Monday, February 23, 2015

IN weakness...broken vessels...


At our Ash Wednesday service, we sang the most anointed song, Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong Worship…we were all touched by the Holy atmosphere in our worship center and in our hearts as we sang these words together...All these pieces…Broken and scattered…In mercy gathered…Mended and whole…Empty handed…But not forsaken…I've been set free, I've been set free…Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see…Oh I can see You now…Oh I can see the love in Your eyes…Laying Yourself down…Raising up the broken to life…You take our failure, You take our weakness, You set Your treasure in jars of clay…So take this heart, Lord, I'll be your vessel…The world to see Your life in me...

As I worshiped at this Ash Wednesday service, the phrase, "IN weakness," came to mind from this Scripture...
2 Corinthians 12:9:

NASB:
And He has said to me, "My  grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of  Christ may dwell in me.
Amplified: But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
Barclay: And he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” So it is with the greatest gladness that I boast in my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may pitch its tent upon me.
ESV:   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.
KJV: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
NET: But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.
NIV: 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
NJB: but he has answered me, 'My grace is enough for you: for power is at full stretch in weakness.' It is, then, about my weaknesses that I am happiest of all to boast.
NLT: Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Phillips:  but his reply has been, "My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely." Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ.
Wuest: And He has said to me, and His declaration still stands, My grace is enough for you, for power is moment by moment coming to its full energy and complete operation in the sphere of weakness. Therefore, most gladly will I the rather boast in my weaknesses in order that the power of the Christ [like the Shekinah Glory in the Holy of Holies of the Tent of Meeting] may take up its residence in me [working within me and giving me help].

Young's Literal:  and He said to me, 'Sufficient for thee is My grace, for My power in infirmity is perfected;' most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Christ may rest on me.
The Message: and then he told me, "My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. 
A Greek word study of this Scripture reveals that Jesus’ first words are "is sufficient" which places emphasis on our supply of His grace; a truth which gives us encouragement to face difficult times. Jesus' response to Paul follows a chiastic pattern (a literary device in which a sequence of ideas is presented and then repeated in reverse order. The result is a “mirror” effect as the ideas are “reflected” back in a passage. Each idea is connected to its “reflection” by a repeated word, often in a related form...e.g., he came in triumph and in defeat departs)
A...is sufficient
     B...for you
         C...my grace
         C...my power
     B...in weakness
A...is perfected


"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect IN weakness.”

IN distresses--circumstances forced upon you, reversals of fortune against your will. This could refer to any situation where you feel trapped. You didn’t plan it or think it would be this way. But there you are, and it’s hard.

IN persecutions--wounds, abuses, painful circumstances, acts of prejudice or exploitation from people because of your Christian faith or your Christian moral commitments. It’s when you are not treated fairly.

Whether IN distresses or persecutions, Corrie Ten Boom encourages us...
Look at self and be distressed,
Look at others and be depressed,
Look at Jesus and you’ll be at rest!


My Daddy, Eston Willis,
kept in his Bible, a copy of the following poem which describes our Master Weaver's plan which includes  weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties...
 
My life is but a weaving,
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors.
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper
and I the under side.

Not till the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why,

The dark threads are as needful
in the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver,
in the pattern He has planned.

Consider the underside of a handmade tapestry described in this poem. The elaborate coordinated threads on the exterior side of the fabric, woven with precision and creativity, produce a work of art intended by the weaver. The side that will not be seen, however, is a tangled mess of thread, yarn, and knots. How similar to life! Christ uses what appears to be random circumstances with no meaning—simply knots and tangles—and makes something beautiful out of them. Lord Jesus, help me not draw undue attention to myself, even in suffering, knowing that You are at work mending and making whole, raising up the broken to life...IN my weakness...

All these pieces…Broken and scattered…In mercy gathered…Mended and whole…Empty handed…But not forsaken…I've been set free, I've been set free…Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see…Oh I can see You now…Oh I can see the love in Your eyes…Laying Yourself down…Raising up the broken to life…You take our failure, You take our weakness, You set Your treasure in jars of clay…So take this heart, Lord, I'll be your vessel…The world to see Your life in me...

Weekly LinkUps...

54 comments:

  1. I love these verses, and I love that God's grace is magnified through our weaknesses, yet I still want to fight it on lots of levels. :( May I see that as yet another weakness and rejoice that God's grace will help me even with that.

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    1. Amen, Lisa, I so agree with you...truly all is grace...many blessings to you ❤️

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  2. Beautiful. This encouraged me so much today, Beth. Thank you for sharing. xo

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    1. Thank you, Lyli, many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. In my weakness...this is a beautiful post. I have never seen the reflected back/reverse type of study of a verse or verses. That is really fine. And the poem is about my favorite...especially since I am a weaver and my blog is Being Woven. : )
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda, I love your writing on Being Woven...many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. I love the song that sparked your post. I am so very grateful that God uses our weakness to display his strength. In many ways, our weakens are keys that open the door to discover more of God.

