THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2017
Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
As one community of CFC-FFL, as one Church, as one people
of God, we are called to unity. This is for its own sake as
well as for the sake of mission. Thus we are called to be
“working together” (v.1a). Due to our own human
weakness and the challenge of diversity in the body, this
is difficult. But God provides whatever we need. His grace
is abundant and more than enough for us. The problem is always
with us, in our sinful and inadequate responses. Thus, as
Paul did, “we appeal to you not to receive the grace
of God in vain.” (v.1b).
can we end up truly working together, by the grace of God?
It happens as we have one mind and one heart about our work.
we must be fully aware of what our work is about. It is all
about the salvation won by Jesus for us all. The desire to
help save souls is what should permeate our day-to-day lives.
“Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now
is the day of salvation.” (v.2b). The salvation of someone’s
soul might even today, at this very moment, be dependent on
how you respond to God’s providing you an opportunity
to evangelize and witness to that person. If we are sensitive
and docile to the Spirit, if we pray for it, God will provide
what we need in order to accomplish what He wants us to do.
“In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of
salvation I helped you.” (v.2a).
we must know we are a team, one body doing the one work, and
our unity is crucial. We try to do nothing that will scandalize
our brethren, discourage them, weaken them. “We cause
no one to stumble in anything” (v.3a). Otherwise, we
cause scandal to others, even those we are trying to evangelize.
We strive for unity “in order that no fault may be found
with our ministry” (v.3b).
we must realize that we are called and tasked by God Himself.
We do His work. This influences everything we say and do,
as “in everything we commend ourselves as ministers
of God” (v.4a). We must realize what a privilege that
is. And we must realize that it would be a terrible thing
if we acted in ways that dishonored that privilege. How we
act, in the name of Jesus, can affect people’s perception
of the God we represent.
we must be ready for difficulties and trials, and not be discouraged
when these happen. This is also when such difficulties arise
due to the actions of our own co-workers. So we are to work
“through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships,
constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils,
fasts” (v.4b-5). The work will indeed be very hard,
oftentimes frustrating, but we are to endure and persevere.
And we are to encourage and support those of our co-workers
who themselves struggle.
we must strive to live out godly virtues. Our lives are to
be animated “by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech, in
the power of God” (v.6-7a). We are to strive to bear
the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Our purity of heart,
patience, kindness, love, speaking the truth, all these enable
us to work together, in unity and the power of the Spirit.
we must strive for holiness in all we do. We fight God’s
war, and we are to be holy warriors. We wield “weapons
of righteousness at the right and at the left” (v.7b).
We all face the one enemy. We can only advance in battle as
we work together and watch out for each other.
we must be aware of the paradox of the ministry. In the Lord
things are topsy-turvy. The first is the last and the last
is the first. The greatest is the least and the least is the
greatest. The cross is a blessing and gives joy. With such
a mindset, we can continue working “through glory and
dishonor, insult and praise.” (v.8a). It does not matter
which. What matters is serving God. It is up to God to decide
what to send our way. Thus what matters to us is what matters
to God, not what others think. Often people will perceive
us in ways opposite to what we truly are. “We are treated
as deceivers, and yet are truthful; as unrecognized and yet
acknowledged; as dying and behold we live; as chastised and
yet not put to death” (v.8b-9).
we must always look to the radical values of the Kingdom,
and looking at our situation the way God sees it. God’s
ways are not our ways. God’s values are not the values
of the world. And so we are looked on “as sorrowful
yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having
nothing and yet possessing all things.” (v.10). We let
go of the things of this world and hold on only to God.
a wonderful ministry God has given us. We are very privileged.
Let us understand what our ministry is all about, and strive
to work together to accomplish God’s purposes.