Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6.
(What is God saying here?)
2 Corinthians 6:3-6 (NLT)
3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry.
4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.
5 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, and by our sincere love.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
In verses 4 and 5 Paul described the trials and hardships they encountered as ministers of the Gospel. Today we have it so easy in the US that seldom are any of those things done to us for simply sharing in ministry. However, we must remember that if Paul only ministered to those that wanted to hear the Gospel, or to those that loved and accepted him, or to those that believed in all the things that he was preaching, then he probably would not have been faced with the persecution that he received. Friends, we must remember that just as God worked on us while we were yet sinners, so we must be bold in spreading the Gospel to those that may not have heard the gospel, who readily accept the Good news, who may not even like people such as us from ____??? town or city or state or country. In fact the Word says that we must be ready to share the Word in season and out of season, with those that might readily accept us and even those who might dislike us. Why then should they even accept us, you might ask. My favorite verse this morning is verse 6, for Paul shared that he and his partnering ministers were able to do this because of their:
- Purity – not being two-faced but very transparent in displaying the sincere love of God in all that they said and did.
- Understanding – accept people for who they are. They will not all look like you, or act like you, or believe like you, and they may even dislike you because you seem to have all your troubles and challenges worked out and under control. Try to understand them and help them anyway.
- Patience – know that folk will not change in an instant. In fact, when God saved us He had to be patient with us while we laid aside the things of this world and gained knowledge about His way of life before we totally turned our lives around to follow Him. Likewise, we must also be patient with those that we minister to, and not be so quick to write them off.
- Kindness – In all that we do, be kind to one another – yes even to those that would otherwise challenge us beyond our own limitations. In doing so, the evidence will be shown to others that we are truly children of God.
By using the power of the Holy Spirit within us and out of sincere love for God, His people and His ministry, we could accomplish the above characteristics, and others will come to know Jesus. Let’s do it!
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Lord Jesus, we have never been as challenged to share Your Word as Paul and many of Your soldiers of the cross from times past and even distant countries today, so please help us to stop belly-aching and help us to stop being prejudice in the way that we feel or in the things that tickle our fancy, and help us to see the hearts of the unsaved. May Your kingdom be accomplished through our Purity, our Understanding, our Patience, our Kindness and our sincere love for others.
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