Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 26, 2020

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 13:5-10.

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith;  examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?  But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.  Now we pray to God that you do no wrong;  not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved.  For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.  For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong;  this we also pray for, that you be made complete.  For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.”  2 Corinthians 13:5-10.

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Paul’s life was so invested and so intertwined in the lives of the Corinthians that he seemed to have difficulty talking about them without talking about himself.  He flipped back and forth from talking about them to talking about himself.

Paul starts out asking the Corinthians to examine themselves, but he immediately follows it up with:  “But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.”

Paul prays that the Corinthians do no wrong, but he immediately follows it up with:  “not that we ourselves may appear approved”, and he then flips back to them:  “but that you may do what is right”, and then he flips back to himself:  “even though we may appear unapproved.”

This flipping back and forth seems awkward, but it is a demonstration of the love and the unity that Paul had with the Corinthians.  It is a lesson for us to follow.

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:14.

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;  …  from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”  Ephesians 4:11-12 and 16.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone;  just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body;  and be thankful.”  Colossians 3:12-15.


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