April 13: warning (1 Samuel 14; 1 Chronicles 4; 2 Corinthians 13)

When I was in my teens, my mother went back to college and then got a job. It changed a lot of things. She was no longer home when my sisters and I got home from school. She would leave instructions for us. She had usually started the evening meal but it was our responsibility to put the meal in the oven and get everything else ready. Her instructions were clear. Our desire to do what her instructions told us to do usually varied from what she wanted, but when she made a phone call to tell us she was on her way, we took immediate action. Her call was the warning that we needed. I did not want her to be displeased with what she discovered when she arrived, not because I was afraid of her response. I wanted her to be proud. To know that we had succeeded, mattered.

I do not know what was in the mind of the Corinthians. I wish we had some account of what they were thinking and doing when Paul’s letter arrived. Paul’s words indicate there was trouble. Paul expected change. His letter was filled with instructions that were intended to bring about changed thinking and action. As his letter concluded, he said ,”I am on my way.” I suspect that caught their attention. They knew how much Paul loved them, how much Paul wanted them to be faithful to Jesus Christ, and to turn from ways that were contrary to his teaching.

Paul’s final warning: I am coming. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

I woke up this morning ready to greet a new day. I have plenty of things I plan to do, plenty of things that are required of me by others and myself. Reading these words of Paul, I want to do all that I do in such a way that I make Jesus proud.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.I will need this all day today. So will you.

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