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