My Bible reading has lately been 2 Corinthians. Paul had more to say through encouragement and exhortation to correct carnal living to this church than any other. In 1st Corinthians, he was to correct some ways they were developing which were dangerous. 2 Corinthians. he was to encourage them to continue in the righteous living, for they were making those changes.
As I read through the book one thing began to emerge continuously, the little pronoun ‘we’. Paul did not command them to abide, he did not exalt himself as if he had arrived in perfect Christian conduct and knowledge. No, he encouraged them, and he did this in two ways:
1) ‘WE’ referred to those who were with him in the ministry; Luke, Timothy, Silas, and many others. These men and women accompanied him throughout Asia and Greece, preaching, teaching, establishing churches, supporting and encouraging one another to be in steadfast ministry. The point is, there is no ONE person in ministry or the church who can effectively accomplish the work of Christ on their own, WE are called to be in this work together for the glory of God. Our very presence together is encouraging.
2) The ‘WE’ he exhorted also included those in the Corinthian church. Paul did not sit back and explain all the things they should be doing, but he put himself there, right alongside with them, even if he were not physically there at the time. Paul wanted them to understand they were not alone, he was with them, in suffering, prayers, and concern for their spiritual well-being and Christian growth. So we should be concerned about one another also in our church. We should care whether or not someone is fallen away and not attending. We should check on them and attempt to help those who are in trials and hurting due to loss or illness. We need to ask God to use us in reaching a lost community for the cause of Christ. There are hundreds around us asking if anyone cares.
If we go to church with an attitude: “what’s in it for me”, or “what can this church do for me”, then we as a church will all be the worst for it. God has gifted each of us with unique spiritual gifts to be used for His glory, but He uses us in the context of the local church body. This way, we all benefit, we all are blessed, and we all grow in the Lord.
My encouragement is for us to work together and see how we can benefit the health and well-being of each member of this church, and outreach ministry to those in our community for the glory of God.
I know for certain, if WE all work together, pray as one, and serve with joy, we can accomplish whatever God calls us to do. God has blessed Terri and me to serve Him at Gulf Ridge Park. If I can do something for you, please let me know.
Don’t dwell on the ‘ME’ – Live in the “WE”
May God richly bless you