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Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12: 1 – 6

In our Scripture this week, Paul is trying to convey an idea that is difficult because; of course, we are still literally in this world, and he is sharing an “out of this world” view. He is wanting the Corinthian church to see him in his weakness AND see God supplying the power. That’s a tough task … for any human.

Have you ever received an award or an honor? I am sure that you were excited. Did you rush out and tell your friends? Did you glory in the moment? Let me tell you a story: in July of 1978, there was a high school band from Florida that competed in the World Music Contest in Kerkrade, the Netherlands. This group of teenagers competed against professional bands from all over the world and won the contest. Not long after their return, one of the band members was contacted by a friend who knew a notable local graphic artist. A t-shirt was quickly rendered that celebrated their achievement. It featured a band member with a big smile and a raised index finger, proclaiming them “Number 1”. Meanwhile, the Director who had led them to this victory had vacated his position to run for political office. His protégé and replacement said nothing about the shirts, but when the Director came back after losing the political contest; the first thing he told the students was “If I ever see you wearing that shirt, I will break THAT finger.” No one tested or questioned him, because the message was clear. It was not an idle threat, it was a reminder of who (and Whose) we were. I suspect St. Paul would have done the same.

That same group of teenagers, after winning the championship, visited Paris, France. One of the highlights of the trip was a tour of The Palace of Versailles. What opulence! The art was incredible; the furniture and fixtures were amazing. To compare my home (and all of its simple creature comforts) to such a Palace is beyond words. This is the same problem (to an exponential power q) that “The man Paul knew” had in trying to describe the indescribable. The finite attempting to describe the infinite.

There are times where discernment begs us to just shut up; follow Job’s example (Job 40:4). Enjoy the moment and allow God to form your heart. Thank God for all He has done and supplied. Check your motive and take your hands off of anything you may believe is yours or your due in that moment and watch God work. When God places you in that moment of honor; thank Him profusely and give Him ALL of the glory and praise and honor for His work in that moment.

Amen.

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