Wednesday 17 May, 2017

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

16 God put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. Thanks should be given to God for this. 17 Titus welcomed our appeal. He is also excited about coming to you. It was his own idea. 18 Along with Titus, we are sending another brother. All the churches praise him for his service in telling the good news. 19 He was also chosen by the churches to go with us as we bring the offering. We are in charge of it. We want to honor the Lord himself. We want to show how ready we are to help. 20 We want to keep anyone from blaming us for how we take care of that large gift. 21 We are trying hard to do what both the Lord and people think is right. 22 We are also sending another one of our brothers with them. He has often proved to us in many ways that he is very committed. He is now even more committed because he has great faith in you. 23 Titus is my helper. He and I work together among you. Our brothers are messengers from the churches. They honor Christ. 24 So show them that you really love them. Show them why we are proud of you. Then the churches can see it.

I don’t think you can read this passage and not pick up on the honour theme that runs through it. Everyone involved in the carrying of this offering is praised, honourable, eager to honour the Lord, helpful, zealous, an honour to Christ. But they are praised not so much for what they’ve achieved, but for who they are – enthusiastic initiators in serving the gospel; eager helpers of the church; people of integrity, doing the right thing before God and man; hard workers and honours to Christ Himself.

I am all too often caught up in our culture’s obsession with performance, and here Paul speaks of a completely different quality of person. And I am sure it is not simply that these men were great people, but did nothing with their lives. They worked hard, but the achievements were not what made them – their character sustained their achievements, not the other way around.

This passage is deeply inspiring for me. I aspire to be named amongst such a collection of saints.

God, empower in me a life of enthusiastic initiative for your gospel, eager support for your church, integrity of life, and hard work such that I am an honour to You, personally. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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