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Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Edifier du Jour-2 Corinthians 6:1-10 (NASB)
1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain-- 2 for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU." Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION"-- 3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
There's a number of schools of thought that want to have the faithful have a perfect life, that no problems will befall them. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, and problems will come. These ten verses are a run-on sentence that will tempt the Business Writing prof to cuff Paul upside the head, but the effect is to contrast the trials of verses 4 and 5 with the godly responses to such trials on 6 and 7. Through all the crap, we're supposed to keep our cool and keep acting out the fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes, we get a bad rap from the world when we don't deserve it; Paul saw that coming in verse 8. We need to keep plugging away with as much of a smile as we can muster through the bad times, for we're serving God through it all.

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