Bible Reading Day 265
Day 265: September 22 (2 Corinthians 12)
Paul continues into Chapter 12 with his “boasting” theme (although the Chapter divisions are not Paul’s but added much later). He is making clear the difference between his boasting (about Jesus’ power shown in Paul’s weakness) and the boasting of the “super-apostles” in Corinth who were taking pride in their spiritual achievements and their powerful reputations.
This chapter includes Paul’s reference to the “thorn in his flesh” which was beneficial to him because it kept him humble. This has been the subject of debate for centuries; was this a person? an illness? blindness? depression? We do not know. Paul was clearly led by the Holy Spirit to be ambiguous on the exact details, which has enabled many more people to be helped by the general principle: that God takes the battles we face and uses them to make us humble and fruitful. There is a useful discussion of this topic here.
The conclusion which Jesus spoke to Paul applies equally to us all: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” It is interesting that Paul then goes on to detail how he and his ministry team are united in their approach and philosophy. This is in dramatic contrast to the more recent leadership in Corinth who are motivated by pride and competition. Paul’s motive is clearly stated in verse 19: “Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you.”
Let’s take a moment today to consider our weaknesses. In what areas do you find breakthrough elusive? Can you see God at work in those places? Even if you cannot yet see Him, He is at work! And who do you live to strengthen? As you gather a list of people in your mind, or in your notebook, consider how you can strengthen each one with God’s help. Even if you feel weak, He is strong.
Have a great day!