Powerfully Weak

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Daily Reformation, John 6:56-69

From the Reformer

God very wonderfully entrusts his highest office to preachers that are themselves poor sinners who, while teaching it, very weakly follow it. Thus goes it ever with God’s power in our weakness; for when he is weakest in us, then is he strongest.

—Martin Luther, Table Talk

Pulling It Together

It is not in your own strength that you stand. God supplies the need at the needed moment. You stand because of him. You live because of him. You may think you stand weakly and you are probably correct but there is glory in that weakness. Being willing to stand, though weakly, invites the power of the Living God to stand in you. Do not say, “I cannot stand because I am weak.” Instead say, “I will stand with God despite my weakness,” for then God will stand strong in you.

The question should arise, “But how can I stand at all when I am weak?” Believe. Believe that God will stand with you. Do all you can and remind yourself that this is not enough. Then stand.

The simplest and best illustration of this is when you come to worship and realize what a sinner you are when it is time for Holy Communion. This is when you must believe that God forgives “poor sinners” such as you. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) These words are “spirit and life” to you. “The flesh is no help at all.” You will never stand in the so-called strength of your good works. But you may go to the table in the strength of his grace instead of the strength of your own righteousness. That is how you stand—powerfully weak with God.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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