BEGIN WITH PRAYER
"Lord open my eyes and my heart."
Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.
Wisdom to chew on
Understanding to grow in
There have always been those within the church who oppose genuine gospel ministers in order to draw Christians after themselves. This was one of the problems in Corinth. Some "false apostles" charged Paul with being unimpressive, and questioned whether Christ was speaking through him (10v10, 11v13, 12v3). Today telegenic celebrity pastors can do the same. Thousands may follow them, prioritising what seems to be more dynamic ministry over less "impressive" ministries and churches that are actually more faithful. Reluctantly, Paul recognizes he has to affirm his credentials to counter these "super apostles." But it is striking what credientials he appeals to: His teaching may not be slick, but he seeks to demolish arguments that stand against Christ. His presence may seem unimpressive, but he seeks to make much not of himself but of Christ. And his genuineness is affirmed by his character. He refused payment, receiving support from elsewhere in order to preach for free. Moreover, his life has displayed a readiness to endure the most extreme hardships for Jesus, showing God's power not in dynamism and charisma, but in continuing to minister despite the suffering it entailed. The reading gives reasons not only to trust Paul even today, but to trust those who minister as he did. As you read note how Paul's ministry is affirmed.
2 Corinthians 10-13
2 Corinthians 10-13
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself:
1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this.
2) What’s the main thing it teaches me about his will for me or the world? Then pray that home.
Devotion to offer up
You could read this aloud and perhaps as a springboard to further prayer.