A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians comes in response to false teaching
which this congregation had encountered. Both Paul’s integrity and his calling are brought into question by certain individuals and he urges the Corinthians to reconsider what they know of him first hand, disregard the slander that is being promoted and discipline those who are spreading it. He also urges them to add to their contributions on behalf of the Christians in Jerusalem and assures them that this will be added to the amount he has already collected.
In chapter one, Paul greets the Christians and encourages them to stay strong in their faith
whatever circumstances they may encounter. He then goes on to explain a change in his plans to visit them and makes reference to a previous letter
he has written. While some would insist this is a reference to a different letter than 1 Corinthians, from the very earliest times, Christians believed he was referring to 1 Corinthians, and it is therefore still reasonable to accept that evaluation.
In Chapter two and the beginning of three, Paul asserts his commitment to God
and sense of calling and usefulness in the service of Christ. Nonetheless, he also makes clear his conviction all success is a result of God’s action and blessing: “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”
Chapters three and four express Paul’s conviction that God’s power is sufficient
to accomplish whatever He desires, both because His Holy Spirit is at work, and also because He is able to take the weakest possible vessels (for example, human beings) and achieve great things through them. Therefore, Paul explains, we can be confident of the outcome of our efforts, no matter how things look or feel at the moment, “... for we fix our attention on the things that are unseen ...”
– that is, the things of God and His Spirit.
Chapter five contains a reminder of the Christian’s security: “Therefore we are always confident.”
We may be burdened and faced with hardship in a lifetime on earth, but our eternal home is elsewhere, with God and therefore we are free to concentrate on helping others. We are a new creation
: the old has gone; the new has come!”
Do you believe God’s power is sufficient to sustain your life?
Are you able to look beyond the immediate circumstance, to stay focused on more than your own current feelings and to see God at the center of your life’s picture at all times? In a world at odds with God’s will, such disciplines and attitudes are crucial to our peace of mind and heart.
God is with us, and if we can remember that, our lives can become all they are intended to be.
© A. Eugene Pearson