“My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
We arrive at the Tavern and enter to find the Apostle Paul seated at a table, working on a new book.
Greetings, Paul! My friends and I are on a journey to the place called Grace, and I am so glad to find you here once again. If it’s not a bother, would you take a moment and tell us what the Lord Jesus showed you?
“I would be delighted!” Paul answered, “for I have no greater desire than to finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” ((Act 20:24).
Listen up everybody; we are in for a real treat!
“As you know, Paul said, I was zealously devout in seeking to please God; so much so that I even persecuted those who were followers of The Way. For I truly believed at the time that they were a dangerous threat to the Truth.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, stopped me in my tracks on the Damascus Road. That singular encounter with the risen Lord changed my life forever! I carried my proven zeal into my new found Faith and labored more earnestly to excel as a follower of Jesus.
Yet I continued running into challenges, which I could not overcome.
“The good that I would, I do not,” I wrote, “but the evil that I would not do – that’s what I do!” My vexation rose to such a level it felt as though thorns were piercing my soul. I cried out to the Lord to remove this from me, and this is what He said:
“My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
“I did not understand what He meant at first, but after three times of hearing Him repeat these words, suddenly the truth shot into my spirit like a bolt of lightning.
“I had always believed that His grace was a kindness shown toward an undeserving inferior, but in that moment I understood that His grace was His power made available to me so that I could be who He created me to be, and do what He was calling me to do.
“Most gladly will I glory in my infirmity that the power of Christ may rest upon me!” I said in great exuberance. And, while the Damascus Road experience changed my life – this revelation of His grace changed my living!
Now, because of grace, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
People often ask me, “What was the thorn in the flesh?” I never tell them, because that’s not the point. No, what I want them to see is that from that moment forward the thorn, nor any other thing the devil threw at me, had any power to thwart my journey!
“And from that day I lived, preached, and wrote with a new and deeper passion than ever before about the Grace of God! For I now know that grace is ‘the power of Christ to do God’s will’ no matter what obstacles we may encounter along the way.
“This changed everything! Now, if you will read my letters and, with my permission, replace the word ‘grace’ with the phrase, ‘the power of Christ to do God’s will’ – it will change everything for you, too!”
“And, if you are willing to stay with me a while longer before continuing on your journey,” Paul concluded, “Tomorrow, I will show you a few of my favorite writings and you will see for yourself what I mean.”
What do you say, fellow travelers; shall we stay an extra day here?