It is Friday, January 11.  Today's Scripture includes most of Paul's rather famous "Fool's Speech", where he lists some of the perils and dangers he faced bringing the Gospel of Jesus to the known world.  Why does Paul feel he needs to "brag" in this way to the Corinthian Church?  Let's dig into the Word and find out!!!  Chris Adomanis  

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)

[ 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 ]
16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool.18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that.22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I.23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me,33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.


+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

_What does Paul mean in verse 17 when he writes "I say not as the Lord would, but as a fool"?
_What more do we learn about these "super apostles", mentioned earlier in Chapter 11, in verse 20
_What is Paul's motive for "boasting like a fool" in verses 21-29?
_Why does Paul want to "boast of the things that show my weakness"?  (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

When I read about what Paul endured to bring the Gospel of Jesus to people, it makes me question my own resolve and commitment to the cause of Christ.  Don't let his example fill you with guilt, but use it to embolden and give you the courage to share your Jesus story with someone you know!!!

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)