2 Corinthians 13
I’m picking up here on the last chapter of 2 Corinthians. Thanks to Marcia Railton & Kayla Tullis for the first 12 chapters in this book!
One thing I love about these devotion blogs is that you get something a little different each week with different people contributing. My style is pulling out some verses that stand out to me, doing some summarizing, and adding some of my own thoughts. I hope that there is something this week that you can learn and/or grow from.
Chapter 13 picks up right where chapter 12 left off. Paul is writing to tell them of his coming third visit. And he isn’t going to be quite as nice. They have gotten a couple of warnings, and now he is cracking down.
Grace is an amazing concept. But if you use grace as an excuse to continue sinning, it cheapens God’s gift, and Jesus’s sacrifice. So do this:
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored.
We may be weak at times, but if Christ is in us, we can rely on his strength and be fully restored – thank you God for this gift! Because if we had to do it on our own, we simply couldn’t.
Paul finishes his letter with good advice:
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
It can be hard to live at peace with our brothers and sisters if we aren’t at peace with God.
The past couple of weeks in our ladies class at church, we have been talking about our testimonies, and this reminds me of mine. I grew up in the church and always knew I needed to accept Christ as my Savior to fully experience his and God’s love, but for some reason, I just hadn’t. I believed everything, I had the knowledge, but it just hadn’t made a connection in my heart. Then one Sunday, a lady in our church who was struggling with cancer shared how in her darkest time at the hospital, she had felt so far from God feeling almost abandoned. Yet after feeling that, God blessed her with a deep sense of peace that passed any understanding of her circumstances. And she knew that whatever happened, she would be ok whether in this lifetime, or in the coming Kingdom. That got to me. That gave me that heart connection I was missing. I remember going to my pastor after church and telling him that I wanted to know that peace – I was ready to make my decision.
So if you have made your decision already, I am so happy for you! I hope that you can live in peace and feel God with you.
And if you haven’t, I encourage you to consider it. Maybe you are like me and know the truth, but just haven’t felt that connection in your heart. If this is the case, I hope that you will spend time talking to God and ask Him to give you that connection so that you don’t have to miss out.