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261. Power made perfect in weakness.

"My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my POWER is made perfect in weakness."*- ( 2 Corinthians 12:9) In English language grace and power are not synonyms but Jesus, while speaking to Paul, uses those words interchangeably. For if you have received grace from God in this dispensation of grace, it means you have experienced the *'power of God for salvation'* -( Romans 1:16). *Grace* ( Hebrew: *hēn* ) means favour; grace is the moral quality of kindness, displaying a favourable disposition; *"to find grace in someone's eyes"* means to be in a state of favour. So Scripture says, *"Noah found favour* ( Hebrew: *hēn* , the same word used for grace) *in the eyes of the LORD"*- ( Genesis 6:8) If men in the old testament found grace, then why does the new testament say: *'Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ' ?*- ( John 1:17) Grace, meaning the power of God, the way it is *connoted* ( imply a meaning in addition to the literal or primary meaning) in the new testament, indeed came through Christ, as he himself implied that meaning while speaking to Paul, who thrice pleaded with the Lord to take away the *'thorn in his flesh'* - ( 2 Corinthians 12:7) On receiving this profound revelation, Paul was elated and said: *'Therefore I will boast all the more about my weaknesses, SO THAT CHRIST'S POWER MAY REST ON ME. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.'* - ( 2 Corinthians 12:9-10) This is one of the great *paradoxes* ( a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true) stated in the Bible. How can we claim to be strong when we are weak? But that is the truth about grace! *The weaker we are in our selves, greater is the grace we experience!* But often we do not rely on the grace of God because we are self-sufficient without God and work independent of him. But Paul found the secret of receiving God's power. He began to boast of his weaknesses so that God's power might rest on him. Interestingly, Paul was not promised more grace, but was told that the grace which was given him, *'as Christ apportioned it'* - ( Ephesians 4:7), would be appropriated in his weakness and that the measure of grace apportioned to him was sufficient for him to overcome the thorn in his flesh. Some think that if they fast for more days, they will get more grace ( it wouldn't be called grace if it were by works that we get grace). However, the truth of the matter is that fasting is a state of physical weakness during which the grace of God, already apportioned to us in keeping with our calling, can be perfected. Every believer has received the grace of God and Paul exhorts them not to take the grace of God in vain. *'As God's fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favour I heard you and in the day of salvation I helped you". I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation.'* - ( 2 Corinthians 6:1-2) Amen.

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