LET ME EXPLAIN
You are God and are in complete control. Thank you for that knowledge that centers me and enables me to handle the challenges of life.
Read 2 CORINTHIANS 1:12 – 2:4
Paul’s Change of Plans
12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity[a] and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. 13 For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?
18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas[b] and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
23 I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm. 2 1 So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? 3 I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. 4 For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.
- 2 Corinthians 1:12 Many manuscripts holiness
- 2 Corinthians 1:19 Greek Silvanus, a variant of Silas
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink back to a time when someone close to you misunderstood your actions. How did you feel, and what did you do?
Those who brand Paul – and there are many – as an austere theologian can never have read this letter. A strong will certainly (v 12); a sharp mind of course (v 20). But a cold heart? Never! The Paul we meet today seems close to emotional meltdown.
The aborted visit (v 23) and the stern letter (2:3) are playing on his mind and he is desperate for the church to know the truth. He wasn’t being fickle or manipulative. He just loves this wayward bunch of disciples and wants to be in fellowship with them.
The emotion is raw, but the theology is radical. The relationship has become fractured but cannot finally be broken because it flows from their mutual trust in God the Father who has rooted them in his Son Jesus, and sent his Spirit into their hearts assuring them that they belong (vs 21,22). No amount of misunderstanding can withstand this trinitarian security! If today you are feeling wounded by another Christian, recall the unity you have because you both belong to Christ. Then, while work may still be needed to mend the trust that has been broken, you will be well on the way to a joyful reunion!
Is there a broken relationship where you need to make the first move today to mend it?
Heavenly Father, I am humbled by Paul’s love and humility. Holy Spirit, develop these two qualities in me I pray.
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