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    1. Amen, Ginger, I so agree with you about the key...how I love discovering more of God...many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. Beth, it's always so powerful to look up verses in different translations. Thank you for sharing this. And the worship song by Hillsong is a new one to me....I'll have to go find it! Thanks for linking up at the Small Wonder Community this week.

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    1. Jody, thank you for taking time to stop by from over at Small Wonder to leave such an encouraging comment...many blessings to you ❤️

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  6. This is encouraging, God's Grace is sufficient.
    Lots of love Beth. Thanks for linking at Purposeful faith

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    1. Thank you for stopping by from over at Kelly's place...many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. Beautiful devotion today! The poem is great reminder of the Master Weaver of our lives and how everything is made beautiful by Him. I believe we are all so broken but I am encouraged that God takes everything and makes it beautiful in His sight. Blessings!

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    1. Amen, Mary...thank you for your encouraging comments...many blessings to you ❤️

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  8. Beth, WOW - what an incredible post unpacking all that 2 Cor 12:9 has to offer us. Thank you so much for sharing on the #raralinkup today. Have a great day,
    Kim Stewart
    http://www.kimstewartinspired.com

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    1. Thank you, Kim, many blessings to you ❤️

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  9. Beautiful post. Beth, and a wonderful study of the song and scripture!

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    1. Kristine, thank you for your encouraging comments. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. I have the same poem which was in your dad's Bible in the back of mine after hearing Chuck Swindoll share it years ago. Wonderful reminder of how our lives all make sense to Him. He knows what He is bringing about. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for sharing that with me. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  11. What beautiful verses and a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing them with us Beth!

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    1. Thank you, Holly, many blessings to you ❤️

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  12. I love the concept of God pitching a tent over me! We don't particularly like being seen as week--but it's in our weakness that God's glory shines.

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    1. Amen! Love that imagery too! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  13. A wonderful walk through the Word, thank you for sharing!

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  14. Oh this is beautiful! Now I think I need to go to youtube and listen to that song! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Karrilee, it is a wonderful worship experience. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  15. Love the mended pieces. He is working it all back together again! Visiting from Meredith's site. XOXO Beth.

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    1. Thank you, Kelly, yes! Amen! I so agree with you...He is gloriously at work...Praise His Holy Name...many blessings to you ❤️

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  16. I love those words you mentioned from Corrie Ten Boom. You are so right! And I've seen this promise at work in my own life! Visiting from Kelly's #RaRaLinkup. :)

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    1. Thank you, Katy, I so agree with you...I so agree with you about Corrie Ten Boom's quote, so true. Many blessings to you.

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  17. I love the Message version of that! One of my favorite verses in NIV :)

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    1. Sarah, I love The Message version also, and this quote from the Wuest translation, "Therefore, most gladly will I the rather boast in my weaknesses in order that the power of the Christ [like the Shekinah Glory in the Holy of Holies of the Tent of Meeting] may take up its residence in me [working within me and giving me help]."

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  18. Love the verses. Love the song. You wove this together beautifully. Thank you. #RaRaLinkup

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    1. Thank you so much, Sheila, I just love getting to know such sweet sisters in Christ at #RaRaLinkUp. Many blessings to you!

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  19. Beautiful and informative. Let us all remember He uses us in our weakness. This is the power of the yielded heart. Yielding lets God be God in our lives and in that the power is free to release its fruit.

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    1. Chris, thank you so much. I so agree with you, yielding to His Authority is the key...many blessings to you.

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  20. Amen! When I am weak, then the great I AM is strong in and through me! Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Kamea
    incrementalhealing.wordpress.com

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    1. Kamea, thank you so much for your comment...many blessings to you!

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  21. Yes! Love this! Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

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    1. Thank you, Kristin, for stopping by from over at #ThreeWordWednesday ... I love getting to know new sisters in Christ through your LinkUp ... many blessings to you!

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  22. Visiting you via Grace&Truth Linkup :)
    I love the illustration used about the tapestry, full of tangled webs, but weaved by God to create a beautiful masterpiece. How true! We can be so focused on the knots and chaos, that we forget that our God is omniscient and omnipotent. Thank you for your encouragement today, Beth! God bless, Tina

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    1. Thank you, Tina, I so agree with you. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  23. What a beautiful poem and the analogy of the tapestry. Thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Terri, thank you for stopping by from Good Morning Mondays. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  24. I am inspired to take joy in my weaknesses...thank you.

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    1. Amy, thank you so much for leaving such an encouraging comment. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  25. Praise God that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness! My husband and I pray this verse every morning before we practice for our dance ministry. Linked up with you at Spiritual Sundays -- hope you'll stop by for a visit!
    God bless,
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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    1. Laurie, love that! What a great way to start the day! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  26. Thank you for imparting these thought on God's grace in trials & weaknesses and for also linking up with Grace & Truth!

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    1. Thank you, Holly, for stopping by. Many blessings to you!

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  27. So encouraging! Thank you for sharing at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to what you will be sharing this week!

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    1. Jenny, it is so encouraging to link up with sweet sister in Christ like Women With Intention Wednesdays...many blessings to you!

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