2 Corinthians 6:1 (NIV)
1 As God's co-workers...
On verse 1a: Isn't it cool that as ambassadors of Jesus, we are God's co-workers? That means we don't just work for God but with God. When Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, Jesus followed it up by saying, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). In other words, as we do God's work, we can be assured that we're not just working for Him, but with Him.
Praise God! As you seek to bring Jesus to your home, your workplace, your school and your city, remember that you've got the best Co-Worker on your side. God, who is working in us and with us, will empower you with everything you need to accomplish the mission He has given you. So serve with confidence and faith! God is with you!
2 Corinthians 6:1 (NIV)
1 ...we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.
On verse 1b: Last Sunday I shared with Thrive that we have a choice: we can either take God's grace for granted (i.e. "receive God's grace in vain"), or we can cherish God's grace. So when God puts it on your heart to do something (e.g. to receive Christ, get baptized, say yes to an opportunity), make sure you do it without delay. In Genesis 6:3, God says, "My Spirit will not always strive or wrestle with men." In other words, there is a window of time that God gives us to respond to Him. If you don't respond in time, God will not necessarily keep on knocking on your door. As Pastor Jon Courson writes,
"If you continually say to no to Him, there will come a point when He will let your decision stand - a decision Jesus would later call the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31), the one and only unpardonable sin."
So don't keep delaying the decisions and commitments that God wants you to make. Follow Him immediately, for "now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (v2). Do it before the window closes.
2 Corinthians 6:4 (NIV)
4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses...
On verse 4: What does Paul mean when he writes "we commend ourselves in every way"? Paul means that in every situation - both good or bad - he and his teammates show that they are true servants of God by the way they respond to each situation. Then in verses 4 to 10, he lists all sorts of situations, both good and bad, that he and his teammates have encountered as they try to serve God.
Sometimes people will ask, "What school should I go to to be equipped to serve God? What courses should I take?" You know what school Paul went to? He went to the Academy of Great Endurance (v4)! Courses offered at the Academy of Great Endurance include: troubles, hardships, distresses (v4), beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, fasting (v5), purity, wisdom, patience, kindness, Holy Spirit, how to love people even when it's hard (v6), how to speak the truth in love, the power of God, spiritual warfare (v7), what to do when people praise you, what to do when people criticize and slander you (v8), how to deal with being unknown or unpopular, how to persevere when you feel like dying (v9), how to deal with heartbreak and still have joy, and how to make others rich while staying poor (v10).
I don't know if there's a seminary today that offers these as mandatory coursework. But if your heart is set on the kind of work Paul was doing, get ready to enroll in the same school Paul went to: the Academy of Great Endurance! In fact, you have no choice but to take those courses!
Praise God! God's grace is sufficient for us. Paul passed his courses with flying colours, and I pray you would as well.