Beyond the Gospels: Corinthians

Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:11-21
(Click on the link to read today’s verses.)

By the end of these verses Paul gives us an honest look into his feelings about those in Corinth. He’s told them how much he loves them and tried to do what is right by them. It’s as if he has spent all of his energy trying to get them to see the truth and in a moment his true feelings are revealed. He uses two powerful words each of us can identify with in some way when it comes to our relationships with others.

He’s afraid — afraid of the condition of their hearts, fearful of the sin they are allowing among themselves, afraid of being humbled before them.

He’s grieved. It is a word not only revealing his sadness, but a sadness to the point of suffering. Paul is literally suffering over the situation in Corinth.

I’ve been right where Paul is in my life. Afraid for those I love to the point of suffering. I wonder… is there someone you are thinking of at this very moment? Someone you’ve spent years praying for with what feels like no answer? Someone you wish could see God’s truth and live in it? Someone you’ve cried a great number of tears over?

I get it, and so did Paul. Maybe knowing we’re not alone in our fear and grief for others is just what we need today. I can’t help but consider we are mid-way through Holy Week. Loving others to the point of suffering is the message spoken straight from the cross. The work our Savior did on Calvary exchanged our fear, grief, and death for life. It still does today.

That someone you were reminded about earlier. Don’t give up or give in. Keep loving and praying for them. Each time you think of them, carry them to the foot of the cross… lay them down at the altar of Christ’s feet. Cry more tears, suffer a little longer. Jesus did for us… so we do for others.

Oh, Lord Jesus! Help me to understand more fully Your heart of love
that held You to the cross. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit
to love others as You do.

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