Riverside Community Church

Grace - Part 5

Sufficient Grace

They say Confession is good for the soul.  But is it?  How many of you would be willing to get up here and confess your sinfulness or your weaknesses?  It’s not easy . . . is it?  We struggle with confessing, telling others of our weaknesses.  When we need to confess to a loved one that we blew it, we messed up, we all cringe and struggle mightily.


Even when we make that confession or admission of weakness, we often like to say it in such a way that will minimize the weakness or sin.  We say things like “I kind of did that”, or “sorry for saying that it was kind of in anger but my dad was a very angry man”.  In the black and white world of truth, either you did it or you didn’t do it, there’s no such thing as kind of.  You either hurt your friend or you didn’t.  You stole that item, or you didn’t.  You said those words, or you didn’t. Plainly, we don’t like to confess and speak about our weaknesses. 


But we all have weaknesses that we struggle with, we all have besetting sins, a soft underbelly in our Christian walk. It dodges us all our days.

Hebrews 12 New International Version

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders (us) and the sin/(weakness) that so easily entangles (us).               KJV the sins that so easily besets us.

Q     Do you know your weaknesses, do you know your besetting sin/s?

Paul did, Paul even confesses it, he admits his weakness, but he never names the weakness.


2 Corinthians 12

… I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, … Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”


God gave sufficient grace in Paul’s weakness -grace is unmerited favor.

God gave all the unmerited favor Paul needed in his weakness.


God will give you sufficient grace in your weakness.

In other words:

God will give you all the unmerited favor you need in your weakness.

        -God still favors you, your weakness will not diminish His love for u


This is sufficient grace and it’s amazing.


-sufficient grace to bear up under your weakness

-sufficient grace to help you pick up your cross daily

-sufficient grace to keep you humble

-sufficient grace to keep you trying to conform to Christ’s example

- sufficient grace for such a wretch like me so that I know that God’s presence is with me, God’s favor rest upon me and that forgiveness and love are God’s response to my faults/weakness/sins.


That’s grace. That’s our Gracious God.


-there has been much discussion as to what was the Apostle Paul’s weakness, his ‘thorn in the flesh’ or his ‘messenger from satan’.

        -some say he was almost blind; others say he suffered from malaria or headaches

        -others say his weakness was a spiritual attack from a demon

        -still others point to his persecution and opposition wherever he went

-we don’t know for sure, we are not certain what it was but it was real as is our weakness


Our human weakness comes at us from 3 fronts

        Lust of the flesh    -physical lust, for food, pleasure

Lust of the eyes     -coveting, wanting

Pride of life      -simple pride, thinking of ourselves more highly than

we are


1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world.

I think satan uses the world all around us and we use the worldliness within us to be tempted to give into our weakness.


James 1:14

“Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”


I asked Google ‘how am I tempted’. Here’s a short list it gave and they all revolve around –“… the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life…”


  1. We are tempted to lust after women.

  2. We are tempted to push others down so that we can exalt ourselves.

  3. We are tempted to do whatever it takes to make money, whether the means are good or bad.

  4. We are tempted to tell lies.

  5. We are tempted to boast.

  6. We are tempted to jealousy.

  7. We are tempted to gossip.

  8. We are tempted to lie about others – to bear false witness against our neighbor.

  9. We are tempted to cheat and steal.

  10. We are tempted to defraud, swindle and cheat others, so that we benefit, even if they are disadvantaged.

  11. We are tempted to make use of the vulnerability of others.

  12. We are tempted to do many things so that others may praise us.

  13. We are tempted to decide everything for ourselves and reject all authority. “Nobody tells me what to do. I do what I want to do”.

  14. We are tempted to act as though we have all the answers, that we know everything even when we don’t.

  15. We are tempted to want others to look up to us.

  16. We are tempted to want to make others depend on us.

  17. We are tempted to toy with and to manipulate others.

  18. We are tempted by the things that others have which we don’t have.

  19. We are tempted to desire the spouses of others.

  20. We are tempted to fornication and adultery.

  21. We are tempted to desire revenge.

  22. We are tempted to eliminate others who we perceive as inconvenient or as an obstacle to us.

  23. We are tempted to use the name of God in vain.

  24. We are tempted to worship celebrities and sports figures

  25. We are tempted to worship other people, things or positions [social status] in our hearts.


A few more from my life: tempted to be anxious or worrisome, to get unrighteously angry, to be critical, to speak unkind words, to be too opinionated and finally I am tempted to complain or murmur in my physical weakness like sickness or pain.


God’s grace helps me in my infirmities and weaknesses. God points them out to me through His Word through the conscience He gave me and through His Holy Spirit prompting me.


And God’s sufficient grace can help you in your infirmities & weaknesses.

Psalm 103. 

13 As a father has compassion on His children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; 14 for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.


Most people live with the belief God is angry at them.  So, they don’t want to go near Him with any weakness exposed, because if they ever did, God would stand there with arms folded, a scowl on His face; and they would feel totally rejected. 


But that is not the God I know.  God has proven He is loving and compassionate, powerful and tender, grace-filled and strong.  So go to God in prayer with your weakness, God already knows and awaits your prayer. He gives sufficient grace in our weaknesses, but we need to go to God, confess and ask for grace. That will do wonders for our relationship with Him, and with others.  YOU WILL RECEIVE SUFFICIENT GRACE TO CARRY ON.


Here's a wonderful thing about God’s grace. You can’t go to God and take grace, no, no, Grace comes to you. Grace comes to you as a gift and it comes sufficient for your need.

In our greatest of needs, God came to us, Emmanuel, and gifted us salvation through the substitutionary death of Christ for us. He came to us, He came to you. He came to us, He came to you.


-from where I was to God’s domain it seemed so far

I cried; Lord, I cannot come to where you are.

So, He came to me

That’s why He died on Calvary.

When I could not come to where He was, He came to me.


And so it is with sufficient grace, it will come to you in your need.

So, then we pray asking for grace in our need.


Do you need God’s grace for strength for today?

        Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

Do you need God’s grace to endure?

Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

Do you need God’s grace to forgive?

        Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

Do you need God’s grace for forgiveness once again?

        Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

Do you need God’s grace for your weakness?

Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

Do you need God’s grace for guidance?

Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

Do you need God’s grace??

        Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.


 Paul asked for God’s grace to take away his ‘thorn in the flesh’ his weakness, and God supplied grace to endure. God didn’t take the thorn out but left the thorn in and gave Paul, grace upon grace to endure and even to prosper in his mission. It kept him humble all his days.


Do you need God’s grace??

        Ask, believe, and receive. God’s grace will come to you.

July 30, 2023