If I love you more, will you love me less?

Scripture reading for September 12th: 2nd Corinthians 12:11-21

Paul continued his defense of his own ministry, blaming the Corinthians for driving him to this.  “I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.  The things that mark an apostle–signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance.” (2nd Corinthians 12:11-12)  Paul did not consider himself to be anything.  But he did do the things that mark apostles of Jesus Christ in their midst.  God had used him to preach the Gospel and they were saved as a result of his ministry.  He had done other signs during his ministry there.  This should have brought commendation.

“Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you.  After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.  So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.  If I love you more, will you love me less?” Paul wasn’t after their money or possessions, as some of the “false apostles” had been.  He considered himself like their parents.  He wanted to be with them and bless them, gladly spending himself for their welfare.  He loved them as Christ loved them, willing even to lay down his life for them.

Paul went on to explain that all he had written was for their strengthening and that he had written what was needed in the sight of God.  ” For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be.  I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.  I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” (2nd Corinthians 12:20-21)  His love for them warned them of his coming so that they may repent and be found free from these sins!  Examine your own life today for these sins!  Jesus is coming soon!

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