2 Corinthians 12 (New American Standard)

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Paul's Vision

1 1Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable ; but I will go on to visions and 2revelations aof the Lord. 2 I know a man 3in Christ who fourteen years ago -whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, 4God knows -such a man was 5caught up to the 6third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man -whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, 7God knows - 4 was 8caught up into 9Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. 5 10On behalf of such a man I will boast ; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my 11weaknesses. 6 For if I do wish to boast I will not be 12foolish, 13for I will be speaking the truth ; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

A Thorn in the Flesh

7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the 14revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a 15thorn in the flesh, a 16messenger of Satan to btorment me-to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord 17three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for 18power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather 19boast cabout my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore 20I am well content with weaknesses, with dinsults, with 21distresses, with 22persecutions, with 23difficulties, 24for Christ's sake ; for 25when I am weak, then I am strong. 11 I have become 26foolish ; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for 27in no respect was I inferior to the emost eminent apostles, even though 28I am a nobody. 12 The f29signs gof a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by hsigns and wonders and imiracles. 13 For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that 30I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me 31this wrong ! 14 Here 32for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I 33will not be a burden to you; for I 34do not seek what is yours, but 35you; for 36children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but 37parents for their children. 15 I will 38most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If 39I love you more, am I to be loved less ? 16 But be that as it may, I 40did not burden you myself ; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I 41took you in by deceit. 17 42Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I? 18 I 43urged 44Titus to go, and I sent 45the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not jconduct ourselves kin the same 46spirit and walk 47in the same steps ? 19 All this time lyou have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, 48it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ ; and 49all for your upbuilding, 50beloved. 20 For I am afraid that perhaps 51when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish ; that perhaps there will be 52strife, jealousy, 53angry tempers, 54disputes, 55slanders, 56gossip, 57arrogance, 58disturbances ; 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have 59sinned in the past and not repented of the 60impurity, mimmorality and sensuality which they have practiced.
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