Merciful God, thank You for the faith, courage, and calm You give me as I follow You each day.
Read ACTS 18:1-17
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.
“We cannot escape fear; but we can allow it to move us to a deeper comprehension of what it means to exist before God” (D.B. Allender and Trevor Longman III).
Paul began his work in Corinth “in weakness and fear and much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3). He was shaken by the ferocity of the opposition. Initially this consisted of verbal abuse in the synagogue, but as the Spirit demonstrated the Gospel’s power (1 Cor. 2:4) and the number of Paul’s converts mounted (8), the antagonism became ominous, culminating in Paul being charged with heretical teaching before the Roman proconsul. Paul must have been tempted to cut short his stay. However, a very special message from the Lord overcame his fears (9,10). As a result, he stayed longer in Corinth than he had previously done in any city during his missionary travels.
The notion of emotional intelligence was developed in the second half of the twentieth century. It attempts to recognize the role that non-cognitive elements play in intelligent behavior. It is defined as integrating emotion to facilitate thought and promote personal development. Read Paul’s letter to the Romans and you will quickly conclude that he possessed both a massive intellect and high emotional intelligence. He could blend the cognitive and emotional elements of his personality because he constantly pressed on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus had taken hold of him (Phil. 3:12). Paul’s vision of Jesus in Corinth was special, but not a one-time thing. He was constantly captivated by the surpassing worth of knowing Christ as his Lord (Phil. 3:8). We also are called to combine strong biblical theology and deep Christian spirituality. Both are vital if we are to grow in Christ and become effective witnesses. Reread today’s passage. Then ask the Lord to enlarge your understanding of the Gospel and to transform your personality, making you ever more Christ-like. As you articulate the Gospel with your lips, such transformative encounters will enable you to authenticate it with your life.
How can you combine strong biblical theology and deep Christian spirituality to an even greater degree? What must you do?
Gracious Lord, continue to help me along the pathway of spiritual wholeness. I want my words and life to be a positive witness for You.
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