Thursday, October 29, 2015


"I don't understand. Why are you sending us now?"

Paul glanced up from the table where he and his scribe were working on a letter to the people of Achaia. Paul had been looking over the letter to see if he needed to add anything else, when the men arrived. He had sent a messenger to the group explaining that they would be accompanying the letter and remaining in Achaia until Paul arrived. While they weren't being angry and rude, they were clearly confused by his decision.

Another brother with sandy brown hair piped up. "You said yourself that you don't expect to be able to make the trip for a while still. Wouldn't it be better if we delivered the letter to the church in Achaia, and then made our way back to you? This way we could still be of service to you."

Paul shifted in his chair so that he could make eye contact with the group. "Yes, that is true. However, I want the people of Achaia to be prepared."

"They said they were prepared."

"But perhaps they weren't. I've spent a great deal of time boasting of their zeal and preparation to the people of Macedonia. I will not put them or myself in the position of being a liar. This is an opportunity to back their faith and claims up with the works those things require." Paul smiled impishly at them. "Perhaps it is even the same opportunity for you."

Based on 2 Corinthians 9:2-5

"For I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction." 2 Corinthians 9:2-5

You can't expect what you don't inspect.

Has anyone ever said this to you? I hate it when people say this to me because I am the kind of person who does everything humanly possible to have it covered. If I know, I do.

While this would have driven me crazy, I like that Paul WOULD NOT put them or himself  in the position of being a liar.

"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"
2 Corinthians 13:5

Have you ever felt you've got this Christian thing figured out? You understand. You know what to do and when. Then God unexpectedly thrust you into a situation where you have to use it! See, if we are going to zealously serve God, He WILL NOT put us or Himself in the position of being a liar. God doesn't lie. We may, but God doesn't. In order for us to have the works to back up our faith, God has us use our faith.

You can't expect what you don't inspect.

All those things that we belly ache about, that frustrate and infuriate us, that make us feel like God doesn't have our back...well, it's the exact opposite. God's giving us the chance to be the people we claim we want to be. They are opportunities.

V. Joy Palmer

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