AUGUST 15 READING…2 CORINTHIANS 12
Paul starts Chapter 12 saying that he wishes that he could spend his time doing things to further the gospel rather than spending time defending himself against the lies of the false teachers. Paul then proceeds to describe visions and revelations that he has received from the Lord. First up is what some scholars believe refers to an incident found in Acts 14:19, 20 when Paul was stoned (to death?) at Lystra. Paul describes an experience in the third heaven. (Heaven #1 is the blue heaven. Heaven #2 is the starry heaven. Heaven #3 is God’s Heaven.) Paul refrains from describing his time in heaven and says, rather, judge me by my words and actions. Is my life consistent with what I preach and teach.
Paul then proceeds to describe his thorn in the flesh, of which there has been endless speculation. What is without debate is that the thorn was a messenger of Satan. We then see the principle of Matthew 7:7 when, on (3) separate occasions, Paul asked the Lord to remove this thorn. And God responded as He always does with one of three answers. Yes. Wait. Or…. No, but, I have something better for you. What follows is a promise from God that has provided comfort, support and guidance for millions. God told him that he’d be better off with the thorn and learning about the amazing grace of God. We can only come to understand the power of Christ when we have exhausted our power.
Paul closes the chapter telling them that he will see them soon and again oozing sarcasm, addressed an accusation by the false teachers that he was taking advantage of them. He asks them to ask themselves what the truth is. He then reminds them that he must ultimately answer to God. Part of that responsibility to God is to keep things in order in the church and he then proceeds to enumerate a list of things that must not be found in any church and that he will aggressively address if he finds them in Corinth when he arrives. He desperately hopes that this will not be the case.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…2 CORINTHIANS 13
Devotional written by Dan Peña