“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you boast? Boasting is bragging. Boasting is blowing your own horn. Boasting is showing off. Boasting is singing your own praises. Would you say that boasting is good to do? Is it good to boast about how well you are doing in school? Is it good to boast about all the toys that you have? Is it good to boast about how many different things that you can do on the computer? Is it good for your dad to boast about how good he is doing in his job? Is it good for your dad to boast about how much money that he is making? Is it good for your dad to boast about having the best kids in the world? Is it good to boast about having the best dad and ma in the world? There are good things to boast about, to brag about, to blow your horn about, to show off and to sing praises about but there are a lot of other times when it is best not to say anything. When do you think that it is good and when it is not good to boast? If you want to say something which will make you look better in front of other kids – and big people, that would not be a time to say something. If you want to say something which will honor and glorify God’s name in front of other kids – and big people, that would be a really good time to say something – as God wants you to boast about what He is doing in your life. Paul boasted about what God was doing in his life. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 – even though Paul admits that there really is nothing gained by boasting, Paul still wants to tell the Christ-follower guys and gals in Corinth the really special thing that God had done just for him. God does special things for the guys, gals and kids who He specially elected before He created planet Earth. Those special things that God does for the guys, gals and kids who He especially elected before He created planet Earth are things which help these specially elected guys, gals and kids know that God is blessing them and that He is watching over them. Your grandpaa has already told you how God one evening spoke to him in a still, quiet voice – promising your grandpaa that He would use your grandpaa’s life to feed God’s Word to at least five thousand guys plus gals and kids. Do you know what special thing God did for Paul? Fourteen years before Paul wrote this second letter to the Christ-follower guys and gals in Corinth, God took Paul into what Paul says God called a third heaven. What do you think that Paul might have seen when God had him visit a place that God called the third heaven – which to Paul epitomized paradise? Paul does not want to mention the name of who was taken to this special place where such wonderful things were heard which cannot be repeated as Paul does not want any guy or gal to look at him as being someone who was extra special on planet Earth. What Paul wanted the Christ-follower guys and gals in Corinth to remember about him was his thorn in the flesh. This thorn in the flesh that Paul wrote about to the Christ-follower guys and gals in Corinth was not an actual thorn; it was some kind of physical issue that Paul had. Your grandpaa thinks that Paul had very poor eyes. Even though God healed guys, gals and kids after Paul had prayed through the name of Jesus for them to be healed, God did not heal Paul of his physical ailment after Paul had prayed three times to God to be healed. Paul would accept his physical condition as God’s will for his life to have. Paul seems to know that he needed to have a physical infirmity to keep him from becoming proud.
This chapter has a couple of your grandmaa’s favorite verses in the whole Bible. Which of the verses do you think are your grandmaa’s favorite verses? When your grandmaa realized that she was going to another country to live as a missionary, your grandmaa wondered what she would do as a missionary. Your grandmaa did not think that she would be able to do very much – as she was not a college graduate. Your grandmaa saw herself as being just a housewife. Your grandmaa though one day heard God’s still, quiet voice telling her that He would have her – as a housewife, ministering to other housewives in another country. Your grandmaa still felt though that she would not be able to do all that much as a missionary. Your grandmaa one day as she was reading the Bible came across a couple of verses which have meant a whole lot to her. One of the verses – verse 9, says “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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” When your grandmaa is asked to talk to a group of guys, gals and kids, your grandmaa will tell them what this verse has meant to her as a missionary. When your grandmaa and grandpaa left for Bolivia, there were thinking that the Lord had asked a lot of other guys and gals before your grandmaa and grandpaa to be missionaries – but every guy and gal said no. Your grandmaa and grandpaa thought that when God got to the bottom of the barrel – where your grandmaa and grandpaa felt that they were that . . . a myriad of cross-cultural ministry opportunities have opened up for your grandmaa as a missionary.
Your dad and your Aunt Lynn can tell you stories of what they did with their ma and dad when they were with their ma and dad in Bolivia. Your dad and your Aunt Lynn had a lot of special times with your grandmaa. Your dad and your Aunt Lynn can tell you of times when your grandmaa slept on an air mattress on cement church floors or on church benches, when your grandmaa traveled eastern Bolivia in your grandpaa’s C-10 Chevrolet pickup or on a train called the Rápido and when your grandmaa taught the wives of the rural resident training center students. It is good to boast about being weak – just like your grandmaa does. As God has used for His sake what your grandmaa has thought of as being her weaknesses, God will use for His sake what you will think of as being your weaknesses.
2 Corinthians 12 (122)