Bible New Life Version

2 Corinthians 12

Paul Sees Something True In A Special Dream

1 I have to talk about myself, even if it does no good. But I will keep on telling about some things I saw in a special dream and that which the Lord has shown me. 2 I know a man who belongs to Christ. Fourteen years ago he was taken up to the highest heaven. (I do not know if his body was taken up or just his spirit. Only God knows.) 3 I say it again, I know this man was taken up. But I do not know if his body or just his spirit was taken up. Only God knows. 4 When he was in the highest heaven, he heard things that cannot be told with words. No man is allowed to tell them. 5 I will be proud about this man, but I will not be proud about myself except to say things which show how weak I am. 6 Even if I talk about myself, I would not be a fool because it is the truth. But I will say no more because I want no one to think better of me than he does when he sees or hears me.

7 The things God showed me were so great. But to keep me from being too full of pride because of seeing these things, I have been given trouble in my body. It was sent from Satan to hurt me. It keeps me from being proud. 8 I asked the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9 He answered me, "I am all you need. I give you My loving-favor. My power works best in weak people." I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ's power in me. 10 I receive joy when I am weak. I receive joy when people talk against me and make it hard for me and try to hurt me and make trouble for me. I receive joy when all these things come to me because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

11 I have been making a fool of myself talking like this. But you made me do it. You should be telling what I have done. Even if I am nothing at all, I am not less important than those false missionaries of yours. 12 When I was with you, I proved to you that I was a true missionary. I did powerful works and there were special things to see. These things were done in the strength and power from God. 13 What makes you feel less important than the other churches? Is it because I did not let you give me food and clothing? Forgive me for this wrong!

14 This is the third time I am ready to come to you. I want nothing from you. I want you, not your money. You are my children. Children should not have to help care for their parents. Parents should help their children. 15 I am glad to give anything I have, even myself, to help you. When I love you more, it looks as if you love me less.

16 It is true that I was not a heavy load to you. But some say I set a trap for you. 17 How could I have done that? Did I get anything from you through the men I sent to you? 18 I asked Titus and the other Christian brother to visit you. Did Titus get anything from you? Did we not do things that showed we had the same desires and followed the same plan?

19 It may look to you as if we had been trying to make everything look right for ourselves all this time. God knows and so does Christ that all this is done to help you. 20 I am afraid that when I visit you I will not find you as I would like you to be. And you will not find me as you would like me to be. I am afraid I will find you fighting and jealous and angry and arguing and talking about each other and thinking of yourselves as being too important and making trouble. 21 I am afraid when I get there God will take all the pride away from me that I had for you. I will not be happy about many who have lived in sin and done sex sins and have had a desire for such things and have not been sorry for their sins and turned from them.

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2013-04-30 Growing In The Grace Of God