Sharing the Gospel
I have been studying 2nd Corinthians....backwards. I know that sounds weird but normally I struggle in my devotional time with my poor attention span and I realized one day that I've always done well when I did things backwards: novel reading, test taking, etc. So once I got out of the last devotional book I was in I decided to start the next book backwards. So I started in chapter 13 and worked my way forwards and I loved it! I always ended up reading the chapters a couple times which helped me to absorb the text even more. So anyway, the biggest thing the Lord worked on my heart while reading this book was gospel sharing! The great and glorious great commission that begins with speaking the glorious words of the story of Christ to strangers or friends.
While I reading 2nd Corinthians I kept trying to get into Paul's mind. What was it in his life that's different than mine that he went through all these specific trials and can speak so boldly about personal experiences and he travels around and aides the spiritual lives of multiple churches? Every week the faces of the people I could've shared the gospel with pop up in my head and through all my fear or whatever holds me back, the Lord ministers to my heart so gently that He will give me the words to speak, He'll guide the conversation, His Holy Spirit will be the deciding factor.
Reading this book, I saw Paul also was speaking to the weakness in their spiritual lives and he was speaking to me in mine as well. The Corinthians and I have different struggles but the encouragement stands firm no matter what, since we as the church are not above any struggles. This encouragement specifically:
Chapter 9:7-8, "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."
This gives me a picture of someone letting go of their emotional attachment to "stuff": money, furniture, food... but mainly money. I could be constantly giving stuff away that matches specific needs and I will still always have sufficiency through Christ which makes me ready for any good work.
Chapter 5:18-19, "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."
God has been showing me alot lately, reminding me, about this ministry of reconciliation. That It doesn't matter what situations are going on in my life with my car, or my clothes, or my makeup, or my house. What matters is our relationships with other people and our personal relationship with God. He is after people. It doesnt concern Him if our house isn't as Pinterest ready as we'd like it to be. His purpose for us is to be bringing people to Him and to shine His light wherever we go. So be encouraged to focus on what really matters this week and pray for opportunities and boldness to share the gospel!