And HaAdon (Adonai) said to me, “My Chesed (loving-kindness) is ad kahn (sufficient for the purpose, enough, has always been) for you, for My ko’ach (power) is perfected in weakness.” With lev samei’ach (pure, joyful heart) therefore will I boast in my weaknesses that the gevurah (strength, power) of Moshiach (Messiah) might be a shelter over me. 12:9 Orthodox Jewish Bible (some definitions come from other sources)
In part one of this reflection on sufficient grace, I mentioned that Watchman Nee’s quote (and inspiration for the title of the two posts): “No discipline, no revelation; no thorn, no grace”. I believe that we have watered-down grace when we remove any thought or mention of sin. Grace is not an entitlement – it is GOD’s grace and not something that we create or deserve. If we consider grace to be “unmerited”, then we have done nothing to deserve it or earn it. We are the ones with thorns that make us hard to love. Grace is God’s gift – not something that we create. By grace, we believe and are brought to Christ. (Acts 18:27) and by grace, we are justified (Romans 3:24). Grace is not based on our works, if it were, grace would no longer by grace (Romans 11:6).
God;s grace is ALL-SUFFICIENT. The Middle English origin of our word “sufficient” had a sense of “legally satisfactory”. It covers “a multitude of sins” but it also is more than enough in ALL things, at ALL times, for ALL people. Grace draws us to belief and a relationship with God, it justifies us and it sustains us – whether the thorn is removed or, as in Paul’s case, it remains as a reminder of where our strength and protection really comes from. We cannot boast in ourselves or works and be truly sheltered in the grace of the Messiah. Grace is more than a rubber stamp on the story of our life, it is a rewrite of the script that puts us line with the Story of the Master Playwright. By its very definition, grace and its all-sufficient nature is meant to lift us up and bear us way from our sins and troubles. This is how we are made strong (with Christ’s strength) in our weakness.
Father God, thank You again for YOUR grace in our lives. We don’t deserve but You give it to us. We cannot boast in our weakness but we praise You and boast in the strength and sheltering of Jesus, our Messiah. Let us not make light of this gift, nor let us feel we are entitled to it – for we deserve Your judgment, but You show love and mercy. Help us to be truly justified by grace, Your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.