The Gift New Testament

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2 Corinthians

12:1And I must go on bragging, even though there’s no practical reason for it, because now I will tell you about visions and revelations from the Master.12:2I know someone united with the Anointed who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the third heaven. (I don’t know whether it was in the body or not; only God knows.)12:3And I am familiar with such a person— again, whether in or out of the body only God knows—12:4and how he was snatched up into Paradise and heard proclamations that no one is able or permitted to talk about.12:5I’ll brag about someone like that, but not about myself unless it is about my weaknesses.12:6If I ever did want to brag, it wouldn’t be as a fool but the truth. But I will refrain, so that no one will think more of me than what they can see or hear.

12:7And because of those amazing revelations, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a burr in my flesh— a messenger of the Adversary by which he could assault me— to keep me humble.12:8Three times I pleaded with the Master to take it away,12:9but he has declared to me, “My favor is enough for you, for spiritual power is completed by means of physical inability.” So instead I will wholeheartedly celebrate my weaknesses in order to allow the power of the Anointed to cover me.12:10For that reason I will happily endure weakness, outrage, going without necessities, persecution, and distress— all for the sake of the Anointed. For when I am physically unable, then I am spiritually able!

12:11I have become a fool, but you drove me to it, so you should commend me for it! Those ultra-Ambassadors have nothing on me— even if I am nothing!12:12In fact, the hallmarks of an Ambassador— miracles and powers— were produced among you consistently.12:13So in what way did you miss out compared to all the other Congregations— unless it was that I was not a burden to you? Please have mercy on me for this terrible injustice!

12:14Look, this will be the third time I am ready to visit you, and I still will not be a burden to you. I’m not after what belongs to you, but you yourselves. After all, it is the parents who should save up for their children, not the other way around.12:15Yet I would gladly go bankrupt for the sake of your souls, even if loving you more makes you love me less.12:16At any rate, I was not a burden to you. But— crafty guy that I am— I took you in by trickery!12:17Have I somehow taken advantage of you through those I sent to you?12:18I sent Titus and a brother, did he take advantage of you? Do we not keep pace with the same Spirit and walk in the same path?

12:19It must seem like an eternity that we’ve been presenting our defense! But we speak before God united with the Anointed, and it’s all for building you up, dear ones.12:20I fear that when I arrive I won’t find you as I’d prefer you to be, and you won’t find me as you’d prefer me to be. I’m afraid that somehow there will be strife, jealousy, rage, factions, trash talk, rumors, conceit, and riots.12:21My God will not humble me the next time I come, and I will mourn for many who sinned before but never changed their minds about the filthiness and promiscuity and vice they committed.