Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 22, 2020

“from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 12:11-18.

“I have become foolish;  you yourselves compelled me.  Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.  The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.  For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you?  Forgive me this wrong!

Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you;  for I do not seek what is yours, but you;  for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.  I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls.  If I love you more, am I to be loved less?  But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself;  nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.  Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I?  I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him.  Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he?  Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?”  2 Corinthians 12:11-18.

————

Paul could have exercised his right.

“So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.”  1 Corinthians 9:14.

“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”  1 Timothy 5:17.

But, Paul did not want to be a financial burden to the church in Corinth.  How often does he make that point in today’s Scripture and elsewhere!

We should not ignore that point, particularly because Scripture repeatedly warns us that there are many false prophets in the world.

We should also not ignore that point, particularly because Scripture warns us about the character of some men in the last days who do try to take advantage of their position in different ways as a minister.

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of selflovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;  Avoid such men as these.  For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  2 Timothy 3:1-7.

There are some ministers who try to captivate their congregations into only paying attention to the minister’s own charm and teaching, rather than also encouraging their congregation to study Scriptures on their own.  They never seem to take delight in what the congregation knows.  They never seem to delight in the congregation coming to the knowledge of the truth.  They only want their congregation to be in awe of them, to sit silently in the pews, and to fill the collection plate.

“But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”  2 Timothy 3:13.

But, there is hope!

“Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.  But they will not make further progress;  for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.”  2 Timothy 3:8-9.

If we do not know the Scriptures, and if we only trust our minister, then we will be more susceptible of being taken advantage.

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:14-17.

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.”  Psalm 1:2.

“104 From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”  Psalm 119:104-105.


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