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. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
Four Parts Of Farewell
As Paul brings to a close his epistle to the Corinthians, he leaves them with an exhortation to be the kind of people God wants them to be. The church at Corinth had a lot of problems. A lot. But Paul had not given up on them writing forceful letters to the saints helping them see how to correct their problems all the while commending them for their faith. His conclusion to 2 Corinthians is a four part harmony of simplicity.
Paul wanted the Christians to find perfection or completeness in their lives. Remember the mess of 1 Corinthians? They had matured in the second letter but there was still work to do. Put your lives in order for God is what he is telling them to do. The ESV suggests “aim for restoration” and that is what they needed. Good advice for me. No matter where I find myself on this Thursday my aim is to bring my life more in focus to the will and love of God. Take good aim today.
Be of good comfort.
With all the challenges faced by the Corinthians Paul never gave up on them. He exhorted them to remember the promises of God. One of the great lessons of the letters to the church at Corinth is that we are just like them in our struggles. We may not have a letter written to us by an apostle outlining our faults … but we have them. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is filled with mercy. Be happy in the knowledge that God loves us and cares for us. Rest upon the promises that Christ came to save sinners. It is comforting to know today that God loves me.
Be of one mind.
The division at Corinth is not good – not even close to being good. Their party factions were doing nothing but causing harm to the body of Christ. Paul shamed them in his first letter and encouraged them in his second letter to lay aside those things that destroy unity. In a few days we will gather with our brethren to worship the Father. Do we still have our cliques? Is there someone in the congregation that I have not spoken to or greeted? It is easy to gather for worship and leave without speaking to those I am not familiar with. To be of one mind is to have a singular mind with my brethren. Reach out Sunday and greet someone you do not normally greet. You will be amazed at the feeling you get. Just think what the Lord says to that kind of unity.
Live in peace
Lastly, let your relationships with others be what our heavenly Father wants. There are times when we tell our children to quit fighting and fussing and get along with one another. It disturbs us when our children fight all the time. How does God feel when He sees us fighting with one another? Live in peace with your brethren. Jesus died for them and He died for me and He plans on all of us living together in PEACE where He lives. Forgive and live in peace with one another. Pray for one another and live in peace. Lift ups the hands of the weak and live in peace. Sing praises to God with joyful lips and live in peace. Amen the sermon preached and live in peace. Partake of the supper of Christ and live in peace. Call a needy person and live in peace. Today is Thursday – a day of peace.
Four points with one great message.
What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what kind of a person you are. (C. S. Lewis)