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No Need to Get Pushy!

Daily Reading: 2 Corinthians 10

Scripture Focus: I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10.1a)

Devotional Thought: Have you seen the videos of Tokyo commuters boarding a train? They are literally stuffed in by conductors along the boarding platform! Those conductors certainly can't be meek, can they? They just have to put their hands on the boarding passengers - wherever and however they can - and push! My Western notion of personal space, wouldn't last through one train ride!

Paul was not a Japanese conductor, as he helped the Corinthians board the "gospel train." Instead of pushing and shoving, he used meekness and gentleness. Where did he learn that? Jesus!

Paul had already told the Corinthians, that the Kingdom of God did not consist in talk, but in power. But, the kind of power that works in the Kingdom is not forceful, vengeful, or manipulative. Jesus came, he said, not to force others to serve him, but rather he came to serve them. He laid down his life, in apparent weakness that brought about the power of the Kingdom. His sacrificial death made possible his powerful resurrection. Assured of this, Jesus did not feel compelled to force his will upon anybody. He presented the love of God and allowed people to choose for themselves. It is true that he reprimanded the Pharisees and expelled the profiteers, but even in those instances, Jesus showed great restraint. After all, he could have called twelve legions of angels to come to his aid! (See Matthew 26.53)

So much of what is passed off as discourse today - even Christian discourse - is really mean-spirited attempts at shaming and control. But, like Jesus, Paul entreated with gentleness and meekness. How about you?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that as a father has compassion on his children, so you have compassion on those who fear you. Help me to have that same compassion, showing gentleness and meekness to others. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 118.14-18

14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, 16 the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. 18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

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