DAY 99: Don’t be surprised!

Read: II Corinthians 11:1-15

Think: I’m sure you realize by now that we are actually reading together for 103 days! The book of II Corinthians concludes with Paul’s call to “Genuine Faith” on September 13—it will be a perfect conclusion to our series, FAITH IN ACTION. But today’s reading reminds us of the continued difficulties Paul is having with the leaders in the church of Corinth. He writes, “I [Paul] hope you [Corinthians] will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me. For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God Himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that some of your pure and undivided to devotion to Christ will be corrupted.” NT Wright, contemporary theologian writes, “The problem is that they are talking glibly about Jesus. . . .The true Jesus was the one who suffered unspeakably. And the teachers who have come to Corinth after Paul left had been quietly toning down this hard, rough edge of the Gospel. In particular, it doesn’t give them the reputation and status that they are hoping for.” Hmmm…

Act: Paul spends quite a bit of time defending the Gospel and Jesus against the culture. After all his persuasive speeches, he comes near to the close of this letter and says, “But I’m not surprised!” Opposition to the Gospel occurred in the 1st century, the 19th century, and in the 21st century. The Gospel is countercultural. It requires a laser-like focus to stay “true” to the teachings of Christ in any culture! Today, ask yourself, “Do I have a pure and undivided devotion to Christ? Is there anything I can do differently that would allow my family, classmates, co-workers or friends to know Jesus better because of the way I live, act, and speak?” __________________________ 

Pray: Dear Jesus, I am reminded today that the Gospel is about You dying for me! Let me live today so that others might know how grateful I am for the sacrifice You made for me. Give me a deep desire to honor You with my life and make You known within my culture. I love You. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

Be full of faith today!