of us might look at Paul and wish that we had the gifts that he had. Paul revealed the source of his abilities: God’s grace and power.
He learnt to rely on God’s grace and power because of a painful physical ailment that he had. He had prayed to God to take away this ailment; but God refused, saying, “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” God knew that this ailment forced Paul to rely, not upon his own abilities, but upon God.
When we acknowledge our own weakness and give Jesus the control, then we remove the impediments to the Holy Spirit working in our life and we receive the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul concludes that it doesn’t matter if he must struggle with inadequacies and put up with all sorts of difficulties, because, he recognised that ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’, having the strength of the Holy Spirit in his life.
May you know God’s strength and power in your life,