Sermons

Summary: Prayer is the divine means to access the power of God.

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“I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

“Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.’ Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.”

We each face impossibilities—some of us face greater difficulties and some of our situations are more likely to qualify for the title of impossible than those of others. The impossible situations that I have in view for this message today are of such a nature that only divine intervention will resolve the conflict. If we’re not careful, we will view those seemingly impossible events or conditions strictly from the external perspective; when we do this, we will attempt to handle them ourselves—and that often leads to failure.

In the Tenth Chapter of the Second Corinthian Letter, we read the account of Paul, the writer of the letter, as he defended himself against those who attacked him because of what he had written and because of his ministry style. Those who were attacking him complained that his letters were weighty, but that argued that his presence was weak—all talk and no action, they would have said. If he were the man he claimed to be, they argued, he would do this and say that. They had an agenda; and he didn’t live up to their expectations. Writing in his defence, the Apostle put his finger on the problem itself: “Look at what is before your eyes” [VERSE SEVEN].

One statement describes how most of us live, how most of us view conflicts, and how most of us handle life; it is found in VERSE SEVEN: “You are only looking on the surface of things.” [2] We view matters externally; we see them as physical situations; we study them through the eyes of physical logic. So, we come to physical or logical conclusions and deal with them accordingly, only to fail, drawing upon none of the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us.


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