Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's a matter of trust.

2 Corinthians 7:11-16

Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right. My purpose was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could show how much you really do care for us. We have been encouraged by this.

     In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was at the way you welcomed him and set his mind at ease. I had told him how proud I was of you and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true! Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way you listened to him and welcomed him with such respect and deep concern. I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.

     Paul was such an amazing leader and teacher. Not only did he have a way of powerfully bring forth the truth of God’s Word, but he was the ultimate mentor to those who came forward to accept salvation and complete obedience to God. In all of Paul’s missionary journeys, he implemented and planted many churches. Once a church was planted and established, he moved on to the next place where he felt God was leading him to go, but he always kept tabs on each and every church that was in existence. In a time with no internet or telephone service, he had to find a way to keep communication between himself and the churches strong, so he assigned other strong spiritual leaders who traveled with him, to visit these churches on his behalf. They would carry messages of hope, encouragement and sometimes correction from Paul, to these churches. In this case, the letter of 2 Corinthians is written to the church in Corinth, in which Paul is bringing correction and encouragement to the believers gathered there.

     Titus, one of Paul’s traveling companions and partners in ministry, was sent to the Corinthian church as a representative for Paul, to check on the work that was going on there. In this portion of scripture, Paul is complimenting the church for how well they received and welcomed Titus on his behalf. Just like in today’s church culture, we tend to have favorite preachers and leaders, and if they are gone on vacation or out for an extended period of time, we tend to grumble, complain and not always be willing to accept a replacement. Paul knew and understood this fact, and was elated to hear how well they accepted and treated his replacement, Titus. Paul was trying to teach all believers to keep their focus on Jesus Christ, not on the earthly humans that were Christ’s representatives, including himself.  Idol worship can happen within the church too, if we’re not careful! All of us are still just merely human beings, including ministers, and placing them up on pedestals is a dangerous place to dwell. Be careful who and what you idolize. Jesus Christ is the one true God and he will not share his glory with anyone, including His representatives!

     Who do you place your trust in? Yourself? Your boss? Your minister? Your husband or wife?  Your doctor? The list could go on and on. Do you immediately turn to God with your situations and troubles, or do you exhaust all other options first before you finally turn to Him? God has representatives on earth that He has placed here for our benefit, but we are not to use these representatives to replace God. I encourage you to go before God today, and lay your burdens at His feet. Stop wandering here and there, looking for one of God’s representatives to give you what only God himself can supply. Make Him your one and only trustworthy source!

Have a great day!

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