Below the Surface- Unhindered Purpose
March 4, 2018
What is your primary purpose or value by which all decisions are made to either fulfill or to not hinder?
Possible Answers: Family, Career Advancement, Sport, Leisurely passion, faith.
Paul’s primary purpose. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10
- The ministry of the gospel was Paul’s primary purpose. (3)
- This meant his life decisions would either enhance or avoid hinder to that primary purpose.
- Paul fully entrusted and committed (“commend”) himself to God and his work on earth. (4a)
- Even when…it becomes extreme or intensely difficult. (4b-5)
- Committed to a Holy Spirit-led life that values godly virtues: purity, understanding, patience, kindness, sincere love, and truthful speech. (6-7a)
- Empowered by God with the weapon of righteousness. (7b)
- In spite of outcomes: public glory or public dishonor, bad reports or good reports, positive reception or negative reception from others, popular or unpopular, near death but still alive, in sorrow or in celebration, for rich or for poor, with much or little possessions. (8-10)
Intentional relationships. 2 Corinthians 6:11-13
- Speaking freely from the heart. (11)
- Not withholding care even when it is not reciprocated. (12)
- There comes a point where you challenge the other to mutually engage. (13)
Wrong relationships can hinder your purpose. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
- Relationships are like a “yoke”.
- Choose carefully who you relationally commit to. (14a)
- If your purpose is aligned with God’s purpose with your life, the list above will not work well with someone who has a different set of values or primary purpose—nothing in common. (14b)
- Righteous values and wicked values do not jive together. (14b)
- A life that desires to radiate the light of God is not compatible to life that wants and values a life that keeps motives and values minimally un-descript or at the worst unaccountably dark and secretive. (14c)
- Harmony is the ever-elusive description of an unequally yoked relationship. (15a)
- Common ground is impossible to find with contrasting purposes. There will always be compromise that will internally and eventually externally weaken the believer. (15b)
- Coming to complete agreement is wishful thinking. (16a)
- God’s proclaims several truths about relational alignment with him.
- God walks and lives with those who are his. (16b)
- Our relationship with God is unhindered when we are separate (holy) or set apart from those whose values and purposes are dictated by the world. (17)
- We experience God as the loving father he is. (18)
Practicing intentional relationships.
- Draw near to Jesus’ heart.
- Draw near to those who are pursuing Jesus.
- Be aware of your tendencies to compromise relationally.
Coming to health in your relational world.
- God wants you to be a light and radiance to those who need him, but you do so from a place of strength—found in practicing the points just stated.
- If in a marital relationship that is unequally yoked, become intentional about the points above and begin a pattern of persistent prayer in asking God for guidance in how to be the influencer of light and not become the influenced towards darkness. 1 Corinthians 7:1-24
- If not in marital commitment but yet it is a significant relationship, move the relationship or partnership to where you are in a place of influence to the glory of God. If that is not a possibility, then it may be prayerfully discerned to move on from that relationship.
Matthew 11:29-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
2 Corinthians is a letter between Paul and a church that had a fractured relationship. He addresses many relational and deep personal issues that get below the surface and deal with heart of the matter. This book is such a good model on navigating challenging personal and relational issues!