THE REFUGE DEVOTIONAL
Blessed be The God of heaven Who sent His Son to die for us so that we may see the beauty of the cross and the evil of our nature. As Paul penned this divine letter to the church of Corinth, he wanted each believer in the church to put away all pride that rages in the heart of every person. For it is our pride that contends with the glory that is due to Jesus Christ. Paul, using himself as an example, had more reason to boast in his flesh than anyone else. In His letter to the church of Philippi he said concerning his fleshly confidence he was , “Circumcised on the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.”
The scriptures also inform us that Paul saw Jesus Christ in His resurrected state and heard Him calling out to him by his Hebrew name saying, “Saul, Saul, Why are you persecuting Me?” To further the position of the reason Paul could boast in his flesh, he said speaking of his own self, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows-such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man-whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knowswas caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”
Though Paul’s testimony is that of the miraculous, he chose to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. The Lord allowed thorns in his flesh to reprove him and to remind him he was but dust, and apart from God’s redemptive plan through Jesus Christ, he would suffer the wrath of God. His natural desire was to elevate himself, but he opposed those thoughts violently, contending against his fleshly thoughts so that he may be conformed to the image of his Savior, Jesus Christ.
Saints of God, where then is our boasting, Jesus has been raised from the dead? He came to live the life we couldn’t live, and to die the death we deserve to die. Let us cast down our accolades of success, throwing off the security of wealth, and deny anything that might lead to self- honor. Remember scripture warns us, “One day each one’s work will become evident; for that day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” May the words of Jeremiah impress itself upon each of us, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows The Lord.”
“ My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NASBS