Who do we love more?

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15; Proverbs 15:27-28

READ (Verses chosen for meditation)
2 Corinthians 11:12 “And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.”

REFLECT
Even as the church in Corinth was started by Paul (Acts 18-19), even as he served them without any form of support even when in need (2 Cor 11:7-9), even as they grieved him immensely with their easy fellowship with those who were engaged in sexual immorality (1 Cor 5) and now with those who preached a different Jesus and a different Gospel (2 Cor 11:4), Paul’s conclusion was that he will continue to proclaim the truth. Why? Why not just give the Corinthians up to the wolves? Because he loved the Corinthians (2 Cor 11:11) and he love God more (2 Cor 12:10). He loved them more than the betrayal of the sheep or his own discomfort or his own insecurities. After all, the apostle had proclaimed earlier that his life was no longer his own (1 Cor 6).

RELATE
Who do we love more? Ourselves? Our own needs? Or the people that God has entrusted to us?

If we love God’s people more than ourselves, then why do we keep doing things that seemingly benefit ourselves?

Why do we shun from doing the “difficult” things even though we know that it will, in the longer term, be of benefit to the growth of the people?

Are we so afraid of men that we have learnt to shrink away from our first call as His servants of righteousness?

At the end of the day what really matters? Is it the glory waiting on that Day or is it the way we try to build for ourselves the status, power, recognition and approvals of men?

Don’t we all have to give an account?

The above questions helped to guide the way I serve in ministry. They have helped me not to stray away from His calling for it can be easy to do so. It is always much easier to go with the flow of the world (or even with the demands of those whom we are serving) than to go against it proclaiming the truth.

May these questions be of benefit to those who are reading this journal also, in whatever capacity you are serving His flock. Be it that you are a parent to your child/children, be it that you are a supervisor to your colleagues, be it that you are a leader in ministry, be it that you are a co-worker at the marketplace or ministry, be it that you are a friend to another who might be hurting emotionally, be it that you felt betrayed by some in church, be it that you might be thinking of leaving the church, be it that you might even be thinking of ending your own life because you thought that no one understood you.

That might be true.

But God does.

If we are in Christ, our life is no longer our own. Live it according to His will; not ours. Then we will have freedom, in the truest sense of the word. Then we will discover what Paul means when he said in 2 Cor 12:10-11 that “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

REST
Lord our God, in this dark, depressing and violent world; You are the Light and You are the joy-Giver. Help us to go to the Light and not turn back to darkness. Even if many in this world should misunderstand our love for them, help us to find comfort and strength in the reality that You know. You always know and will make it right. Amen.

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