From Daniel's Desk on 3/24/2020
My Title: If You Want Your Life to be Meaningful, It Can't Be About YOU
My Verse: 10
10 "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
In order to have a life worth living, you've got to GIVE UP your life and live it for Christ. It's the only thing that matters and the only thing that makes life worth living. It's why we were created. This life IS WORTH LIVING which is WHY it's SUCH a temptation to live if for ourselves. To get AS MUCH out of it as possible... the only problem is that the more we fill it with us, the less and less we can spend it with Him. The more we fill it with us, the more we rob ourselves of what really would satisfy us. When we give it away and fill it with HIM our lives are emptied of the temptations in this life but it's filled with purpose, joy and MEANING... ADVENTURE. Adventure with the living God that CREATED the UNIVERSE.
This life is such a small picture of reality. What this world would look like if we could SEE the spiritual realm. Paul saw the dwelling place of God and he heard things that cannot be told because man is not allowed to utter them! - Still he KNEW that God intended and purposed to keep him humble. (I wonder if the thorn in his flesh was meant to remind him to keep his mouth shut. lol. Funny, not funny.)
What a LIFE. Like what a REAL ON FIRE MEANINGFUL AWESOME LIFE. Lord, lead me closer to you. I know that I've been walking tenderly as if without shoes for the first time hoping to avoid the scars that come from blazing a trail with you. Lord, lead me to be more like Jesus. When I leave this life, I want to already KNOW you. I want to KNOW your voice like an old friend. I want to see your joy in a life lived with faith but already KNOW that it was my strength all along. God you are a mighty King and yet you desire to be friends? Can I come and sit with you today? Can you just speak and let me listen?
How Will This Make You a Better Husband/Father/Man:
Today is my 40th birthday. In my teen years, if I was scared to do something reckless, I would recite these words "Welp, I don't want to get to be the age 40 and say 'I wish I would have...'" and then I would jump off the bridge. Now that I am turning 40, I look back at how long I lived my life with that foolish demeanor and realize I could have avoided a lot of heartache by avoiding such a selfish perspective. - Lord, help me to give my children a perspective of this life and your world that IS MUCH BIGGER than THEM.
Also, can I ask for cool birthday present? Can you show me something special today, something awesome. Like, life altering awesome.
Paul was caught up to the third heaven! How cool is that! NOT THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT HEAVENS... sheesh. Don't get side-tract here. We just covered false prophets in Chapter 11... which means THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE PREACHING FALSE GOSPELS AND THOSE THAT WOULD INTENTIONALLY MISLEAD YOU. - Keep your eyes on Christ and HIS gospel and this wont turn in to speculation or flat out false information or deception!
Paul was stoned (to death and then dragged outside of the city. They thought he was dead. His friends thought he was dead. He may have BEEN dead. BUT then he woke and walked back into the city to preach the same gospel that got him stoned. What. A . Warrior.) in Lystra 14 years before this letter to the Corinthians was written, maybe that's what he is referencing here... especially since that's how he started his resume of suffrage for the gospel. Regardless, in his vernacular...
The FIRST heaven referred to the atmosphere around the earth.
The SECOND heaven referred to the celestial heaven of sun and moon.
The THIRD heaven referred to the DWELLING PLACE OF GOD.
ALL ELSE is PURE speculation or worse deception (as we were warned of and about in chapter 11!)
Heaven is a PARADISE! - He heard things that cannot be told!!! Man may not utter it. That is so rad.
Paul desired not to be talked about so that people would think more of him. He was truly humble. BUT God also meant to keep him that way and so gave him a thorn in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited.
Vs. 10 "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul felt a DEEP concern and responsibility for the Corinthians. His letter is very intentional about THEIR well being. Doing nothing to burden them but only encourage them TO BE CORRECTED. REPENT of their sin and RETURN to the TRUE GOSPEL which he delivered to them.