February 11, 2013

Today you should read: 2 Corinthians 1:12-24

Any “schedulers” out there in the CPC Jumpstart world today? What I mean by “scheduler” is simple: you like to have a plan. I have many people in my connect group that I refer to as “calendar-ers.” If this is you, then anytime someone brings up an important date or event, it is already in your agenda or quickly finds its way there. I don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact, I believe it to be good stewardship so long as it’s not obsessive.

But how do you react when plans change?

The apostle Paul had to face many of these moments. His missionary journeys changed often due to the Spirit’s leading and various circumstances. Did he have a fatalistic, “woe is me” attitude about it? No. While he may have been disappointed, he kept perspective. Here are some great truths for us to glean from Paul’s example in 2 Corinthians 1:12-24:

When things didn’t go as planned…

1) He relied on the grace of God (v.12)

Don’t miss the simplicity of this. Paul knew that God would get him through the hardships. He knew that the Lord could guide the Corinthians even if he wasn’t there. God’s grace is sufficient.

2) He was flexible. He knew that things might not always go as planned. (v.15-18)

James warns us of this idea:

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16 NLT)

3) He looked at these agenda-interuppters as new ministry opportunities. (the entire book of 1 Corinthians)

Since he couldn’t be there in person, he ministered through this letter. He didn’t know that he was writing scripture, at least not fully. But he faithfully served his friends through teaching them via written correspondence. He didn’t let the change of plans stop him from serving them. Christians have benefitted from this letter ever since.

4) He saw the whole thing through the lens of Jesus Christ. Past. Present. Future. (v.20-21)

One of my favorite verses in the Word comes from this text:

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV)

This verse is important for us today, mainly for the reminder that everything in the Old Testament pointed forward to Jesus, and everything since then eagerly waits his return (see Romans 8:18-19). And every promise made of and by Jesus — it will happen. Every prophesy. All of it. And even in the midst of the changes and difficulties this world may throw at us, we should strive everyday to find our “YES” in Him and His word. Paul did. He told the Corinthian believers to as well.

Whew! I could go on and on. God’s word is good. What did you learn from these 4 ideas laid out above? What other things did you take hold of from this chapter? Hit up the comments section below and let’s learn from each other.

Blessings & love CPC!

Posted by: Todd Thomas

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Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

4 thoughts on “February 11, 2013”

  1. Ouch! Todd, you definately described the first 35 years of my life! God pursued me in such a way, out of the depth of his complete and utter love for me, not to allow me to continue in that cycle of “planning” everything without interruption and without realiizing that HE is the ultimate planner….and he did that in just about every area of my life. What a relief it was when I finally “got it”…..that I could plan asking him what his plan was, but leave room for him to change that plan at a whim…..and be perfectly at peace with that. It was a long, hard road to completely surrender to his sovereignty and I fought it all the way, but when that moment finally came….in total despair…..the light bulb came on. He continues to change plans and direction, but now I have complete confidence in any situation (as full of trial as it may be)….and I really mean that…..that he is at work and, yes, that it is truly a new ministry opportunity…..with me standing ready to learn all the Lord is willing to teach!! It is all about asking God for HIS perspective daily and that makes a world of difference!!

  2. I am a planner! Spontaneity goes completely against my natural will. However, some circumstances have shown me that I cannot always have a plan. Therefore, I have tried to be more spontaneous during the past 15 years or so. I must admit that it is difficult, though!
    The main thing I get from this lesson is that God is always there for us. We can learn about Him and from Him in everyday life, in things all around us. He always comes through for us and is always teaching us. It’s up to us to be able to open our eyes and see Him.

  3. Wow! This really it home for me, I have to confess this has been a struggle for me. When things are going well and and the way i think they should go, all is well. Then when plans really changed in my life, like the pass three years. I really struggle to understand Gods plan for my life. Hard head as I am, lovingly and patiently God is teaching me through all lifes ups and downs that His plan and only His plan is the perfect plan. His timing is the only timing that is perfect in my life. I am so willing to let God have His perfect plan and timing direct my life.

  4. Great stuff Todd! However, I definitely don’t appreciate the conviction… haha. This is definitely an area of growth for me. Instead of being offended that things don’t go as it was planned in my head, or as my calendar was laid out.. be eager to extend grace and flexibility. There is no reason to be so fixated, or “obsessive”. This will resonate with a lot of people. Thanks for sharing buddy.

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