DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-07-11
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 1:12-13; 17-19;
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. 13 Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us.
17 …. Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.”….
APPLICATION: The church that is considered ‘perfect’ in the eyes of its membership, is probably most successful when it keeps the struggles that embattle their leadership, behind the scenes. After all, church leadership is made up of human men and/or women. In many cases, church leadership is made up of the same men and women who are challenged with their kids, struggle in their marriages, and possibly written up for various reasons at work. Having been there and done that, I was stricken by the Holy Spirit to carefully read what Paul, a notable saint of God, shared with one of his churches. Let’s take a deep dive into the words of Paul, which we know were inspired by the Holy Spirit, for his words to be included in God’s book of Instruction to us:
~ A God-given holiness and sincerity in all dealings (vs 12) – Because we deal with mere humans in church leadership, we can understand why this may be hard for parishioners to believe. After all, we insist on audits of church financial records, because of the horror stories of theft at some churches. We insist on a buddy system for counseling, because we have heard horror stories of misappropriation between counselors and counselees. BUT I believe that Paul wanted his church to know that he is aiming for perfection as he follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. He therefore shared with the church the principles that he had chosen to live by, with God’s help. I pray that each leader will strive to live as Paul taught, and that each reader will find men and women of God-like character in their church leadership;
~ Depending on God’s grace and not on human wisdom (vs 12) – In each of us, I believe that we are so tainted by the world, that it is always challenging for others to see the grace of God at work in us. We will always try to clarify the process by which we have made decisions regarding the church. However, when we depend on God, it is easy to explain how He guided us through His Word and through His almighty power to the decision He wants made for His church. Which do you see most often by your church leadership;
~ Straightforward letters (vs 13) – There are times when we need an attorney to review certain documents, because we want to make sure that there are no hidden agendas included between the lines. It is interesting, but also conniving how we could place our words just right in a document that leaves the interpretation totally up to the recipient! Paul assured his church that this was not his style of writing. Do you feel the same way about correspondence from your church leadership?
– Let you “Yes” be yes, and your “No” be no (vs 17) – If asked a pointed question, will it depend on the response from the others as to how you might respond? If your church leadership is prayed up and honest in God’s sight, each of them will know how God wants them to individually respond, regardless of what the others might say.
Friends, in all honesty, church leadership is a very challenging thing. Because leaders must learn to put aside personal agendas and wait for the Lord to impress upon them what He wants. Let me encourage every reader and listener to pray diligently for your church leaders. Pray that they will learn to empty themselves of selfish pride and personal agendas, and wait on the Lord for His direction in His church.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Imitate Jesus in our lives and our dealings with others, so that God may bless our efforts and our dealings with others.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You were perfect in the sight of Your Father, yet You were criticized, judged and rejected by mankind. I should expect no less, but please direct my path and keep me on the straight and narrow path so that I may be pleasing to my all-knowing God. Please Lord, give wisdom to our church leaders and guide them in the very critical matters they govern. Trying to gently deal with mankind, while staying true to our perfect God is extremely challenging. Please Lord, always give contentment to our church leaders who strive to always please You, and intervene on their behalf as their church members seek to trust and obey their decisions. You alone are our ultimate Judge, so I pray that we would always strive to please You in all that we do and say. Please remove the desire to please mankind, less our churches become more like the world than their God they were designed to honor and obey. May we always be pleasing in your sight so that You may accomplish Your work through us and our churches. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!