Scripture reading: 1 Sam 14 1 Chron 4 2 Cor 13
S=Scripture O=Observation A=Application P=Prayer SOAP for the soul.
S. 2 Cor 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. NKJV
O. In this letter the Apostle Paul encourages his “saints” a little, he scolds them a little, he threatens them a little, he comforts them a little and he exhorts them to strive for new heights in serving Christ. Now he sums it up with this final message above. The words “Become complete” are translated in NIV “Aim for perfection”, in NASU “Be made complete”, KJV “Be perfect”, ASV “Be perfected”, NLT “Change your ways”, TLB “Grow in Christ”, RSV “Mend your ways” and in the NUHV* “Get it together, kids, its time grow up.”
A. It is a good thing that the Apostle Paul’s letters to the Corinthians have been preserved for us. Some of his feeble “saints” kept slipping back into sin. He scolds the church for not calling sin, “sin” and tells them to get to the business of restoring these that have gone astray. So for those of us who think that only “perfect saints” are sitting in our pews with hands raised to heaven as they sing... we need to know we are all still in construction. We are imperfect vessels in the hands of the Master Potter. We are going to make it, but it only by God’s matchless grace and love.
P. Lord, How can I ever “be perfect”? What’s that You are saying? “You are working on it?” Yes, Master Potter, but if You squeeze this lump of clay any more it’s gonna break. What? You want it to break?! But of what use to You is a broken vessel? Oh, You are going to soften me with Your Holy Spirit and start over? Well, I was going to say, “Good luck!”... but that doesn’t sound right, since You don’t need luck... You just need my cooperation. So today I submit my cracked, useless vessel into Your wonderful saving hands. You know how to recycle what some of us call “junk”. Go for it, God, and if it hurts, just give me Your strength to handle it. Amen.
*NUHV (New Unauthorized Hiatt Version)