Read: II Corinthians 13:1-14
Think: After speaking to the Corinthian church on a variety of cultural and spiritual issues, Paul, by the end of his second letter, reminds them that they can actually know if they possess “genuine” faith. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, he writes, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” Of course, Paul never asked a leading question without providing specific answers. In the last few verses of 2 Corinthians 13, he gives them exact ways in which Jesus would be seen and felt among them: “Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Act: To the early church—and to every Christian generation that has followed—Jesus was invisible, yet real. The notion of “out of sight, out of mind” had apparently overtaken the way the church operated. Instead of being generous and sacrificial, humble and kind because Jesus was among them, they were most often selfish, slanderous, exclusive, and immature. If space on parchment hadn’t been at such a premium, Paul might have asked a number of questions to spark their memories of how Jesus wanted to be felt and seen among them, such as…
1. Can you feel Jesus’ presence personally? Does He fill your heart with joy and love?
2. Can you hear Jesus whispering to you? If so, what is He saying?
3. Is Jesus guiding your decisions with His Spirit-led counsel? If not, who is?
4. Do you honor and love Jesus by the sacrificial and kind ways you treat others?
Paul’s prescription for genuine faith required joy, maturity, encouragement, and harmony among the body of Christ on earth. Today, take an inventory. Do you have genuine faith?
Pray: Dear Jesus, my heart longs to be filled to overflowing with more of Your presence, Your love, and Your power! I long to be more and more like You. I need You. Lord. Amen.
Be full of faith today!