Scripture reading for October 4th: 2nd Corinthians 13
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 13:2-7 “I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them–since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but in dealing with you we will live with Him by the power of God. Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
Paul, as a pastor and apostle, was watchful over the flock of God. He warned those in the congregation on his second visit about sinning and even earlier had instructed them how discipline a sinning brother. In this letter he had instructed them on restoration of the repentant brother. Paul again warned them that if he came again a third time, he would still deal with those who were not living in holiness. Even in his weakness, they would experience the power of God flowing through him to bring order and discipline to cases established by two or more witnesses. Each person was called to examine their own hearts about their relationship with Christ Jesus. “Is Christ in you?” was the question to be answered. If indeed Christ was living in them, sin could not dwell in their midst. Paul preferred to come and build them up, not discipline them.
2nd Corinthians 13:9-10 “For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. For this reason I write these thing while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for a pastor’s heart of love and watchfulness and tenderness towards Your flock. Help me to grow in watchfulness and ability to gently instruct and correct those who are caught in webs of sin. May I never use the authority You give except under the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. Let it be for building up, not tearing down.
2nd Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”