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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Shoot the Messenger

Today I'm reading 2 Corinthians 1:17-22 in "The Message" -

17-19 Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I talk out of both sides of my mouth—a glib yes one moment, a glib no the next? Well, you’re wrong. I try to be as true to my word as God is to his. Our word to you wasn’t a careless yes canceled by an indifferent no. How could it be? When Silas and Timothy and I proclaimed the Son of God among you, did you pick up on any yes-and-no, on-again, off-again waffling? Wasn’t it a clean, strong Yes?
20-22 Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.

Shoot the Messenger. That's what we do with information that we don't like, that doesn't fit the template, the holds up the mirror of God's Word to any situation. Find some crack in the armor of the messenger and expose THAT. Once the messenger is compromised for even the smallest thing then the message is no longer valid. Politicians do this all the time. That's why whistle blowers fear coming forward. Who wants their life dissected? Their closets explored? Their flaws publicly distorted?

This is what happened with the Apostle Paul in Corinth. He was writing a second time to this troubled church that was fraying at the edges - that had an "anything goes" openness and no church discipline at all, no sense of biblical morality or responsibility. So, when Paul started pointing out the obvious they went on the attack. Obviously something had to be wrong with him! That way they never had to deal with their own stuff.

Paul goes back to his own confidence in Christ. It's not him. He knows his own flaws very well. It's the promises and provision of Christ that matter. And all those combined are a great "YES" in his mind. A huge affirmation of his own salvation - and calling to be an apostle.

I hope we can all live with a big "YES" this year. A sense of God's affirmation, God's blessing over our lives even with all our sins and shortcomings. But let's also not deceive ourselves. Let the light of Christ shine into every corner so we can truly receive God's YES - and find healing and forgiveness, power and strength, deep repentance and hope.

God says "YES" over you today!


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