We live in a dog eat dog world, look at the banking system, the materialism, the constant striving for keeping up with others, is our car status representative of our success? The survival of the fittest is another example, it’s great to be healthy and use our body temple for purpose. Or are we feeling constant comparison to others’ and cursing the body and face created in the image of God?
My reading of 2 Corinthians 10 this morning was so impactful. It made me ponder the world, my community, personal interactions, and even my own walk with Jesus. Paul, shared a message of God, was transformed from persecuting Jesus and His followers to an amazing apostle who led the Gentiles and even fellow Jews to Jesus. Because Paul allowed Jesus to use his life for amazing things, Paul was bold and Holy Spirit filled in his preaching.
2 Corinthians 10:3-8 MSG The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way-never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
7-8] You stare and stare at the obvious, but you can’t see the forest for the trees. If you’re looking for a clear example of someone on Christ’s side, why do you so quickly cut me out? Believe me, I am quite sure of my standing with Christ. You may think I overstate the authority he gave me, but I’m not backing off. Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of building you up, after all, not tearing you down.
In the Life Application Study Bible, we are given a narrative background for the times of Paul and the Corinthian culture. Just as in our times, peoples feathers get ruffled when another human speaks boldly and they are not in agreement with the same philosophy. The truth found in the Word can ruffle feathers.
Here is the notes for the Life Application Bible found in 2 Corinthians 10: Verses 1-2 Paul’s opponents were questioning his authority. From verses 7:8-16 we know that the majority of Corinthian believers were siding with Paul; however, a minority continued to slander him, saying that he was bold in his letters but had no authority in person. Second Corinthians 10 through verse 13 is Paul’s response to this charge. Paul used Jesus as a model for being gentle and kind rather than demanding respect.”
Does this description from Paul’s journey feel strangely familiar? I don’t know about you, however, I want to reflect Jesus character with gentleness and kindness over demanding respect. In love, I want to share what the Lord is showing me regarding how to live with Him as my authority.
In love, I want those I love friends, family, even perfect strangers, to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus! But I can’t do it for anyone. If I love like Jesus, speak His truth in love when I feel His prompting, seek forgiveness if I have overstepped in discussion, then maybe others will want to seek Him too!
Love Them Like Jesus also means speaking the truth found in the Bible about complicated issues and being willing to speak the truth even if it’s hard!
Where do you get strong? Is it in the gym or in time spent being built up by the Lord? This workout with God lasts longer than the next time you crave your favorite sweet. Time spent with gaining His wisdom is muscle building for mind, body and soul. As a surfer needs, core strength, focus and tenacity, when we ask the Living Water, God will provide these necessary traits with even more ability to stand in balance no matter what we face.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
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