Paul’s Footsteps #179

Footsteps #179

In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,[c] and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” NLT  (2Cor.6:4-10).

If we were able to ask Paul, “Why are you doing it all? Why all the pain and all the trials?” Paul would answer, “I have to. I have received the love of Christ. I have the love of Christ in my heart in the sense that I love Jesus. I also have the love of Christ in my heart for all the people Jesus loves. I am compelled by the love of Christ!”(5:14NASB) Paul and his entourage laboured much, but all their labour sprang from the impulse of the love of Jesus Christ. Just as Jacob toiled for Rachel solely out of love to her, so do true disciples serve the Lord Jesus under the omnipotent constraint of love. To say this love ‘controls us’ (NLT) is to say the love of Christ has power. It has a force that can reconcile us and influence us. I am amazed at how Paul was driven forward through many trials with the wonderful force that made him a mighty power for good, ever active and energetic. 

Read 5:15 and ask yourself the simple question it implies: Are you living for yourself, or are you living for Jesus? He died for us that we might die to ourselves. Our love for God, and our life for God, is expressed in the way we serve others. When we say that we live for God, we cannot use it as an excuse to neglect serving others. 

I have 2Cor.6:10 heavily highlighted and doubly underlined in my Bible. After reflecting on his many trials from v4ff he simply says, “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” (NLT). The RSV (which is my marked Bible) puts it like this, “We are as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” If that is your life – rejoice! There are two sides to life if you are in Christ. Paul lives in the eschatological atmosphere of anticipation of the grand climax. Our experiences in the past, and in the present have their culmination in the future.

No Comments

Post A Comment