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Devotional - week of December 30, 2007


POWERFUL PEOPLE

 

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  2 Timothy 2:1

 

The words “be strong” can be translated “continue to be empowered.” Paul was encouraging Timothy to be empowered. No believer who has a passion for God’s work would want anything less. Paul’s words of encouragement to Timothy express to all believers how to be empowered for ministry in God’s Kingdom.

 

The words “in the grace” can be translated “by the grace.” God’s children are made powerful by the grace of God.

 

The Lord’s response to Paul’s request to have his thorn-in-the flesh removed was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The word “strength” means “power.” Paul’s weakness put him in a position of total dependence on God, which made him a recipient of God’s grace. The grace of God made Paul powerful.

 

Paul’s response to the Lord’s statement about grace and strength was, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul went on to say in verse 10 that when he was weak, he was strong. The word translated “strong” also means “powerful.”

 

Powerful people in the Kingdom are those living under grace.

 

God-given thorns-in-the-flesh are not a believer’s only resource for grace. He may receive grace for empowerment. When Paul told Timothy to continue to receive empowerment, he meant for Timothy to continue to receive grace.

 

Following Paul’s use of the word “grace” in 2 Timothy 2:1, he writes that the grace is “in Christ Jesus.” That is, Timothy would continue to be empowered as he continued to experience his union with Christ.

 

In Romans 6:14, Paul writes that those experiencing their union with Christ as taught in Romans 6:3-13, are under grace.

 

Empowerment by God for ministry is available to all believers. We only need to place ourselves under grace. If your service in the Kingdom is not bearing fruit, why not try the way of grace. It is different but it is fruitful.