Happy Monday January 13th. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed all the snow. Paul continues to make his case to the Corinthians. Paul sees no benefit boasting in himself, but instead will boast in Christ. In his humility when discussion visions he has received from the Lord he refers to himself in the 3rd person saying “I know a man”. This man is Paul. Paul never became conceited because he never boasted in himself. Even in this passage he doesn’t tell us what he saw in this vision. For whatever reason Paul cannot or will not reveal it. Paul however has to continue the debate to prove himself to the Corinthians. Paul has learned that in weakness we are strong. Whether it be in riches, wisdom, position, power, etc. when we are weak we must rely on God. Paul does not prop himself up as some others might, but instead rests on the power of Christ.
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.
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 12:1-10 ]
1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
+ 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)
_ Why does Paul go on boasting?
_ Where did the “man in Christ” go?
_ What did he hear?
_ In vs 5 what is the exception for boasting?
_ In vs 7 what happened to keep Paul from becoming conceited?
_ What did Paul do? What was Gods response?
_ What does Paul conclude in vs. 10?
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?
+ 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)