Clear a Path
Read This Week: 2 Corinthians 6
We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses.
– 2 Corinthians 6:3-4 NIV
Being in an unfamiliar place can be unsettling. When we find ourselves in a city for the first time, taking a road trip or hiking through the woods, we need good directions to make it to our landing-place. We rely on the instruments or people guiding us to clear the right path so we can successfully make it to the destination. A path that is cleared of roadblocks calms our fears, gives us confidence, and fills us with hope for every step.
Paul regards the eternal message of Jesus Christ and its salvation as the most important destination for everyone’s journey. In this writing of 2 Corinthians 6, he acknowledges both the work of the Holy Spirit and the Christian’s witness in a person coming to faith. In regards to the believer’s responsibility, he writes, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path.” Paul was confident that he and his associates were not doing anything to hinder others from receiving The Gospel. He wanted the church at Corinth and us to know that our experiences, behavior, and actions should work together to point people toward God, not away from Him.
In verses 6-10, this passage lays out the characteristics that should be present in a Christian’s life that will help clear a path for family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone in our circles of influence to hear and receive the saving message of Jesus. Paul says that no matter our circumstances, we should live:
In purity, understanding, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and sincere love; in truthful speech and the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
The qualities of a true believer outlined here are so vital to positively impacting people for Christ. We can satisfy them with intellectual answers or point them to experiences that will make an emotional connection, but they still need to know that God has made a difference in our lives. People look deeper to see if we’ve been changed by the same thing we’re telling them. The message is often seen before it is heard.
May the Holy Spirit empower us to show grace, patience, kindness, and sincere love to a watching world. May we use truthful speech and our lives be a good report so there are no barriers to people seeing a clear picture of Jesus. Let’s clear a path for them to see, hear, and experience the joy of a life with God.
That is a very good message. I love the part where you said people want to see that God has made a difference in our life! We have a picture hanging in our bathroom to remind us every day to make a difference! Not only in other people’s lives for God, but in our heart through the process with God.
I am so glad it touched you, Heidi and I love that picture in your bathroom. I need one of those! I also appreciate what you said at the end: (Make a difference) not only in other people’s lives for God but in our heart through the process with God. That last part of your statement is one that is often overlooked.
May we clear paths in our own hearts to God so that He can use us to the full extent of our gifts and abilities to make a difference in the lives of others. We minister out of our hearts and it needs to be cleared of roadblocks too as we touch others. Thank you for pointing that out.
This is a great one. We were created to be in relationship with God. We are born into sin and thereby separated from God. When you respond to God and are born again, you have direct access to Him and are redeemed into the right relationship, which is the very reason you were created.
Now, we are all on a mission with God to pay it forward and represent not just yourself, but represent God, the kingdom of God, heaven and His family. This is our opportunity, as sons and daughters of God, to represent Him well. Thank you, God, for saving me and forgiving my sin. May I go forward with you on our mission together and represent well.
I am blessed to know this resonated with you, Ken. I appreciate your affirmation about being on a mission once we are saved through the grace of God. It really narrows the focus to who we are and what we are supposed to be doing for God in the world. And I agree that it is an incredible opportunity, no matter the season or circumstances, to go forward with God on our mission together and represent (Him) well. May we do just that as we clear paths to Jesus!
Again this week this was a great chapter with what we are going through that God spoke to me. He is saying to me, “I want you to be workers together with Me for your good. Instead of trying to get Me to help you with your work, focus on finding out what My work is, and do it with Me. Do not receive My grace in vain. My grace is given freely, but how you receive this grace will determine how effective this gift of grace is. Do not become passive. My grace is given to encourage work. Trust Me and rely on Me, and then get to work as hard as you can. In this time of tribulation, bear things in such a triumphant way, that you will be transfigured. These trials make you need endurance.”
God is also saying, “Do not let the world influence your thinking. Draw near to Me during these times. Are you being conformed to this world, or are you being transformed by the renewing of your mind? Open your heart wide to all My love in Christ. Worship in these times, stand on My word, and on My power. In fear, exercise faith. Stop living by feelings, and live by faith. Rely on Me like never before.”
What this said to me is God wants us to work together with Him. He wants me to rely on Him, and not on what is going on around me. He wants us to rely on Him like never before.
I really like this perspective, Kathy: Do not become passive. My grace is given to encourage work. Trust Me and rely on Me, and then get to work as hard as you can. It goes hand in hand with the idea of clearing a path for people to come to Jesus. Clearing a path presupposes that we are active, not passive. It suggests and implies that we are to serve and work for the Lord. This is such a great tie-in. Thank you for that.
This week, God gave me a few songs through the messages. I will share this song, “Servants”:
We are servants of the Lord, servants of the Lord
We are true servants of the Lord
Being believers, believers who believe
Through suffering, storms and the unknown
He will give us peace, calmness, and strength
We are servants of the Lord, servants of the Lord
Servants of the Lord, true servants of the Lord.
Thank you, Alma, for this week’s song. It seems very timely considering what we are all going through right now. No matter what is happening in the world or how we are limited by life, we are still God’s servants and He gives us peace, calmness, and strength wherever we go. Nothing can ever change that.
Today, God drew my attention to 2nd Corinthians chapter 6 verse 4. He said this to me, “During this time of trouble, I see all the people turning to there carnal nature. But I also see you and you have done what a good son of mine should and have turned to Me. You did so with trust and faith that I will keep you and your family safe.”
And what that means to me is that through these times we are going through, we must be like Paul and share God’s love and thankfulness. Especially to others in this time of need.
I agree, Sam. I think the greatest thing we can do during this time is sharing the love of God and our thankfulness for Him to other people. Social distancing and quarantines can’t stop our love and gratitude for God or expressing that love to others.