Thursday 18 February, 2021

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that 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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