Corinthians – Belief and Behavior
Right and wrong. Good and evil. There are only two real choices to make. But we waffle at times. When in doubt…don’t. If it is not necessary to say or do then don’t say it or do it. This is good advice but we need help. We fight a daily war with evil. Life is full of daily choices. What we truly believe and who we fully trust shows up in the details of our lives.
When we choose Jesus, evil’s schemes to bring us down are thwarted. Evil is sly but we can have God’s wisdom to point out the flaws in evil’s choices in our lives. All we have to do is ask for wisdom and insight. Sometimes the choice is hard to make but God reminds us, “I heard your call in the nick of time; the day you needed me, I was there to help.” We cannot do life alone. When we try, we fail. Apart from God helping us we fall hard and pay the consequences. Life hems us in. Life becomes much smaller and harder without God.
Paul begs the church gone wild in Corinth to stay with what Jesus taught. Believe, worship and trust in God alone. Leave the idols in the dust, and understand fully what God has said from the beginning of creation; “I want you all for myself.” There is no one like our God, our Father, who loves us more than we can fathom. The choice is clear to those who believe. In good times and bad, choose to live openly, honestly and expansively with God.
Soak in God’s promise at the end of this passage and let it marinate all day long today…
2 Corinthians 6, The Message
Staying at Our Post
1-10 Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us,
I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed me, I was there to help.
Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
11-13 Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
14-18 Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:
“I’ll live in them, move into them;
I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise;
leave it for good,” says God.“Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
I want you all for myself.
I’ll be a Father to you;
you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”
The Word of the Master, God.
Think about it…the choice is clear and understandable!
–Don’t be late to God’s work.
–Listen as never before and be quick to obey God.
–People watch what we do so do what God tells us to do because what we do leads others to Him!
–People wonder how we will react when we are tired, busy in the work, staying up late to finish a sermon or plan the worship, when our family is very ill, when we are hurt by others and the list goes on. “Our work as God’s servants gets validated–or not–in the details.”
–Our behavior reflects what our heart, mind and soul believes about God.
–“Don’t be partners with those who reject God.”
–“The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way.”
–“Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
And God said,
“I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good, says God. Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me. The Word of the Master, God.”
Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m yours. All that I am. All that I have is Yours. It was yours from the beginning. Help me not to squander one minute of this marvelous life You have given to me. Transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, By His power living in us, Amen