Saturday 13 May, 2017

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 had mercy on you, I heard you. On the day I saved you, I helped you.” (Isaiah 49:8) I tell you, now is the time God has mercy. 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 standing firm in troubles, 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.

In verse 1 Paul urges the Corinthians not to receive God’s grace in vain. God’s grace is a free gift of favour and power, that we could never deserve or earn. If something is in vain it is pointless, useless and worthless. In different translations Paul’s sentiment is expressed as, don’t toss aside God’s kindness (TLB), and don’t accept this marvellous gift only to ignore it (NLT). God has freely given me His favour and power on the basis of His goodness and love. Am I receiving and using His grace everyday? Or am I still trying to be good enough, strong enough, intelligent enough, wise enough and loving enough to manage life?

God, please help me to stop tossing aside your kindness and ignoring the great gift of your grace. Help me to unwrap it afresh each day, such that your gift would not be useless, pointless or worthless. Thank you for providing grace for me, a grace that will never run out or reach an expiry date. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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