Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not give up.
as grieving yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing yet possessing everything.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.
"Therefore," He said to them, "every student of Scripture instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who brings out of his storeroom what is new and what is old."
This grace was given to me-- the least of all the saints!-- to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah,
God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.
For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For it is said, "His letters are weighty and powerful, but his physical presence is weak, and his public speaking is despicable."
When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend [about] a dream. He said, "Listen, I had a dream: a loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp, struck a tent, and it fell. The loaf turned the tent upside down so that it collapsed."
His friend answered: "This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has handed the entire Midianite camp over to him."
Then he divided the 300 men into three companies and gave each of the men a trumpet in one hand and an empty pitcher with a torch inside it [in the other].
"Watch me," he said, "and do the same. When I come to the outpost of the camp, do as I do.
When I and everyone with me blow our trumpets, you are also to blow your trumpets all around the camp. Then you will say, 'The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!'"
Gideon and the 100 men who were with him went to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch after the sentries had been stationed. They blew their trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.
The three companies blew their trumpets and shattered their pitchers. They held their torches in their left hands, their trumpets in their right hands, and shouted, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
Zion's precious people-- [once] worth their weight in pure gold-- how they are regarded as clay jars, the work of a potter's hands!
God has chosen the world's insignificant and despised things-- the things viewed as nothing-- so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something,
For I think God has displayed us, the apostles, in last place, like men condemned to die: we have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men.
We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!
Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless;
we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
when we are slandered, we entreat. We are, even now, like the world's garbage, like the filth of all things.
you know that previously I preached the gospel to you in physical weakness,
and though my physical condition was a trial for you, you did not despise or reject me. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus [Himself].
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and earthenware, some for special use, some for ordinary.
not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.
He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.
especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself.
Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me.
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me.
In fact, He was crucified in weakness, but He lives by God's power. For we also are weak in Him, yet toward you we will live with Him by God's power.
And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power,
so that your faith might not be based on men's wisdom but on God's power.
and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
He demonstrated [this power] in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens--
made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!
For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift--
not from works, so that no one can boast.
Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we were among you for your benefit,