Focus: 2 Cor 12: 1-10
When we listen to Paul, oh how we can hear his years of training rounded off by his transformational experience and habitation with Christ Jesus! Paul's passion was part of him and this is why he was relentless in trying to destroy Christ's Church. When Christ gets to him on the road to Damascus, Paul's zeal against the Church is transformed into a zeal to save souls for Jesus! Same characteristic, different master! Paul's eloquence says that he does not boast in his own strength because that would make him a fool! The fact that he boast about his weaknesses is not foolish, it is just the truth. Paul speaks of himself when he uses this literary style to share his experience. It is Paul that was caught up into the third heaven (paradise where the souls of those are with the Lord). He is the one that has seen things that he cannot speak or tell. Paul has been instructed by Jesus himself and Jesus therefore turns Paul's strengths from hurting to healing in one encounter. There was a reason Paul was blinded for a period. By using this style, Paul can boast about God's ways and God's authority without making it seem that he is boasting about himself. Genius! Paul then teaches a lesson that is fundamental to the rule of Jesus Christ! Paul states that he is a sinful man with a thorn in his flesh. This thorn is his humanity that, like the rest of us, that is tempted daily by Satan.Paul says that when he wants to do right, he often does wrong. Paul did not want anyone to give him credit for what he was sharing. In fact, he states that God's goodness and power is displayed in spite of himself! BUT, Paul ends this passage with a bombshell. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"! Boom! Mike drop! Only through a vessel that is flawed in this world does God show His authority, dominion, and might! If we do something out of our gifts that is good, that is expected. God may get the glory indirectly because He gave the gift. But when something is done with power and authority IN SPITE of weakness, ONLY God can get the glory! I absolutely love the way God sees our world! Praise Him!