Good morning! Have you ever had to explain yourself to someone you love? You know, give them justifications for the reason(s) why you love them or do the things you do for them? Then you may understand Paul’s heart throughout the book of 2 Corinthians. In 2 Corinthians we find Paul defending himself to the Corinthian church. He never stopped providing an explanation for his apostleship, the message of the good news or expressing his love for the Corinthian church. As we draw closer to the conclusion of the letter Paul emphasizes his continued love for the Corinthians. Join me as we read 2 Corinthians 12:11-15 NLT
“11 You have made me act like a fool. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these “super apostles,” even though I am nothing at all. 12 When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. 13 The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong!
14 Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. 15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:11-15 NLT
Paul established the church in Corinthian and over time other apostles (‘false’) came through (in Paul’s absence) and began to sway the church. The hearts of the Corinthians were being torn between what Paul established and what the other apostles were doing. Even to the point of the Corinthians questioning Paul’s authority as an apostle.
Sisters and brothers sometimes we are like that with God. God has shown us miracles and wonders. He has consistently been by our side and as soon as something better came or comes along we forget about the God who saved us – we believe we are in control and follow our own reasoning or the thoughts of others.
While Paul mentioned he was coming to the Corinthian church for the third time, I loved the following statements:
- I don’t want what you have—I want you.
- I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you.
Sisters and brothers – God comes to us more often than three times to guide us back down the correct path. God wants us and he sent His son Jesus as a living sacrifice to save us. Let’s not turn away from that love that has been proven time and time again.
When was the last time God spoke to you and desired to get you back on the correct path (e.g., spending time with Him, praying, changing your attitude, going back to church, etc.)? ____________
Well sisters and brothers today is the day, remember how God loves you. Listen to Him/Holy Spirit lead you back to His loving arms.
Father God we thank you for the example of Paul’s love for the church. However, Father we thank you for the church, we thank you for your son Jesus who came, died and arose from the grave so that we may have eternal life. What greater love is there… Lord, forgive us for the times when we turned away from you. Forgive us for our unbelief and doubt in who you are or what you can do. Forgive us for the times we pushed your love aside. Lord, lead us down the path that finds you. Lord, bring us out of the ways that put you on the back burner – we want you first in our lives. Keep working in us and change us. In Jesus name, amen.
Keep praying, the Lord hears you! Keep seeking! Keep trusting the process!
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