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The Scriptorium

Commendations of Ministry (2)

Life in the Kingdom is different. 2 Corinthians 6.8-10

2 Corinthians 6 (3)

Pray Psalm 84.8-12.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Sing Psalm 84.8-12.
Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace!
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face!
LORD, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny
to those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

Read 2 Corinthians 6.1-10; meditate on verses 8-10.

1. How does this set of commendations differ from those in verses 4-7?

2. Which of these is true for you?

Paul continues with those aspects of his life that commend him as a minister of God. This set of commendations shows us just how different life in the Kingdom of God is. What looks to the world as one thing is in fact just the opposite. Those who faithfully embrace their calling to serve the Lord know exactly what Paul means.

God honors us with grace and strength to do His will; the world thinks our efforts dishonorable and deceitful. Thus, they speak evil of us, while God says to His angels, “Have you considered my faithful servants? Go down to help them.” To the world we seem to be leading people astray into nonsense; but we know that our message and lifestyle are true (v. 8).

We’re nobodies in the world’s eyes, but we are well known by our Good Shepherd. We are the stench of death to wrong-believers, a sure sign that we are the very aroma of life in Christ. People speak ill of us and worse, but we continue on our course and journey in eternal life (v. 9).

We sorrow at times, but never to the point of obliterating our joy. We do not cling to this world’s goods because our riches are in Jesus and His Word; and we spread His grace to others, enriching their lives. In Jesus we have everything we need, all the precious and very great promises of God (v. 10).

Yes, life in the Kingdom, pursuing our calling as ministers of God, is very different indeed. Gloriously and joyfully so.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The world may perceive us as they choose, but we know where we stand, and what we stand for. We know that our Redeemer lives; we know that we belong to Him; and we know that we have important work to do in and for the Kingdom of God.

We may appear to “have nothing” and yet we possess “all things” (2 Cor. 6.10).
We are of all people most blessed. Just think of all the benefits that come with our work:
1. God forgives all our iniquities.
2. He heals all our diseases (either now or most assuredly later).
3. He redeems our life from destruction.
4. He crowns us with His lovingkindness and tender mercies.
5. He satisfies our hunger with good things.
6. He renews our strength.
7. He brings righteousness and justice when we are oppressed.
8. God is merciful and gracious.
9. God is not angry with us forever.
10. God does not punish according to what we deserve.
11. He removes our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
12. God pities those of us who fear Him.
13. He remembers that we are dust.
14. His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting.
(Psalm 103.3-18)

And if those benefits are not enough, these can be added to this list:
“If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,
how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies…”
Therefore what or “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8.31-33, 35).
No thing and no one will ever find it possible to do so.
Because I am His and He is mine (Song of Solomon 2.16, 6.3).

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we not only possess all things; “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4.13).

“Yes, life in the Kingdom, pursuing our calling as ministers of God, is very different indeed. Gloriously and joyfully so.”

“Behold, we live” (2 Cor. 6.9).

For reflection
1. How have you experienced life in the Kingdom as different from life in the world?

2. What opportunities for ministry will be available to you today? Are you prepared for them?

3. How would you explain the Kingdom of God to a new believer?

People outside the church may think we are sorrowful, but in fact we are always rejoicing. We may look poor, but in fact we have enormous riches, both spiritual and physical. As usual, the Christian life is the exact opposite of what it appears to be on the surface. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 12.4

Pray Psalm 84.1-7.
Embrace the contradictions and commendations of ministry that mark your journey in the Lord. In prayer, refocus on Him, and call on Him to journey with you this day, knowing that in Him you possess all things.

Sing Psalm 84.1-7.
Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forevermore.
Like a bird upon the altar, let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song!

Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O LORD above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your Presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain.

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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