Scripture reading – 2 Corinthians 10-13
We come to the conclusion of 2 Corinthians and Paul mounts a defense of his ministry and authority as an apostle and minister of Jesus Christ. Today’s devotion will focus on 2 Corinthians 10.
The powerful tone of Paul’s first epistle to Corinth is at issue, and Paul minces no words in asserting a forthright answer to his enemies. We might find it distressing, as well as, disturbing that this great apostle and preacher of the early church would find it necessary to defend his calling and manner of ministry among believers. However, such has been the case with God’s people from the beginning. There is, and has always been, false teachers and fake believers in the midst of the assembly.
Paul answered several slanders against him in 2 Corinthians 10.
There were some who accused him of writing letters that were “weighty and powerful,” but his physical appearance was “weak, and his speech contemptible” (10:10). In other words, his enemies cast dispersions on his small stature, and criticized his preaching for being less than compelling. In Acts 20:9, a man named Eutychus fell asleep when “Paul was long preaching…and was taken up dead.” (I may have had some fall asleep while I was preaching, but no one has fallen asleep and died!)
Paul’s desire was to be a shepherd with the “meekness and gentleness of Christ” (10:1); however, he assured his adversaries, he was more than capable and willing to address them as bold in person as he had in his letter (10:11).
Nevertheless, the apostle had no interest in comparing himself with others (10:12), and he refused to boast or magnify his accomplishments beyond that with which God had blessed him (10:13). While false teachers faked their credentials, and took credit for the accomplishments of others (10:14-15), Paul’s passion was to preach the Gospel where no man had gone (10:16-17). His overriding desire was to glory, not in himself, but that his life and ministry would be to the glory of God (10:17-18).
There is no calling or office higher than that of serving Jesus Christ. Don’t give in to the temptation of falsifying your resume, faking your accomplishments, and pursuing men’s applause.
Serve the LORD faithfully, and with a passion that one day you may be commended before Him. (10:18).
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith