August 10, 2014 – Pastor Tim – “Your Handicaps”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10, And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Perhaps you may have had a bad start in life—your family tree may be against you. But that’s what needs to spur us to be better for the next generation. If we look back into the family tree of Jesus, we will find some ugly spots: David was the father of Solomon by Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba). Uriah’s wife—what a tragedy to have such a label stuck on one’s life! (adultery, murder, deception) But what a glory to God’s grace it is that at all three survived that tragedy and contributed, in spite of it! And think of the honest courage it took to put that statement into the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Jesus who was going to begin a new humanity had the blood of the old humanity in His veins. But the divine inheritance so overcame the human inheritance that He passed on a new inheritance to humanity. Through His divine inheritance you and I begin a new family tree!
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Today let’s each of us look at our handicaps and make up our minds to use them as handles, to lift us to a new level in God, it is well to remember that a failure may make us a God given success.
Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
How do our faults become our success by giving them to God.
God can do much with a repent heart.
1Peter 5:6, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen
What we lack by nature we can make up by grace. We cannot draw heavily on many things, but we can draw heavily on the grace of God. Lord Jesus, help us take hold of our handicaps and convert them into Your handiwork.
Philippians 1:12-18, But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.
As we convert our handicaps into handiwork we can use them as spurs to drive us forward. Some flee backwards; but the Christian, must always flee forward. If we are going to run some where it need to be upward toward Christ. We all, from time to time, feel like running away. We differ only in our manner of running—some run forward, some run backward.
I read a story about a man that was riding in a car with his friends—it was the kind of car that has a sliding seat in front (some of you remember the old bench seat that weren’t electric). The man who was driving called to his wife in the back seat and said, “Please kick me forward, dear.” Life is bound to kick us, for all get kicked—some more, some less; the important thing is the direction in which we are kicked. Make life kick you forward. Take the obstacles and turn them into opportunities—failure into fruitfulness.
Our abundant life in Christ will be made or broken at the place where we meet and deal with our obstacles. God, help us not to run away from them, but to run toward them, to tackle and overcome them. Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
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