2 Corinthians 13 – Two Prayers and a Challenge

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

I’d like to draw your attention to three verses today, as we conclude our study in 2 Corinthians.

Tomorrow’s article will feature a Bible passage that is why I am in the ministry.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1.16).

On Thursday, we will begin a study of the Book of Isaiah. I have been reading Isaiah over-and-over for the past several years. I firmly believe that there is an important message for the world today in Isaiah’s prophesy.

Each day of the Isaiah study, I will be interviewing Rudy Ross on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy will provide insights from his years of studying and writing books on Isaiah.

I look forward to sharing what I have learned and also digging deeper into Isaiah with Rudy. I hope you will be blessed by http://www.real-voices.com or Rudy’s interviews on YouTube.

A Personal Inventory

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous has 12 Steps. Three of the Steps address excuses for addictive behavior.

Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 9: We made direct amends to people we had harmed wherever possible.

Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Concerning the fearless moral inventory, the Northpoint Recovery Blog commented:

“A major theme emerges just from these three examples of the twelve steps toward recovery: namely, that recovery is all about taking responsibility for both your past and your future.

“This means both admitting your past mistakes and recognizing your potential for change.”

As Paul ends his letter to the church in Corinth, he calls the church to engage in self-examination and accountability – a spiritual personal inventory of sorts.

He wrote, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13.5).

Wouldn’t it tragic to spend your life climbing the ladder to success only to discover your ladder was leaning against the wrong wall?

The remedy is to examine and to test ourselves. How can we take a personal spiritual inventory? Here are some thoughts.

(1) If you search the Internet under the subject of “AA Personal Inventory,” you will find guides to aid your examination. Find one that you like and work with it.

(2) If you read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and ask the question, “Am I living my life like Jesus lived and taught,” you will receive ample revelation about your current spiritual condition and a vision of what it can be.

From time-to-time, I take a personal spiritual inventory. The whole process seems to draw me deeper into a relationship with Jesus. Please give it a try.

Paul’s Prayer

In verse 9, Paul let the church know what he was praying about. He said, “This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect” (2 Corinthians 13.9).

In the original language, “perfect” can also mean “mature,” “complete” or “whole.”

The most mature, complete, whole and perfect life is one that is lived like Jesus.

If you have followed this blog for some time, you may remember that we studied the Gospel of Matthew to learn how to live a Jesus-kind-of-life.

Some of the finest servants of Jesus over the centuries have made it their practice to read and pray from the Gospels every day.

If you want to live the most genuine and abundant life possible, I recommend asking God to help you live like Jesus. Then, read the Gospels and saturate yourself in the attitudes and actions of Jesus.

A Final Blessing

As we end a study of Corinthians, it is fitting to join Paul in praying for one another.

Paul’s prayer of blessing for the church was, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Corinthians 13.14).

Notice how Paul incorporates the Trinity – the Lord Jesus, God (the Father), and the Holy Spirit – into this blessing.

To end our study, I pray this blessing for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we all experience your generous and unmerited favor that is ours because of the activity of your Son in his life, death, resurrection and ascension to your right hand of power.

May we all personally know your love. Love, not as an abstract idea, but as a personal reality.

Please grant us the blessing of daily communion, interaction and partnership with the Holy Spirit.

We praise you for your abundant love and goodness toward us. Amen.

May We Pray for You?

The Maywood Baptist Prayer team is honored to pray for you. If you have a prayer request, please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. We will pray for you.

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