Scripture: “…but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way:
- by great endurance; in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;
- by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;
- by truthful speech, and the power of God;
- with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left;
- through honor and dishonor;
- through slander and praise.
We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” 2 Cor 6:4-10
Observation: The above is not the section of 2 Cor 6 that gets mentioned the most (“Do not be unequally yoked…” probably gains that prize…) but, talking about godly character trumps “watch outs…”
Analysis: The long-term gain in being a disciple is the increasing development of godly Character.
There are several metaphors that can describe the process of being a disciple. Most are inadequate in a full sense but do start to give a mental picture of what discipleship is about.
I am under no illusion: all of these are shadows of the depth of what Jesus is doing with me. One thing that I have come aware of is that, if I want to be serious about my Faith, I must take an active role in cooperating with the Holy Spirit to accomplish the Goal of the High Calling in Christ. (Phil 3:14)
One of these metaphors is the pattern of Craft: Apprentice, Journeyman, Master.
How many times have I been satisfied to settle for being an apprentice, or worse yet—a wanna be apprentice?
Paul writes of himself and, hopefully, for Timothy and Titus who are accompanying Paul here. How much of this, as Paul dictates, is Timmy or Titus saying to themselves, “Whoa! What have I signed up for?” That kind of reaction should be hitting me every day—more challenge for me to surrender my life to the Cross.
Reality: I am presented with what Paul is writing about every day—just not to the extent he relates. I am tested and confronted to act and react in godliness daily.
Preach the Gospel. To preach, I first must REMEMBER the Gospel. To remember, I must teach myself the Gospel. To teach myself, I must go over and review every aspect of the Gospel.
This just came to mind: I stand fast in the Faith of the Gospel. But the Scriptures do not ask me to just stand, it calls me to Walk—walk worthy of the Gospel. It wants me to contribute in cooperation to grow in Godliness.
Prayer: Father, how I want to split the idea that declaring the Kingdom is different from growing in Holiness. But it isn’t, and yet it is. Perhaps it is just because I am a creature, bound by limitations that it is easier to choose one function/task over another.
Help me to integrate all the facets of the Gospel into my walk. I want to serve You fully. AMEN