Everywhere I look it seems the message that is being shoved in our face is that we are strong, we are awesome, and we are enough. Somewhere in our broken humanness, we desire to be those things do we not? And this is not just the world saying this, but we hear this message from pulpits and we read this message in popular “Christian” books. When someone tells me that I am enough there is a big part of me that loves that. I desire to be enough. I desire to be strong. I desire to be awesome. Being told we are weak does not feel good. But, as Christians, knowing that we are not enough highlights some of the best parts of the Gospel. We see this particularly in two ways; Jesus’s love and our strength.
One of my favorite sermons is by pastor and author Matt Chandler titled, “God is for God.” In the message he highlights how glorious God is, and how God is God’s own motivation. Because He is God, God is what is most important to God, not us. One of the times I was listening to this message, I decided to wander down into the comment section (usually a dangerous, yet sometimes entertaining, thing to do) where I saw a comment that struck my eye. To summarize the comment, it said that they did not like the sermon because it made them feel like they did not deserve Jesus dying for them. This person could not fathom the depth of the love of Christ, because in our world we believe everything has to be earned, including love. And people have to earn our love, because our love is valuable. We deserve love, because we are awesome. Why else would Jesus die for us if we did not deserve His love? When in reality, Jesus died because He is awesome. The fact that Jesus died for us when we were dead in sin, when we were enemies of God, says more about His love than anything else could. Romans 5:8 says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What is so amazing about God’s love is that Christ died for us while we were in our sin. We were enemies of God, and yet the great love of Christ overcame that with His death. This goes against everything we see in the world, yet this kind of love is more profound and more amazing than we could ever imagine. Too often we focus on the immediate, more shallow gratification of being “enough” when being loved by the Creator of the Universe while we were in sin is much more powerful.
Too often we focus on the immediate, more shallow gratification of being “enough” when being loved by the Creator of the Universe while we were in sin is much more powerful.
Which leads to our strength. That seems like a strange sentence after discussing how we are not enough. But let us look at 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 to see our strength. It says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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.” What an amazing two verses. His grace is sufficient for us. The idea of boasting in weakness is so foreign to our culture, but it is in our weakness that Christ’s power is most seen. And when we are honest with ourselves, we are weak, and in that, Christ is strong and His grace covers us. When we are weak, then we are strong. But we first must admit our weakness. When we boast in ourselves and think we are good enough, we downplay the work that Christ did on the cross. Because if we were not “that bad” then the cross would not be “that great.” But because we were enemies, because we were weak, it means that the cross is the greatest act of service and love that the world has ever seen. And in that love, in our weakness, we are strong, but only because of Him and through Him.
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Brady Robinson