Our Epistle this week is 2 Corinthians 5:6-15.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Paul writes to the church in Corinth with words of encouragement about keeping and sharing their faith. He tells them that this world is only our temporary home (v. 8) and we must be ready to join the Lord in eternity. Things we think are valuable here will be worthless there and we should not become attached to them.
He also reminds them that “we live by faith, not by sight” (v. 7) and what we see is not what should drive our lives. Our relationship with God is the most important connection we will ever have and nothing on earth can compare. Jesus was sent to save us because of God’s love for us.
Paul teaches that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (v. 10), not because we can earn our way into heaven by what we do, but that our actions are important to Him. When we love God and each other, doing His will in the world, we make ourselves ready for the gift prepared for us.
Gracious God, we are thankful for wise words from those You inspired to teach us. Help us to learn and apply the lessons we receive that all may know the Good News and Your kingdom may come on earth. Amen.