A FOOL FOR CHRIST

2Corinthians 11:24-25 Five times I received from the Jews the 40 lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned. Three times I was shipped wrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea;and at danger from false brothers.

The scene: The numbers in Bible terms show that there is a reason and time for everything in God’s order and plan. The numbers shown in circles show Paul gained God’s favor: 1)The number 3 representing divine witness. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 2) The number 5 representing grace ; 1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.and represents the five fold ministry. (See Ephesians 4:11), 3)The number 39 representing truth; Ephesians 4:15 Instead speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up in him who is the head. (Jesus, the Christ)

Paul in 2 Corinthians 11 thru 13 explains the cost of a life lived for Christ.  He suffered greatly but continued to preach the truth of the Gospel of Christ and suffered his “Thorn in the flesh” an illness to bring humility, the price he paid to be a follower of Jesus, the Son of our Father, God.

2Corinthians 12:9 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

James 4: 5-7 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says; “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Paul endured the pain, gaining God’s favor; running the good race to gain the victory, the promise of heaven.

Sometimes when we pray and our prayers seem to go unanswered we may want to look and see if we are like Paul and are being humbled, for Christ’s sake, through God’s ways of testing and rewarding.

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