Scripture Passage: 2 Corinthians 6:1-18 based on the LCMS Daily Lectionary for August 28
Meditation: Compelling love does not guarantee receptivity. Paul was compelled by Christ’s love (5:14) and commended by his suffering for them (6:3-4), but the Corinthian church lacked an understanding of these. Paul tells them, “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain” (6:1). It was, and is, possible to spurn the love of God. They ridicule and reject it.
The love shown by Paul for them was with his heart “wide open,” but it isn’t mutual (6:11-13). Have you ever completely opened your heart to another person only to have it rejected? It severely hurts. The Corinthian church experiences Christ’s love for them and Paul’s love for them, but they do not return that love to them. That puts them in a dangerous spot.
Why should they believe Paul? Paul suffered tremendous hardships for their sake (6:3-10). Just to name a few. His experiences included “beatings, imprisonment and riots,” for sharing the truth of God’s love for people. The extended list of difficulties, many of them recorded in Acts, proves Paul’s love for them. Christ’s love compels him, and his suffering commends him to them.
Still, with his heart wide open to them and having suffered for them, they rejected his love. As a pastor, spouse, parent, or friend, we can relate to this. We love our congregation, spouse, children, or friends but sometimes, that love is not returned. We put ourselves aside for their needs, but they do not recognize, nor care. We work for their best, but receive their worst. We go far beyond the call of duty, but are stabbed in the back for not loving them.
Paul’s experience with the Corinthian church does not differ from our own experience. We can’t force others to see our love and suffering for them, but we can continue and hope that they eventually realize it. Sometimes, they may add to our suffering and cause us further pain, but we must hope and pray that our love for them will ultimately be realized.
Meditate on God’s Word. Draw close to God each day. Listen to His Word for you.
Living the Word Today seeks to provide brief devotional thoughts for daily living from a passage of Scripture. It is not meant to be academic exegesis, but a humble attempt to listen to God’s voice through His written Word.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.