A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Chapters ten and eleven involve a lengthy defense of Paul’s ministry.
First, the apostle reminds his readers of the effectiveness with which he has served God: “We destroy false arguments and every pretension raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ!”
He is careful to make clear that all the credit and honor should go to God, but nonetheless his own work has God’s stamp of approval on it.
Paul next compares his ministry with that of the false teachers among the Corinthians.
Unlike those who only claim to serve Christ (but actually just serve themselves), Paul has not taken his support from the Corinthians. The different
teaching Paul refers to is probably that of the so-called Judaizers
who taught that to be a Christian you had to first understand and accept all of the Jewish ritual and tradition. This the Church leaders, meeting in Jerusalem, had already rejected as a necessity (see Acts 15).
A list of Paul’s trials as a witness for Christ is next presented.
Not so much as a plea to “Look at me!”
as a reminder that his own credentials as a missionary and committed servant of Christ are impeccable and anyone attempting to undermine his work should be asked to show similar credentials. The list is both impressive and a challenge to every Christian whose life is relatively easy.
Finally, Paul describes his submission to God’s will even when it is difficult,
and his concern for the well-being of the Corinthians. He urges them to: “Examine yourselves to find out whether you are living in faith,”
and sends a final greeting and expression of his love.
What has you faith cost you?
Perhaps the test of Christian faithfulness is not suffering, but sacrifice must be a real part of commitment. Do you ever set aside something you really want in order to serve God? Do you accept responsibility which will require consistent and long-term commitment and effort – even when you do not feel like it?
Today, “Test yourself and find out whether you are living in faith.”
Then ask God to show you how you could be of more service to Him and, at the same time, grow closer to Him in the process. Faith that is practiced is practical: it blesses everyone with whom it comes in contact, whether in our families, our friendships, or our acquaintances.
Commit yourself so to live that if you were asked to describe your Christian life
there would be something of significance to share.
© A. Eugene Pearson