Summary: This sermon highlights how our weaknesses actually help others in seeing God’s strength
As we move towards a year of evangelism, do you think we are ready?
Probably a better questions to ask is,
are you ready to be part of the year of evangelism?
are you prepared to be involved in the year of evangelism?
All of us are called to be part of the year of evangelism.
All of us are called to be Jesus’ disciples involved in making disciples of all nations.
And so as you think about yourself and where you fit into next years picture of our congregation of being an evangelising congregation,
are you ready for this?
Now if we are to look ourselves alone,
or even our congregation
we can probably highlight a number of areas where we are inadequate.
This is not an unfamiliar story for people involved in God’s work.
Think about some of the significant biblical characters.
Moses initially resisted God’s call, saying he was not good enough.
David was seen as someone not worthy to fight Goliath
And look at the disciples Jesus chose
They included fishermen, tax collectors, who would pick them?
and even as disciples they had problems
John and James tried to secretly gain some extra power
Peter tried to get out of forgiving his brother.
And in today’s reading Paul highlights to the Corinthians and to us
that Yes he does have a weakness.
But rather than allow the weakness to stop him from participating in God’s work
Paul highlights that his weakness shows that God and God’s grace is essential.
You see Paul was addressing a congregation that had begun despising him.
And part of the reason was they were becoming interested in what they believed God could do for them right now.
They were interested in how they felt right now.
They were more interested in how God could bless them financially, materially and with a better life now.
Now it is true that God brings blessings to us today,
however these are not where we should put our focus.
God wants us to have the focus on the eternal life, the life with Him and others.
Unfortunately, the Corinthians had become more interested in following teachings that were not consistent with the God of the bible.
Teaching that encouraged them to highlight how good they were,
that put themselves first
rather than Jesus and his commandments of
“Loving God and loving others.”
And so Paul is now reminding them that although these teachings sound attractive,
they are not of God.
They are actually leading people away from God.
So what does this mean for us?
Well we all have weaknesses
All of us have things in our life that can make us feel inadequate.
We may even feel like God has deserted us at times.
Can you think of some of your weaknesses??
And what about when it comes to being part of evangelising congregation?
A Christian community who is at work bringing God’s grace to people.
What do you think your weaknesses are?
If we are honest, we can probably name a few.
There are two constructive things we can do with our weaknesses
First what if we allowed our weaknesses to become strengths for God.
The first reality as we look around at our congregation is that we are all different.
In some cases there are major differences.
What differences do you see in our congregation?
Now some people are threatened by differences.
They see differences as a weakness.
And unless everyone is the same they see we have a problem, a weakness and not ready for evangelism.
But what if we saw the differences in our congregation as gifts from God.
As different ways God speaks to people and blesses people.
Instead of ranking the differences in our congregation as what is closer to God and what is not
What if we see the differences as different ways people can relate to God and each other.
Now think about how that can impact our evangelising.
You may prefer a certain style of worship or certain style of small group.
But someone you know may not.
Someone God has put you into contact with may not.
With the differences in our congregation, you are able to direct people to the other options that are available.
That is the body of Christ at work.
And not surprisingly the passages regarding the Body of Christ
were also written to the Corinthians.
And as the Body of Christ we are called to complement each other,
And that means God has placed us amongst people with strengths we may not have
These are gift from God
And amongst people who can help us with our weakenesses.
And he has also placed us among people who need the strengths He has given us.
Recently I was watching the nascar racing on tv.