Father, thank You for Your self-giving love. Thank You that You pursue us with abandon.
Read 2 Corinthians 6:3-13
 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.  Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;  in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;  in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;  in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;  through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;  known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;  sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.  We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.  We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.  As a fair exchange-I speak as to my children-open wide your hearts also. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what way does Paul validate his ministry?
What would you need to know about me before trusting me with your most precious possession? A great deal more than the limited information about me at the beginning of these notes, no doubt. Paul returns to his desire to commend himself again to his readers. It is a theme he will return to before the close of the letter, but here is the summary. Paul speaks of his afflictions and endurance (4,5), his character (6,7), and the way in which the reality is so at odds with how he has been viewed. He is true, but seen as an imposter; rejoicing rather than miserable; making many spiritually rich, although poor himself (8-10). If his readers looked carefully, rather than relying on his opponents, they would see how transparent Paul’s life is, how open-hearted and full of affection he is. It’s quite a testimony, isn’t it? What counts is divine approval, not public opinion. With divine approval comes that “aroma of Christ” (2:15) and “treasure in jars of clay” (4:7), making us ambassadors of Christ, reliant upon God’s vindication and grace to affirm us (1:12).
Write your own list of qualifications for ministry. How do they compare to Paul’s? Does anything need to change?
Lord of life, breathe in and through me. Let Your light shine to a world in need.
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