2 Corinthians 12:1-6
2Co 12:1 Bragging is necessary right now. There is no profit it, but I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third sky– whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
2Co 12:3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise– whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows–
2Co 12:4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which a man is not allowed to speak.
2Co 12:5 I will brag about this experience, but I will not brag on my own behalf, except about my weaknesses–
2Co 12:6 though if I wanted to brag, I would not be acting stupid, because I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
the third sky
We know that Paul is actually referring to himself because he says later that he was given a thorn in the flesh because of the revelations he saw. God opened the door a crack so that he could see the future. Paradise is the future hope of the saints. The third sky is the future sky. The first sky was the creation sky, and the second was the sky after the flood. So, Paul had been given a glimpse of the future by Jesus himself. Part of that glimpse was what Paul would have to suffer to serve Jesus. But the other part — knowing about future paradise — would be enough to sustain him through those tough times.
LORD, help us to exalt Christ, not ourselves.