Here Paul talks about his own encounter with Jesus Christ and the impact it had on his life from that point forward. We’ll be exploring what such faith means in our contemporary world of lonliness,alienation,conflict,and fear. There is a source of inner security and strength that enables us to be the blessing we were created to be. That source for all of us is Jesus Christ.
2 I know a certain Christian man who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the highest heaven (I do not know whether this actually happened or whether he had a vision—only God knows). 3-4I repeat,I know that this man was snatched to Paradise (again,I do not know whether this actually happened or whether it was a vision—only God knows),and there he heard things which cannot be put into words,things that human lips may not speak. 5 So I will boast about this man—but I will not boast about myself,except the things that show how weak I am. 6 If I wanted to boast,I would not be a fool,because I would be telling the truth. But I will not boast,because I do not want any of you to have a higher opinion of me than you have as a result of what you have seen me do and heard me say.
7 But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw,I was given a painful physical ailment,which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. 8 Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. 9 But his answer was,“My grace is all you need,for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy,then,to be proud of my weaknesses,in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. 10 I am content with weaknesses,insults,hardships,persecutions,and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak,then I am strong.
Join us in this exploration on Sunday morning at worship. Stay and talk with us about it over lunch immediately after the service. If you can’t be there,join the conversation by making a comment here on the website.