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Open Your Heart!

Watch those affections. 2 Corinthians 6.

2 Corinthians 6 (4)

Pray Psalm 139.23, 24.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Sing Psalm 139.23, 24.
(Ripley: Hallelujah! Praise Jehovah, O My Soul)
Search my heart, O LORD, and know me, as You only, LORD, can do.
Test my thoughts and contemplations, whether they be vain or true.
Let there be no sin in me, LORD, nothing that Your Spirit grieves.
Lead me in the righteous way, LORD, unto everlasting peace!

Read 2 Corinthians 6.1-13; meditate on verses 11-13.


1. In what sense were the Corinthians “restricted”?

2. What was restricting them?

Solomon understood, and so did Jesus: The heart is the heart of the matter in our relationship with the Lord. We must watch over our heart with all diligence, for out of the heart flow all our words and deeds.

The human soul is comprised of three spiritual components: the mind, which governs thinking; the conscience, which stores our default values and priorities; and the heart, which is the seat of our affections. The heart is most important, because when our affections go awry, so that we desire, prefer, and incline to things other than the glory of God, our life will follow what we love. The Corinthians had loved the wrong things: pride of place, blinking at sin, taking advantage of one another, and more. Their affections were corrupted, and this restricted their ability to fulfill their callings as followers of Christ (v. 12).

Paul longed for them to open their hearts to him as he had frankly opened his heart to them (vv. 11, 13). Only the Holy Spirit can open our hearts to the Word of God so that we desire Him and His will above all. Daily, and throughout each day, we must call on the Spirit to search our hearts, know our thoughts, firm up our Kingdom calling and priorities, and lead us in the path of everlasting life.

Don’t let misguided love and desire keep you from God’s best. Keep a close watch on your heart, devoting it moment by moment to loving God and your neighbors with the grace that only He can provide. Open your heart to God, speaking in His Word, and He will overflow your heart with grace like living water.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
After God created the heavens, earth, and man, He said to Adam, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2.16, 17).

Then later, when Adam and Eve’s children were older, God came to their son Cain, and said to him, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4.6, 7).

In both these cases, God knew that they could be overcomers. If they kept their hearts devoted to Him and His Word. He gave them the benefit of the doubt and expected the best from them. He treated them as adults. Yes, the devil is always lurking to trip God’s people up, but we don’t have to fall for it. God said so.

Paul was expecting the same devotion to God from the Corinthians; and yet was dismayed that he was still having to relate to them as toddlers. As he wrote, “I speak to you as children” (2 Cor. 6.13).

And now we—as were the Corinthians—have been given the empowering gift of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to keep our hearts in check and to “rule over” our thoughts and behavior (Jn. 16.7-14). And when we don’t? We are indeed, “restricted by” our own affections (2 Cor. 6.12).

“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” (Prov. 25.28).

We are meant to live in the Light, walk in the Light, and to be the light (Jn. 8.12; Is. 2.5; Eph. 5.8).

No one is restricting or keeping us from closely following the law and love of the Lord God.

As Smokey the Bear used to say, “Only you can prevent forest fires”.

We need only open our heart to the rule of the Holy Spirit.

For reflection
1. Why can we not obey God apart from trusting in Him?

2. How does the Spirit work on affections so that we know more of the life God intends for us?

3. Today, what is “restricting” you from a fuller and more fruitful walk with the Lord?

He means to say, that it is owing to their corrupt judgment, that the things that he utters are not relished by them. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6.12

Pray Psalm 139.1-10.
Thank and praise the Lord for being with you always and for directing your heart and life according to His good and perfect will.

Sing Psalm 139.1-10.
(Ripley: Hallelujah! Praise Jehovah, O My Soul)
You have searched me, LORD, and known me, when I sit and when I rise;
from afar, my thoughts discerning, all my path before You lies.
Every word, before it’s spoken, You behold and know it well.
Both behind me and before me, Your sweet Presence I can tell!

Such a blessing is more wondrous than my searching soul can know.
From Your ever-present Spirit there is nowhere I can go.
Whether high above the heaven or below the earth in hell,
even there Your hand shall lead me and Your Right Hand hold me well!

T. M. and Susie Moore

Growing in prayer
Growing in Christ begins in and is sustained by prayer. But how can we improve our prayer life so that we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord? Our free online course, “Perspectives on Prayer”, can lead you to a deeper and more satisfying prayer life with the Lord. Watch this brief introductory video, then enroll for the course and download the materials. Get a friend or two to go through it with you and strengthen one another for the work of prayer.

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.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

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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