#DailyDevotion Are You Going To Boasts In Jesus Or Your Experience?
1 Cor. 12:1 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.
We are often an experience driven people. Experiences are nice. They can even build up the faith at time. But our faith cannot be based on such experiences. Paul had an experience. He was caught up to the third heaven (whatever that is). He was caught up to paradise. And while he was there he heard things which can’t be told or uttered. Now he could brag about that. He could go and base his faith on that. He initially speaks of this as it wasn’t him and would boast about himself in the 3rd person, but he would not boast about himself or have people listen to him because of the grace God had given him.
Instead, Paul would rather boast about his weaknesses. How strange. I think perhaps we want to experience something supernatural so that we could boast about it and have people pay attention to us so they would think we are special. But Paul wants to boasts about his weaknesses. Now why would he want to do that? So that Jesus would be glorified.
You see Paul boasted how Jesus worked through him, through his weaknesses. Despite Paul’s past, Jesus worked through Paul to bring he message of salvation to the Jews and Gentiles. Though Paul were not eloquent of speech, Jesus used Paul to preach to people and bring them to faith in Jesus, turn them from idols, to repent of their sins and to have faith in the Living God. Despite whatever handicaps Paul had because of his stoning, beatings and the like God used Paul to spread the Gospel.
Now that is what it was like in the Old Testament as well. God used on old man and a barren woman to create a great people, the Israelites. He used a bratty kid to become governor of Egypt and save his people. He used Moses to lead his people out of Israel. He used Gideon, with only 300 men, to defeat the Philistines. The Lord took a lowly shepherd David to utterly defeat the Philistines. He once told the Isrealites to meet their enemies at the gates of Jerusalem with flutes and lyres and the enemy defeated each other leaving the Israelites to do mop up operations. Such is the method of God to use the weak and lowly to accomplish his great works.
Finally, he uses fallen men with just his word to preach Jesus Christ to you. No big miracles. No fancy shows. Not even big auditoriums but just your basic church building with an everyday speaker and organist who play too slow (on occasion), too loud, and hymns too strange to modern ears, so the focus of salvation isn’t on an experience but just Jesus’ word. He does this to have our faith in Jesus and not something else which fades or isn’t consistent. So we with Paul will boasts of our weaknesses so that Jesus may get the glory.
Heavenly Father, grant us such faith that in all we think, say and do, we do it to the glory of Jesus and recognize that anything good or great that is done through us is only due to his almighty power. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.