2 Corinthians 6 – November 21
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude (circling back to Corinthians in November), I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
2 Corinthians 6
The Ministry of Reconciliation
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.” 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.
Warning Against Idolatry
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
17 Therefore, “Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”
18 And, “I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Withholding Love | Becky Newman
2 Corinthians 6:11-13
Paul is pleading to the Corinthians as a parent pleads to a child. I can hear the pain dripping from these verses. He is giving them so much, and they are returning no love to him. Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to hear his rebukes and corrections — no one likes to hear that they are acting wrong, but we all need to hear it and take it to heart to become more like Jesus and grow closer to God.
I can identify with Paul here and have even thought these same words over the last couple of years. I’ve loved him as my own child; I have not withheld any love from him. So it’s painful when he withholds love from me. And perhaps his reason is similar, that he thinks his ways are right and doesn’t want to listen. But Paul didn’t stop loving them, and neither will I stop loving him, and I’ll continue to pray him through this, until he opens his heart wide and lets You in. Now flip the coin, where have I been a Corinthian? I think it’s with my church. You are showing me that they, like Paul, are withholding no affection from me in worship and shepherding, but I have been withholding prayer for them. My heart needs to open wider to pray for my church.
Lord, please I pray that he would open his heart to You. I pray for re-commitment and baptism. And I pray for my church, its leaders, and staff to continue pouring out love. Help them to remain steadfast in the mission and not to become disillusioned. I pray this in the Name of Jesus.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.