trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Open to Us!

And to the Lord. 2 Corinthians 7.2-4

2 Corinthians 7 (2)

Pray Psalm 143.1, 2.
Hear my prayer, O LORD,
Give ear to my supplications!
In Your faithfulness answer me,
And in Your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

Sing Psalm 143.1, 2.
(Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
Hear my earnest prayer, O LORD! Give ear to my pleas for grace!
In Your faithfulness and righteousness, look upon me with Your face!
Enter not to judgment with Your servant, LORD, with Your loving servant, LORD:
None can stand before Your Word.

Read 2 Corinthians 7.1-4; meditate on verses 2-4.

1. What did Paul ask of the Corinthians?

2. What did he say about his own speech?

Paul’s appeal is the heartfelt desire of every sincere teacher of God’s Word: Open to me! Hear the Word of the Lord! Receive His Word with gladness and go forth to obey Him!

This is all Paul wanted of the Corinthians. Both his epistles were aimed at this outcome. Paul reminded them that he had been aboveboard and sincere with them (v. 2). He had always told them the truth, even though it was hard to hear at times. He condemned no one but admonished them all (v. 3). His ministry to them was always from a heart of overflowing love, even though at times he had to use great boldness in confronting them (vv. 3, 4).

And just as he had been bold to confront them, now he was joyful and boasting to celebrate their progress, as reported to him by Titus (vv. 6, 7). Amid all his trials, troubles, and afflictions, he could rejoice, like the apostle John, to know that those he loved and had served so diligently were beginning again to walk in the truth (v. 4; cf. 3 Jn. 2-4).

The kindest and most encouraging words any preacher or teacher can hear is that others have heard the Word of God from them, and they rejoice to receive it, and all that the Lord has spoken they will do.

And make sure, each day as you come to the Word of God, that this is the mindset and heartset you bring to His Word. For only then will what He intends as the joy and rejoicing of your heart (Jer. 15.16) transform and equip you for the work of each day.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
Choosing between vanilla or chocolate ice cream, albeit a decision, is not life altering (unless, of course, one is allergic to chocolate).

Choosing to commit our lives to Christ, to follow His Law, to love and obey Him, and to have no other loves before Him, is a life altering decision. Or at least it should be. Paul was alluding to this when he said to his fellow-believers, “You are in our hearts, to die together and to live together” (2 Cor. 7.3).

One could never have accused Paul of a preoccupation with what kind of pizza to bring to youth group or planning when the next frisbee tournament should be scheduled. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with these functions, they just shouldn’t be our driving focus.

Participating in the Kingdom of God is work worth dying and living for. The people of God should be far more eager to serve Someone Who is worthy of dying for, than in living to have a really good time. But sadly, in our unmitigated search for happiness we have managed to marginalize and minimize the church while serving a mini-me god of our own creation.

“Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made” (Is. 2.8).

Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9.23).

Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2.20).

He also said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1.21).

Paul took his calling in Christ very seriously. He lived and worked hard for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God, and then died for his faith. Whereupon he immediately entered the Presence of the God of all eternity past, present, and future to really live; as Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (Jn. 11.25, 26). For Paul, the prize was worth the tribulation (2 Cor. 7.4; Phil. 3.14).

God’s children, in agreement, are a powerful force when we live and die together for God’s glory.

For reflection
1. How would you explain what it means to follow Jesus to someone who was ready to believe in Him?

2. What does it mean for you to take your calling seriously? How does the Spirit of God help you in this?

3. Paul sought to encourage the Corinthians, not to condemn them. Whom will you encourage in following Jesus today?

It is equivalent to, Be ye enlarged, (2 Corinthians 6:13;) that is, "Do not allow corrupt affections, or unfavorable apprehensions, to prevent this doctrine from making its way into your minds, and obtaining a place within you. For as I lay myself out for your salvation with a fatherly zeal, it were unseemly that you should turn a deaf ear upon me.".
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7.2-4

Pray Psalm 143.3-12.
Pray for yourself and your church, that God will bind the enemy of our souls so that He will not prevent us from hearing the Word and walking in obedience to it. Cry out to Him to quench your thirst with the living waters of His Word and Spirit.

Sing Psalm 143.3-12.
(Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
See, the enemy pursued my soul; he has crushed and cast me down.
He has made me sit in darkness, LORD, like those dead and in the ground.
Thus my troubled spirit faints within me, LORD, faints within my weary soul,
and my heart is no more whole.

I recall the days of old; on Your works I meditate—
all the wonders of Your mighty hand, works both small, O LORD, and great.
LORD, my thirsty soul cries out for help to You! To You, LORD, I reach my hand
in a dry and weary land.

Answer quickly, O my LORD! Do not hide from me Your face!
For my spirit fails and I am like those who do not know Your grace.
In the morning let me hear Your steadfast love; LORD I trust You, show my way!
I lift up my soul and pray!

Rescue me from all my enemies! LORD, I refuge seek in You.
Let me know Your will, O LORD my God; make me know what I must do.
Let Your Spirit lead me on to level ground; save my life! Preserve my soul!
Rescue, LORD, and make me whole!

T. M. and Susie Moore

Need some help in reading, studying, and hearing the Word of God? Our book, The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart, can help. Learn more and order your copy here or a free PDF of the book 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.

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

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.