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72. Grace perfected in weakness.

We find from Scriptures that Christ receives us into his Kingdom with gifts. This is why Scripture says: 'When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.' (Ephesians 4:8 / Psalm 68:18) The package includes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, grace apportioned in accordance with our calling, and the gifts of the Spirit we require for service. 'Now about spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant ... Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good ... and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.' (1 Corinthians 12:1 -11) But why is that we don't experience this grace and operate in the gifts? Paul made his greatest discovery about the working of grace, after a bout with sickness, which he referred to as the 'thorn in his flesh'. When Christ reminded him that the grace apportioned to him is sufficient, but his power is made perfect in his weakness, it was a life-changing discovery! 'Therefore I will boast all the more gladly 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) That 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) in the Bible. How can you be weak and strong at the same time? The world can never understand that but we do! To experience the fullness of grace we first need to feel the need for it! Though we have been allotted a ration by the government, why haven't many of us availed it? Simply because we haven't felt the need for that government ration! In other words, we are self-reliant! That is precisely the reason why grace is just an after thought ( something that is thought of or added later). After having failed in our attempts, we seek his favour to make it happen, but God in his favour to us wants his power to make the headway ( forward movement especially when it is slow or difficult) in all our ways!

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