2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The Bible introduces the apostle Paul as he was expending all of his energies to persecute the church of God. Yet, once the Lord saved him, he spent the remainder of his life attentively protecting the testimony of the ministry. Paul was in a unique position that would have enabled him to give the ministry a bad name (see the things he faced as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:23-30). Instead, he worked hard to give “no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.” He proved himself as the minister of God. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer men today are exhibiting the level of character expected of them by God. Far too many preachers of the gospel are living their lives with little concern for how it impacts the ministry and the cause of Christ.
• (For children): From the following passages, we can tell that Paul truly loved the Lord and the ministry (Acts 20:17-35; 2 Timothy 3:10-12). What would you have done if you were placed into Paul’s situation in Acts 16:20-25?
• (For everyone): How hard do you work to ensure that the ministry is not justifiably blamed? What efforts do you give to make sure that the name of Christ is not reproached because of your sinfulness?
• How have men caused the ministry to be blamed? Name some examples of men in the Bible who brought reproach upon the work of God. How can you avoid their errors?
• Ask God to give you a concern for the testimony of the ministry.
• Thank God for the privilege of serving Him.
SONG: TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY