1 Corinthians 4:14-21
14 I am not writing this to shame you. You are my dear children, and I want to warn you. 15 You may have 10,000 believers in Christ watching over you. But you don’t have many fathers. I became your father by serving Christ Jesus and telling you the good news. 16 So I’m asking you to follow my example. 17 That’s the reason I’m sending Timothy to you. He is like a son to me, and I love him. He is faithful in serving the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in serving Christ Jesus. And that agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Some of you have become proud. You act as if I weren’t coming to you. 19 But I will come very soon, if that’s what the Lord wants. Then I will find out how those proud people are talking. I will also find out what power they have. 20 The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk. It is a matter of power. 21 Which do you want? Should I come to you with a whip? Or should I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
This Chapter of scripture starts with a series of paradoxes from 1-13 and then the author Paul qualifies his paradoxes in 14-21 by explaining to the recipients of his letter that his statements are made in the way that a father would encourage his children.
I love the way that Paul evidences his love and concern for the people of Corinth by being an example to them and by rationalising his earlier paradoxes with practical demonstrations of his care for them.
Lord, help me to be an example to others that demonstrates your love and power.
Written by Justin Ware