To be strengthened spiritually

All this time you have been thinking that we are [merely] defending ourselves to you. It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking [as one] in Christ; and everything, dearly beloved, is to strengthen you [spiritually].  For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you not to be as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder;  I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality and decadence which they formerly practiced. – 2 Corinthians 12:19-21

The super-apostles, the wonder workers at Corinth, had been fostering a climate of judging by outward appearances. Their outward appearance was legalism. Their outward appearance was the manifestation of gifts. Their outer appearance was the ethereal thing, difficult to define—but they passed themselves off as spiritual people. But God sees the heart. – George Wood

“The valleys are watered with rain to make them fruitful while the summits of lofty mountains remain dry. A man must become a valley if he wants to receive the heavenly rain of God’s spiritual grace.” – Calvin

We should seek to emulate the model of Christian maturity Paul exemplifies. Service, humility, conviction, and spiritual depth are the characteristics that should be our priorities, our goals. – Daniel Akin

Repentance is such a key in our walk. We must always be examining ourselves for attitudes and behaviors that are detrimental to our spiritual development and repenting from them. Repentance simply means turning from those things and walking the other way. That isn’t something you do only at the time of conversion; it’s not an event. Repentance is a lifestyle as we see where we fall short of God’s purpose and will and ask Him to change us. God forbid that you or I ever get so sophisticated in our walk with Him that we lose touch with our need for repentance. – John Stanko

So these are the marks of a true apostle: Certain authenticating signs that only the original apostles had; a selfless spirit that loves and does not demand anything in return; a sense of accountability to God alone and not ultimately to the congregation or to any man; a reliance upon the power of God to carry out the work of God on earth.  Ray Steadman

Do you know what a burden spiritual leaders carry? When there is sin in a church, or division, or a lack of appetite for prayer or evangelism, when love of the brethren is cold and flabby, no true leader can absolve himself from a share of the responsibility. How easy to distance oneself from all that is not right, to convey with subtle hints and signs that, whoever else might be at fault, we are not! May God save us all from the self-satisfied attitude that murmurs, “Things are not right round here, but don’t blame me. I’m hard-working, prayerful, zealous, hospitable and have a heart for souls. If everybody else was like me this church would flourish.” – J. Philip Arthur

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