We bring our vacation in Palm Desert to a close today. Early in the morning we will travel back to Denver and attend the Western Conservative Summit before returning home on Sunday.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY….. “Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
1 Corinthians begins with Paul addressing divisions and arguments over the “best” apostle or spiritual leader. He continues addresses a list of doctrinal errors and brings correction to a number of wrongs.
2 Corinthians is softer letter of comfort and encouragement. Paul affirms and encourages their obedience and growth in Christ. He encourages their generosity and their open hearts to fellow believers in need. We can observe the foundation of what we read throughout scripture, what we believe and how we live promotes God’s best for our life.
Paul ends his letter with a series of practical admonitions. All of them related to one issue. Promoting healthy, positive relationships and connections to each other.
When there is strife and division, restoration should be the goal. It is interesting the he says, “aim” for restoration. That is the goal but it is not a guarantee. We are only responsible for our own actions attitudes. I am remind of Paul’s words, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NV) Every situation may not turn out the way we would like, but those that do, begin with each party seeking to “do” what is right versus focusing on “being” right.
Paul then addresses the value and priority of community life. In 1 Corinthians he told them, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV) “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV) Believers are uniquely connected to each other. Just as you can’t choose who is in your nature family, you can’t choose who is in your spiritual family. So Paul reminds them one more time that they are of “one another” and as a result they are to comfort and agree with one another and live in peace with one another.
All of this requires humility, submission and obedience to God’s Word. When we live according to God’s Word, we experience the blessings of God’s Word. Paul says, when you do these things, “the God of love and peace will be with you.”
That phrase is not unique to this letter. Paul writes similarly to the Philippians and says, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 NIV)
Connection with God, connection with each other. It’s what the gospel is all about. God’s Word consistently points the way.
Prayer for today…. Lord thank You that what Your Word instructs to do, we can be confident that You will empower us to do. Help us to trust and obey You and leave the results to You.