2 Corinthians 6:1-13
6 We work together with God. So we are asking you not to receive God’s grace and then do nothing with it. 2 He says, “When I showed you my favor, I heard you. On the day I saved you, I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time God shows his favor. Now is the day he saves. 3 We don’t put anything in anyone’s way. So no one can find fault with our work for God. 4 Instead, we make it clear that we serve God in every way. We serve him by holding steady. We stand firm in all kinds of trouble, hard times and suffering. 5 We don’t give up when we are beaten or put in prison. When people stir up trouble in the streets, we continue to serve God. We work hard for him. We go without sleep and food. 6 We remain pure. We understand completely what it means to serve God. We are patient and kind. We serve him in the power of the Holy Spirit. We serve him with true love. 7 We speak the truth. We serve in the power of God. We hold the weapons of godliness in the right hand and in the left. 8 We serve God in times of glory and shame. We serve him whether the news about us is bad or good. We are true to our calling. But people treat us as if we were pretenders. 9 We are known, but people treat us as if we were unknown. We are dying, but we continue to live. We are beaten, but we are not killed. 10 We are sad, but we are always full of joy. We are poor, but we make many people rich. We have nothing, but we own everything. 11 Believers at Corinth, we have spoken freely to you. We have opened our hearts wide to you. 12 We are not holding back our love from you. But you are holding back your love from us. 13 I speak to you as if you were my children. It is only fair that you open your hearts wide to us also.
With children, education is incredibly important. Adults have so much to learn from them!
Children know exactly what to do with a gift: you receive it, you open it up and you make it yours. You play with, you show your friends, you take it everywhere with you. Yet, here the Corinthians have received the most marvelous gift (being new creations) and they seem to be ignoring it.
Perhaps they are thinking “one day soon, I’ll try that out”, or “bit busy now, maybe later”. But kids know: now is the right time. Birthdays and Christmas take forever to come. When the gift is given is the perfect time to enjoy it.
And Children know how to respond to those who care for them: with simple, unreserved love and acceptance.
Paul and his companions have been through so much, giving up almost everything to bless them and other Christians. And yet, the Corinthians seem to be cold towards him. His heart is so much for them and they withhold their hearts from him.
I feel so sad for Paul. Perhaps he seemed so self-assured, so confident, but he needed encouragement and acceptance too.
What gifts do I have sitting there waiting to be enjoyed?
Am I being stand offish with leaders in the Church? We’re really lucky at C3 Carlingford to have pastors and leaders who dedicate so much of themselves to us, and are such a joy to spend time with. Is it time to take time for that cup of coffee, share a joke with them, tell them what treasures they are?
Father, teach me to receive like a little child again – and especially to receive you.
Written by David Cornell