2 Corinthians 6:1-13
6 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a] I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. 11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts 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 Ps. Beth Waugh