When I went to basic training in the military, one goal was to learn how to shoot a weapon. Surprisingly, even the most powerful rifle is only good if it is aimed properly. Taking the time to learn how to align the weapon correctly, breathe properly, and focus on the target was critical to success. Before ever going to the practice firing range, we spent a lot of time developing a good sight picture. The same is true for a basketball player, a pitcher, a batter, a quarterback, and those participating in any other sport that requires accuracy to succeed.
- When have you, either literally or figuratively, missed the target that you were trying to hit?
READ THE WORD: 2 CORINTHIANS 13:11-14 (ESV)
11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
- List the verbs, and their direct objects, that you find in this passage. As you evaluate them, ask yourself how your life matches up with each one.
- What benefit comes from obeying the commands in verse 11a? Is this true in your life? Why or why not?
- What do the different personality traits assigned to each member of the Trinity in verse 14 tell you about God?
- What was Paul’s aim in these verses? What is the aim of your life? Who was Paul modeling after? Whose example are you modeling?
RESPOND TO GOD
Even though Paul had differences with some Corinthian church members, he never took his eyes off the target—restoration. In closing his letter, he turned back to lifting people up. Rejoicing is a choice that draws people to God. The word translated as restoration implies fitting a bone or joint back together that is out of place. Comfort is the same word Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit—one called alongside to help. Agreeing implies finding common ground. Living in peace is also a choice. Each of these behaviors reflect God’s mission to restore us, along with all creation, to his intended purpose.
- Pray: Lord, help me see what you see, in the way in which you see it, and with the same passion you have.