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2 Corinthians 6 v 11 - 13 & 7 v 2 - 4

As you will notice, we have skipped 6 v 14- 7 v 1, but we will study that tomorrow and then all will become clear!

The breaches between some of the believers in the church at Corinth and the apostle Paul have been healed and he writes to them with the biggest heart out of love for them. Paul declares that he has wronged no one, corrupted no one and taken advantage of no one: what a great statement for a church leader to make! During my years when I attend church and was involved with various aspects of it as a volunteer it would have seemed obvious, a truism that all church leaders could make that statement. Now, with greater knowledge of the pressures of church leadership and the temptations to take short cuts, to apply subtle pressures on those you know who will respond to that, it has to be a principle one is willing to fight for- especially in the shadow of some great church leaders coming unstuck.

Paul finishes this passage by telling the Corinthians how complete his comfort and how overflowing his joy, even though it would appear from the outside that there were troubles all around him and he was under siege from things threatening to overwhelm him. Human relationships are the most important thing in life: if someone is in deep fellowship with other Christians he or she can face the slings and arrows of fortune with a smile.

I think that was something Paul grew to recognise for himself. From the time he was blinded on the Road to Damascus, he was forced to come to understand and accept that he needed friends and throughout the stories of his travels in the book of Acts and in his writings in his letters, we are introduced to many good men and women who had faced adversity with him. I love the couple of verses at the end of Acts, Acts 28 v 11-15, where the brothers and sisters travelled from Rome to greet him at the Forum, That was a journey of 48 miles! Paul and his fellow travellers had endured shipwreck and snake bites, but now they had the joy of receiving loving greetings from brothers and sisters in Christ! Thank you that you have made my stay at Bearfield so much more than a job, that you have not only opened your hearts to me, but supported me when I've struggled!

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