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apostle Paul

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Blog, Faith, Homeschooling, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Writing

God’s unmerited favor for you

Image courtesy of [Gualberto107] /

Image courtesy of [Gualberto107] /

Have you ever had a “thorn in the flesh”?

I have one now. It’s not fun. It’s painful. Today as I was praying about a hard situation that I’m going through right now, God spoke to me in His still, small voice: “My grace is sufficient for you.”

Really, God?! Sigh.

This verse comes from 2 Corinthians Chapter 12:1-9. Paul was telling the church at Corinth that while he could easily boast because of all God had done in and through his life and the supernatural visions that he’d seen. it wasn’t profitable for him to brag.

But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Yep, God was sure using Paul in a great way, but He didn’t want him to get the big head.

So God allowed “a thorn in the flesh” to make sure Paul was continuing to eat humble pie. A thorn in the flesh to buffet him…God did this on purpose!

The word buffet in this verse is kolaphizo  in the original language (Strong’s G2852), It means:

  • to strike with the fist; to give one a blow with the fist;
  • to maltreat; to treat with violence and contumely (harsh language, contemptuous or humiliating treatment; insult; arrogant remark; abusive language; scorn).

Are you there? Do you feel beat up by the enemy Satan?

Now that doesn’t sound very nice of God to do! As I was reading my Bible today, I read the “Word Wealth” section. (New King James Version, New Spirit Filled Life Bible, copyright 2002 Thomas Nelson, Inc.). They take you deeper into the meaning of the words, revealing more layers of what God is doing.

When God answered Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” that word grace is charis (Strong’s #5485). It’s from the same root word as chara (joy) and chairo (to rejoice). “It is the word for God’s grace extended to sinful man, It signifies unmerited favor, undeserved blessing, a free gift.”

God’s blessings are enough.

Substituting these words for *grace*, I wrote in my journal this morning:

God’s *salvation* is sufficient for me. God’s *deliverance* is sufficient for me. God’s *blessings* are sufficient for me. God’s *favor* is sufficient for me! It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It doesn’t matter _____ won’t love me. God does. God saved me from hell! He brought me out of great darkness spiritually into His glorious, brilliant life. That is all that matters.

Grace. And thanksgiving for grace, God’s undeserved blessings.

Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle. ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Need a miracle? Be thankful. One is on the way!

Today I intentionally practice eucharisteo for:

  • My journal;
  • The ultra-fine, black Sharpie pen (my fave pen in the whole world) that I write with now;
  • The sound of pen on paper (being able to hear physically and being able to hear by the Spirit what God is saying);
  • I see the words I write (the gift of vision – my physical eyes and spiritual eyes);
  • The warmth of my home and the soft, olive-green blanket I’m wrapped up in on the loveseat on this cold, icey day;
  • Fuzzy socks and comfy pj’s as I spend quiet time with God;
  • A refreshing Coke® to drink;
  • My beautiful children ~ “Mom” is the most beautiful word in the world to me, next to “Jesus”;
  • Our precious grandchildren ~ The name “Nana” is my crown;
  • Precious friends who are praying fervently for me and love me, just as I am.

What are your undeserved blessings from God? Think about them.

Begin to write them down. Practice eucharisteo.

Blog, Faith

The glory of God

The Glory School

This weekend my friends and small group pastors Dave and Ruth Christian blessed me with a free ticket to the Glory School with Patricia King at Christ Triumphant Church in Lee’s Summit, MO.

Patricia taught on what God’s glory is (pastor David Wilkerson describes it as the fullness of God) and how to access the supernatural, such as heavenly visions, healings, miracles, prophecies, dreams, etc.

This shouldn’t be anything we view as “out there,” “weird,” “woo-woo,” or “demonic,” because Jesus Himself walked in supernatural power and when we become saved, His Holy Spirit is deposited inside of us so we can walk in that same power from God. (John 20:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22)

It’s important to remember that our desire should always be greater intimacy with Jesus, not the supernatural power itself. This was Simon the sorcerer’s sin. (Acts 8: 9-25)

The glory of God is His overpowering presence. Moses asked to see God’s glory.(Exodus 33:18)  The glory is intimacy, oneness, and union with God. Jesus prayed for God to glorify Him with God. (John 17:5). Jesus wanted His will aligned with God’s will and Divine purpose. (Luke 22:42)

Patricia taught that there is a very thin membrane between the physical reality we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch here on earth (which is the “first heaven”) and the spiritual reality we don’t often see, hear or sense, which are the second and third heavens: the second heaven (many believe this is the realm where angels and demons exist – unseen to the human eye, except when revealed supernaturally, like to the prophet Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6:17) and the third heaven (where God’s throne and glory are).

Others believe the second heaven is the vacuum of outer space where the planets, the sun, and other galaxies are – “the firmament” spoken of in Genesis 1:7-8), and believe that the angels exist where the third heaven (God’s throne) is.

The Bible doesn’t use the words “first heaven” and “second heaven,” but we can assume they exist, because of the apostle Paul’s reference to the “third heaven” in  2 Corinthians 12 and the apostle John being caught up in the Spirit to the throne of God in Revelation 4.

Two of the “aha’s” I took away this weekend are that FAITH accesses the supernatural, just as faith is the key to salvation and healing, and love is the essence of God’s glory. Faith pleases God. (Hebrews 11:6). God is love. (1 John 4:16)

If we want to walk every day in God’s glory in our lives to expand His kingdom here on earth and to make disciples of the nations, we must have faith and we must operate in His agape love.