2 Corinthians 12:1-11
1 John 2:16-17
Worldly boasting, Godly boasting is something that is going on all the
time, but mostly what we encounter is worldly boasting.
Worldly boasting is about ourselves and the selfish way we live in this corrupt world.
Godly boasting is mostly about God and His heavenly will, such as thanking God for letting us see something in His beautiful creation, but even that can lead to a prideful way of boasting about who we think we are in our own eyes before God, which is really a form of worldly boasting.
Note what we are told in 1 John 2:16-17Ö
16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the
eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the
17. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
This passage gives us a look into the causes of worldly boasting, and what
happens to those involved in worldly boasting, and the heavenly abode that
awaits all who live in the heavenly will of God.
Now letís take a look at Psalm 48:1-14, and see how our theme for today applies.
1. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
2. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion in the far north,
The city of the great King.
Even in the midst of praising God in this way, we cannot help but think of
all the worldly boasting that our political leaders do every day, and how
often their pride leads them to think they are above the law, the will of
the people they have sworn to protect, and the heavenly will of God.
And we see and hear the same kinds of worldly boasting coming from many corporate leaders.
3. God, in her palaces,
Has made Himself known as a stronghold.
4. For, lo, the kings assembled themselves,
They passed by together.
5. They saw it, then they were amazed;
They were terrified, they fled in alarm.
6. Panic seized them there,
Anguish, as of a woman in childbirth.
The leaders are amazed and terrified because they know that their worldly
boasting and lifestyle is far from the heavenly will of God, and their day
of judgment has come upon them.
But even then, they try to find ways of justifying their evil ways to try not to face prosecution and lose their positions of power and pride.
We are to reject their way of life and worldly boasting, and not to desire or envy the things they pridefully boast about.
7. With the east wind Thou dost break the ships of Tarshish.
In other words, the Lord overcomes all the powers of this corrupt world.
8. As we have heard, so have we seen
In the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God;
God will establish her forever.
Most people donít seem to want this heavenly abode to exist here on earth as
it is in heaven, and as Jesus told us to pray for, for they continue to
promote the wicked ways of this world with all its pain, suffering,
bloodshed, and death, and their plates are full of the tortured remains of
These people are involved in worldly boasting.
We are not to be like these people; we are to be living in the heavenly will of God and, if anything, be involved in Godly boasting.
9. We have thought on Thy lovingkindness, O God,
In the midst of Thy temple.
10. As is Thy name, O God,
So is Thy praise to the ends of the earth;
Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
11. Let Mount Zion be glad,
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice,
Because of Thy judgments.
12. Walk about Zion, and go around her;
Count her towers;
13. Consider her ramparts;
Go through her palaces;
That you may tell it to the next generation.
14. For such is God, Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.
We are to focus on the things of God and live in the heavenly will of God
here on earth.
As we take a look at 2 Corinthians 12:1-11, note the way Paul addresses Godly boasting, and the warnings that can lead to worldly boasting and other worldly problems.
1. Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
Paul is cautioning us to remember that while some forms of Godly boasting
are necessary, it is never profitable, because as soon as we look at ways
that Godly boasting can make us seem more important, we have fallen into the
trap of worldly boasting.
This is what happens when people claim that God wants them to eat animal products, when they know that God does not want to have animals suffer, for it is impossible to eat animal products without causing animals to suffer and die.
With this in mind, letís look at Paulís heavenly experience.
2. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago ó whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows ó such a man was caught up to the third heaven.
Paul doesnít claim to understand how God accomplished this. He just accepts it.
3. And I know how such a man ó whether in the body or apart from the body I
do not know, God knows ó
4. was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.
He even seems reluctant to mention that he is talking about himself.
5. On behalf of such a man will I boast; but on my own behalf I will not
boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.
6. For if I do wish to boast I shall not be foolish, for I shall be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one may credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.
We all need to note the way Paul cautions us about how we express our own personal experiences with God, for they can all too easily turn into worldly boasting.
7. And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me ó to keep me from exalting myself!
We believe that most of us can relate to this kind of experience, but we need to remember that these things are meant to humble us and not exalt ourselves.
8. Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart
9. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Even boasting about our weakness can easily become a form of worldly boasting.
10. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
From everything weíve heard and witnessed, this is something that most vegan and animal rights activists have encountered.
11. I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should
have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most
eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.
Even in this statement, we can see worldly boasting, for it is never up to
us to determine who we are in comparison to other people; this is only
something that other people should say about us or see in us, but nothing
that they say or do should make us feel exalted, just encouraged to continue
doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
All we should be doing is walking humbly with the Lord in everything we do, which leaves no room for worldly boasting.
We are to be the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God who live in the heavenly will of God, and do everything in our power to help free creation from its present corruption.
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