2 Corinthians 6


If you haven’t gotten it by now, I sincerely hope that you can see, Paul is saying there is no way you can be sort of for God, or as John Wesley put it “an almost Christian”. You are either in or you are out. There is no half-hearted measure here.

Yet why do we try to live in both worlds? Why do we want to follow God, yet constantly are pulled into things of this world? We want to be included in both places. We want all the benefits of being a Christian, yet we don’t want to give up our carnal desires. When we are ambassadors for Jesus, we must not become stumbling blocks to unbelievers, by continuing to live as we always have. Do our non-Christian friends and family see us continuing to live as we always have, smoking and drinking, swearing and watching or reading stuff that pollutes our minds. Are we sending out mixed signals? Would a stranger know that you love Jesus more than your own life or would they see nothing different about you? Remember that we have to live in this world (for now) but we don’t have to be of this world. I don’t have to allow the enemy to entice me into lusting after things that will harm my family or my church or myself.

How do we respond to hardships? How do we respond to temptations? Did you notice that Paul said he held weapons of righteousness in both hands? That means there is no hand left to reach out to the things of this world.  If we live every part of life for Christ, then we will be able to stand the trials… to respond to trials and hardships with the joy of the Lord. The Holy Spirit will be our help. Remember there is a difference between joy and happiness. Joy is an inner peace that you during the many storms and struggles in life. Joy is also there when you are experiencing peace and comfort. Joy is internal.  Happiness is something that is triggered by an external event… people, places, thoughts can make you happy. And while it is not a bad filling… it is only temporary. It lasts only as long as the event. Happiness will not bring you the peace that joy will.

Paul also warns us against yoking ourselves to non-believers. This is hard for many of us, because there are people in our lives that we love and cherish and we don’t want to cut them out of our lives. I don’t think Paul means that here either. We need to continue in those relationships, but with caution… with our eyes open. He tells us not to be “yoked,” which means that we would allow them to pull and drag us in their direction. We must rise above that and choose to present “holy” life-styles. You can walk along side of someone without being “yoked” to them. And who knows, maybe your actions will help them see you as Christ’s “ambassador” and your holy living will win them to Jesus.

Grace and Peace

Pastor Kathy