Friday 26 May, 2017

2 Corinthians 13:1-4

13 This will be my third visit to you. Scripture says, “Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 19:15) 2 I already warned you during my second visit. I now say it again while I’m away. When I return, I won’t spare those who sinned earlier. I won’t spare any of the others either. 3 You are asking me to prove that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you. He is powerful among you. 4 It is true that Christ was nailed to the cross because he was weak. But Christ lives by God’s power. In the same way, we share his weakness. But by God’s power we will live with Christ as we serve you.

The Apostle Paul is preparing to visit the Corinthian church for the 3rd time. On his first visit to Corinth, Paul founded the church and stayed for 18 months. His 2nd visit was short and involved problems within the Corinthian church. And now he is preparing to come for a 3rd time and he is not happy with the reports of what he has heard is going on there.

Paul’s opponents, the leaders among the Corinthian Christians seem to think that Paul is too weak and humble for their liking. They want to see more “power” from Paul. So Paul is warning them here that he is going to come back with the power of God to clean up the church, unless they clean it up before he comes.

Listening to reproofs and rebukes is not easy. Human nature and pride makes us want to do things our own way rather than listen to others. But it’s always better to stop and examine yourself and humble yourself to repentance rather than incur wrath and judgement.

Sometimes in our stubbornness and pride, we choose not to listen to the gentle rebuke and end up bringing a much tougher discipline upon ourselves.

I am reminded today to listen to the correction of those around me and not let it get to the stage where people have to get “tough” with me before I will listen.

Written by Shelley Witt

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