NT Fire Starters – Day 249: 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1
READ: 2 Corinthians 6:3–7:1
THINK: In what ways have you suffered and sacrificed for your faith in Christ? People throughout history and even to this day all around the world have endured unimaginable hardship and persecution for following Christ and spreading His message. You have most certainly been the benefactor of others’ labors and sufferings for the cause of Christ. Who will benefit from your unquenchable devotion to Christ and your willingness to endure whatever it takes to serve His purposes and reach others for Him?
RESPOND: How did Paul’s suffering and hardship (vv. 3-10) lend credibility to his ministry? How do the character traits–of people and of God–listed in verses 6-10 affect a Christian’s service? Why might God bless some people with more than they need? (See 6:10 note.) Is being materially disadvantaged by worldly standards any indication of a person’s spiritual condition? Why or why not? In what way do Christians who seem to have nothing actually possess everything (v. 10)? How does the word picture in verse 14 apply to Christians’ relationships and why is this instruction so important? (See 6:14 and 6:15 notes.) What situation is Paul addressing when he refers to the incompatibility of God’s temple and idols? (See 6:16 note.) How does this principle apply to individual Christians today? What is God telling His children by the command to “come out from them and be separate”? Does this mean that Christ’s followers should not associate with unbelievers? Why or why not? What is the condition for claiming God’s promises? (See 7:1 note.) What does it mean to “purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit”? (See 7:1 note) Why and how must we do this? How should this affect your lifestyle choices?
PRAY: Ask God to help you endure difficulty with Christlike character so you never compromise your influence for Him. Pray for wisdom regarding your relationships, that they will always honor Christ. Ask God for discernment and discipline in avoiding anything that could contaminate your spirit and compromise your relationship with Him.
ACT: Think of aspects in your life and material resources in which God has blessed you with more than you need. Determine some practical ways that you can in turn bless others in these areas. Do so with a humble and gracious attitude. Get rid of anything in your life that you are “idolizing” or prioritizing above God or beyond where it should be. If you have any relationships, behaviors or associations that are pulling you down spiritually, break off form those things at once. Read and apply the principles highlighted in the article on Spiritual Separation for Believers, p. 1672