Have you ever talked with someone about things in their life that were hurting them? It could have been alcohol, drugs, abuse, lying, meanness… the list can go on. Maybe you have taken it even a step further and intentionally took time to mentor, coach, or were directive and intentional about sharing steps to help lead that person to a place that would change their life for the positive. Prayerfully eternal changes. Really, a life closer to God.
If you have children I know this is part of our daily parenting. Besides our own children who we will leave our biggest impact on, who are you filling into? Who are you guiding, planting seeds of hope, and eternal future? Personally, I know I can and need to be more intentional in my conversations and recognize the need from others. To be more courageous in sharing God’s love. I plan to use some of the tips shared yesterday from Jillian in The Last Word is Love.
Next question, has there been a time where you were mentoring and it seemed like it had worked? Like it was all good. Coaching success! Then unfortunately, you find out they are back to their old ways. The bad habit had crept back in and the pressures of our worldly desires or influences took hold and brought them back to where they were, maybe worse. Then to top it off, the person you were pouring into was making negative comments about you and your motives. I personally can relate, I’ve been on both sides of this fence. Most of my younger years the wrong side of the fence. This is where Paul was when he started to write 2 Corinthians. Paul was feeling saddened, frustrated, displeased at the church he had founded just four years earlier. He thought they had listened and his previous letter giving specific instructions to moral issues. In this letter Paul shows courage to speak up to those who were slandering him and his ministry, Paul defends our God against those who were twisting the truth.
In referring to a couple study bibles on the themes for 2 Corinthians here are reflecting points as we read and reflect.
- Suffering/Trials – Paul had experienced it all. Suffering, persecution, he paid a price for service to Christ and the gospel. 2 Cor. 6:3-13, 2 Cor. 11:16 -33. Reminder – God is faithful. He will provide the strength we need for any trial.
- Giving – 2 Cor. 8 and 9 Paul lays out detailed ways of giving. Reminder for us is our giving and generosity of whatever helps those in need and allows them to thank God.
- Sound Doctrine/Apologetic’s – Paul shares how to represent Christ. The boldness to share the gospel and boast in the grace that we have all received. Paul does all this with Love. 2 Cor. 12:7-10
As we read through 2 Corinthians notice how Paul affirms, defends, and stands up to false teachers. Corinth was full of people who wanted to do everything their own way. Making others look bad by talking about them. Paul reminds them, he reminds us, that they are a new creation, ambassadors for Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17-20. That in all the stress, anxieties that they go through, that we go through, it is encouraging to know that God has a divine plan for us to be part of His eternal kingdom. So our mission while in this temporal world is to point others that way and to please Him. 2 Cor. 5:9
I recently read that Paul had written 2 other letters to the Corinthians and now they are physically lost. Let’s not lose these and their instructions for us.
As we read your word today we pray for the courage of Paul to always want to please you. To be ambassadors for you and to let others know about the grace you have given us and them. That these worldly desires that the Corinthians face and we face today are temporal, and that the indescribable gift of a “new creation” covered by Your love is available to everyone. We pray for obedience in all we do and a heart that will boast of Your love and goodness always. We pray to listen and follow Your will until the day you come to take us home to you. Amen
Tyndale Life Applications Study Bible
The Jeremiah Study Bible