S16P12 – Personal lessons from Paul: giving all to others for the cause of Christ
2 Cor. 12:14-15a
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.
Jesus had a great burden to save humanity. For that reason, He submitted to the Father and endured the cross for the sake of our redemption. In his teaching, whether encouragement or correction, the focus was singular. His aim was to reconcile us to the Father. He was focused on what is for our best and gave everything to bring about that outcome. He came to serve and give, not to be served or to receive. His mission was one of imparting blessing and grace to us in exchange for nothing, because there is nothing we could offer to merit grace.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he addresses a common question people may have of the church or of church leadership. Is the church or pastor here to give to me or take from me? Paul answers this question by clarifying that he wants nothing from the believers but desires to give everything he has, including his very self, for their benefit. His heart is one of complete sacrifice for the purpose of serving God’s people, imparting spiritual blessing through instruction on how to live in a godly manner. Paul’s interest was not himself but those he was serving.
Christ’s making us his priority, worthy of him sacrificing himself completely for our benefit, was an example to us. He is the great shepherd, and He has taught us how to be a shepherd to others. It is not by self-interest but by self-sacrifice. Whether the sacrifice is one of possessions, money or the physical self, our example is to willingly give all for the sake of leading others closer to God. Father, give us a measure of the love Christ has for us so that we may love others as You desire, prepared to sacrifice ourselves fully for your purposes.