Ministers of the New Covenant (Day 32)

Read 2 Corinthians 2:12-17
   Titus was a Greek convert whom Paul greatly loved and trusted. Titus was one of the men responsible for collecting the money for the poverty-stricken Jerusalem church. Paul may have also sent Titus with the sorrowful letter. On his way to Macedonia, Paul was supposed to meet Titus in Troas. When Paul didn’t find him there, he was worried for Titus’ safety and left Troas to search for him in Macedonia. There Paul found him, and the good news that Paul received led to this letter. Paul would send Titus back to Corinth with this letter. 
   In a Roman triumphal procession, the Roman general would display his treasures and captives amidst a cloud of incense burned for the gods. To the victors, the aroma was sweet; to the captives in the parade, it was the smell of slavery and death. When Christians preach the Gospel, it is good news to some and repulsive to others. Believers recognize the life-giving fragrance of the message. To nonbelievers, however, it smells foul, like death: their own. 
   Some preachers in Paul’s day were hucksters, preaching without understanding God’s message or caring about what happened to their listeners. They weren’t concerned about furthering God’s Kingdom: they just wanted money. Today there are still preachers and teachers who care only about money and not about truth. Those who truly speak for God should teach God’s Word with sincerity and integrity and should never preach for selfish reasons (1 Timothy 6). 
   Paul asks who is adequate for the task of representing Christ? Our adequacy is always from God (1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 3). He has already commissioned and sent us (Matthew 28). He has given us the Holy Spirit to enable us to speak with Christ’s power. He keeps His eye on us, protecting us as we work for Him. As we realize that God has equipped us, we can overcome our feelings of inadequacy. Serving Christ, therefore, requires that we focus on what He can do through us, not on what we can’t do by ourselves.