Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2 Cor. 1-3~ Day 71~ We need our time with God!

This section of scripture stood out to me, "I call God as my witness- and I stake my life on it- that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.  Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm." (2 Cor. 1:23-24)

What is Paul saying?  I had to do some digging.   Well, I read several commentaries to try to break it down and get some understanding.  This is what I came away with: it's like Paul is saying he didn't want to add "insult to injury" so to speak.  He had just written a letter that was both hard to write and hard to hear (2:3).  He didn't want to discipline the Corinthian church again on issues they were dealing with.  Rather, by stating, "it is by faith you stand firm", it's like he is saying, "I'm not going to come and lord over you or exhort my power to get you to change! Instead, I'm going to let God do the work in you, since your faith is (and should be) in Him.  He can do the convicting, comfort you in the feelings of turmoil you are having and provoke a heart change in you.  It will be all his doing- not mine!  After all, your faith is in Him, not me!"

Well, I can get some practical application form that!  Let God do the work in others!  Their salvation or how they work out their salvation is on them.  It should not rest in my "doing", worry, instruction or prayer for that matter!

However, at first I must admit, I didn't know how to write down what I was learning, so I decided I would chuck this whole thought and go for something else! So, I went back to reread the whole days reading!!  Maybe God would give me something new to focus on!

Yet, right when I started reading, I  smiled as I reread, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Well, I read that with a whole new understanding!!  The Corinthian church had been reprimanded by Paul (first letter that caused pain and troubled hearts), they wanted clarification from Paul in person and were upset that he didn't come when he said he would (1:15-17), but in Paul's God given wisdom, he didn't return to them.  They needed to put their trust in God rather than in Paul.  That is why Paul says "it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ." (1:21)  Paul was literally giving them time with God!  He wanted them to see that God would do His work in them, not Paul's work.
Praise God, He does His work in our hearts.  The change does not happen because of another person's great teaching.  And when each person has that personal comforting touch by God, they can share that comfort with others.
That's beautiful!

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