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Gentle persuasion (2 Corinthians 8 v 6-9)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Sometimes we all need a little nudge, a little gentle persuasion, to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s not enough to know what we need to do—we need somebody else to prod us to make the right decision. That’s what Paul’s doing here.

A nudge
Read 2 Corinthians 8:6

• What is Titus coming to do? Why is he the right man for the job (v 6)?
• What do you think Paul is trying to do in verse 7?
• Paul calls giving a “grace” twice in these verses (v 6, 7). Why, do you think?
• How might the example of others (v 8) motivate the Corinthians show their love?

Paul is using his persuasive powers to get the Corinthians thinking properly and acting rightly. Most of all, he wants to point them to not to a church, but to a person…

The example
Read2 Corinthians 8:9

Paul has already talked about the example of the Macedonians—and how the Corinthians should follow their example. But now he brings forward the example— the Lord Jesus Christ. Look closely at verse 9, as Paul reminds us of the undeserved grace we have received from Jesus Christ.

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TIME OUT
To help you appreciate the shape of Jesus’ journey from rich to poor, read Philippians 2:6Philippians 2:6
Here we see how Jesus came down from the riches of heaven to die for us on the cross—and all so that we might be made ...........................................

• Using both 2 Corinthians 8 and Philippians 2…
    • How was the Lord Jesus Christ “rich”?
    • How did Jesus Christ become poor?
    • Why did He do this?
    • Why will knowing Jesus’ grace transform someone’s attitude to worldly wealth?

If we know what Jesus gave up for us, we’ll give out to others—and we’ll give sacrificially. We’ll go without the things that would make life most easy or comfortable, so that we can give others what they need—just as Jesus did.

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PRAY
Re-read verse 9. Thank Jesus for what He gave up for you. Thank Him for putting your eternal future ahead of His heavenly wealth. Pray for any areas of your life where you know you struggle to give up what you have in order to serve Jesus. Pray that you would keep His grace in focus, so that you can live for Him.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published April 13, 2012.

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