Today’s reading in the 21 day challenge is 2 Corinthians 1:12-24
Scripture: The Message (MSG)
12-14 Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised. Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter. We’re writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that you’ll now see the whole picture as well as you’ve seen some of the details. We want you to be as proud of us as we are of you when we stand together before our Master Jesus.
Observation: Maybe it is a natural tendency for us to pick apart words of instruction.
Application: I have to be honest; I read today’s scripture five times in five different versions before I found what I feel God is saying to me about it. In the portion of the reading above Paul says (in The Message version) Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter. As I thought about this it occurred to me that this being the second letter to the Corinthians that Paul was probably talking about behavior regarding the first letter. It is probable that both letters were written with a fairly short period of time in between them. So the people of Corinth must have been doing just what he tells them not to do, reading between the lines, looking for hidden meanings. Do we do that still? Do we look at portions of the scripture that we can turn to in order to support our own philosophy, desires or way of life? Do we listen to a sermon and hear selectively only what appeals most to us? If you ask my wife, she will probably tell you that I do that when she is talking to me. But I digress… Maybe we need to stop trying to plug scripture into our beliefs, and rather try to find the true meaning and heart of the whole.
Help me to take in the whole heart of your gospel. Let me not pick and choose what I want to focus on but instead let me live my life in full surrender to you.
Yield: I yield to God’s whole message, and surrender my attempts at picking it apart for my own benefit.