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Personal Mission Field, that is. 2 Corinthians 10.13-16

2 Corinthians 10 (5)

Pray Psalm 34.1-3.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

Sing Psalm 34.1-3.
(Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
I will bless the LORD at all times; I shall praise Him evermore!
My soul makes its boast in Jesus—Him we gladly all adore!
Refrain v. 3
Magnify the Name of Jesus! Let us lift His Name in praise!

Read 2 Corinthians 10.1-16; meditate on verses 13-16.

1. What was Paul’s “sphere”?

2. What was his hope for that “sphere”?

Paul says that God had appointed him a “sphere”, that is, an area or region in which to do the work of being an apostle (v. 13). The Corinthians were within that sphere, and so he brought the Gospel to them and continued ministering among them for nearly two years.

Whatever boasting he did was not about himself—unlike the false apostles—but only about the Lord and His work. As he worked, Paul held on to the hope that the Corinthians would grow in faith and that his sphere would be greatly enlarged as the Corinthians took up the work of the Gospel (v. 15), as had happened at Ephesus and Thessalonica, among other places.

Paul hoped to expand his ministry sphere beyond the Corinthians to other cities and regions (v. 16), so that he might realize more fruit and have more reasons to boast in the Lord.

We can think of Paul’s sphere as his Personal Mission Field. Emulating him (1 Cor. 11.1), we know that God has appointed us a sphere as well, where Jesus sends us, as He was sent, to bring the Good News of the Kingdom by word and deed (Jn. 20.21). In this sphere, we are the Lord’s grace-spreaders, to the end that boasting in Him might increase.

What would our world be like if every Christian owned and worked their Personal Mission Field as zealously and diligently as Paul?

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Stay in your lane” can be seen as a snarky statement, telling us not to express thoughts or opinions on subjects about which we have insufficient knowledge or an inability to comprehend or understand.

But Paul, in the nicest possible way, was suggesting the same as a positive notion. Work in your sphere, stay in your Personal Mission Field. It is where God has placed you and it is where God can use you best!

We have been saved by God’s grace and mercy, not by our good works; but our good works are the litmus test and the outcome of our being saved. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.8-10).
In our sphere, in our Personal Mission Field.

On a recent episode of Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet, a deaf dog rescued from flooding in Louisiana, was adopted by a deaf woman in Colorado. How symbiotic, sweet, and useful that pairing was! What joy and comfort it brought to them both. How kind the Lord is toward His creation!

And that kind of thing happens every moment of every day in the sphere that God has placed us in. We are right where we are supposed to be, working and ministering with, and to, those God has placed there.
With us. It all makes sense.

Just like the deaf dog and woman. That dog was not sent off for training at Guide Dogs for the Blind (as helpful and amazing as that entity is), he was sent to this woman who needed him as much as he needed her.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer. 33.3). That was true then, it is just as true now. Great and mighty things are in store for those who walk faithfully in the place that God has put them.

That is us. Not compared to anyone else.
It is now. Not some other time in history.
In our sphere. Not someone else’s.
Staying in our lane.
For His work and glory. Only.

For reflection
1. How would you explain your Personal Mission Field to a fellow believer?

2. How would you help that believer discover their own Personal Mission Field?

3. Whom will you encourage today to “stay in their lane” in their Personal Mission Field, working it faithfully for the Lord?

he shows what is the true measure of glorying ― when we keep within the limits that have been marked out for us by the Lord. "Has the Lord given me such a thing? I shall be satisfied with this measure. I shall not either desire or claim to myself any thing more." This he calls the measure of his rule. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 10.13-16

Pray Psalm 34.4-9.
Seek the Lord for this day’s work in your Personal Mission Field. Pray that He will prepare and equip you to spread His grace to the people you see today. Look to Him throughout the day for grace and guidance.

Sing Psalm 34.4-9.
(Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
When I sought the LORD, He answered and from fear delivered me.
Those who look to Him are radiant; shamed their face shall never be.
Refrain v. 3
Magnify the Name of Jesus! Let us lift His Name in praise!

When I cried to God, He heard me, and from trouble rescued me.
Round their camp His angel lingers that they may delivered be.

Taste and see how good is Jesus; blessed are all who in Him hide.
None shall lack for any blessing who in Christ will e’er confide.

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.
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