April 21
‘But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 6:17
Bible reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-6 (Go to the Bible passage)
Seemingly, there were lots of reasons not to get on well with Paul.
Paul was not interested in winning the approval of men (Galatians 1:10), and that, apparently, made him a rather uncompromising character. His dearest wish was to unite people with the Lord Jesus, like a man and a woman are united in marriage.
In his zeal for God, Paul witnessed the great miracle of people, who came to love the Lord Jesus so much that they became closely bound up with Him and grew one with Him in spirit. But even then, Paul did not feel that his duty towards these people had been fulfilled. No, with a godly jealousy he watched over the churches that had been entrusted to his care. For he knew how cunning Satan can be.
Had he himself not been misled by the devil, so that he thought he was doing a godly work, when he persecuted the members of the young Christian church to their death? (Acts 22:4). Yes, Paul knew the Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and therefore Paul kept watch over the people, who he had brought to Jesus’ feet; they were not to be defiled by the deceitful tricks of the prince of darkness.
What love and devotion is evident in this attitude of Paul! How badly do we need such shepherds again, people who dedicate their lives to keep the flock pure, not for themselves, but for Him, Who gave His life for Paul and for us when He died on the cross: Jesus Christ. Without this spiritual purity, fake pious words from self-centred people will lead us astray from the sincere and pure devotion to Christ, so that our lives will be totally fruitless for the kingdom of God.
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