Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Christians are like tea; their real strenth does not show until they are in hot water.

5 July 2009

Communion Sunday

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Fortress Chapel

Contingency Operation Site (C.O.S.) Sykes

Tall-afar, Iraq

BIG IDEA: Christians are like tea; their real strength does not show until they are in hot water.

REFERENCES: 2 Corinthians 10:10 ESV (“His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” ); Acts 9:9 ESV (And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank); Romans 10:17 ESV (… faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Chris; Judges 6-7 ESV (Midian Oppress Israel and The Call of Gideon); Hebrews 11:32 (ESV) And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (Paul’s Visions and His Thorn); Galatians 1:1 (ESV) Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead; Galatians 4:15 (ESV) What then has become of the blessing you felt? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me; Galatians 6:11 (ESV) See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand;

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (ESV) For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not , to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”; Psalm 30:5b (KJV) … weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning;

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (ESV)

II. READ THE PERICOPE: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (ESV)

III. READ THE TEXT: 2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV) For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Christians are like tea; their real strength does not show until they are in hot water.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “The weaker I get, the stronger I become”


“The weaker I get, the stronger I become”.

Now, my brothers and sisters, I submit to you today that Christians are like tea; their real strength does not show until they are in hot water.

In other words, what appears to be “weakness is really strength … if Christ is in it.

The Apostle Paul said it best when he said: “when I am weak, then am I strong”, which sounds contradictory, but the paradox expresses a truth more valuable than gold. For it has been said that “man’s extremities (man’s limitations are boundaries) are God’s opportunities.”

In other words, my brothers and sisters as believers, when we find that we have reached our spiritual limits in negotiating or trying to do the right thing;

when we unearth the fact that we are doing the best we can to live right on the job, in the work place and our best isn’t good enough;

when we discover that our health isn’t as good as it use to be; and every effort to keep our marriages and significant relationships before God have failed … and, as a result, we have come to our wits end.

It’s at that … lowest point – when our backs are up against the wall; when we’re the weakest - God steps in and takes control!

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 1: As a result, we are no longer in the driver’s seat; we have suddenly (in the midst of our spiritual suffering and struggling) become passengers in MRAPs driven by God.

a. Now, when God is driving the MRAPs; we no longer have to worry about the routes being cleared because He’s in charge.

b. If He chooses to allow certain circumstances to engage us on our journey to where He is carrying us; we will be engaged!

c. Therefore, we may look weak from the outside looking in;

d. but from the inside we’re strong. Because it’s not us driving; but it’s God in us.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 2: For who could ever forget the story of Gideon (in the Old Testament) and his wavering faith in Judges 6-8?

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