Seeing The Big Picture

One would think that the early church in the Bible would be the perfect example for believers today, but when you read through the letters from the apostle Paul, you realize that they were far from perfect. Paul sent two letters to the church in Corinth for two reasons, one reason is they needed encouragement to stay the course and keep their faith from waning. The other reason was they would let their faith wane and they would lose focus of the big picture.

In his second letter, Paul was trying to get believers to see clearly what God was doing in their midst, but they kept becoming short-sighted and struggled to see the bigger picture that was from God. Today, God’s Church is no different. Believers struggle to see the bigger picture, especially in day-to-day living. And this causes our faith to wane and we redirect our focus on what we can control ourselves.

Do not settle for a little viewpoint. Ask God to show you the big picture.

From 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Paul’s words of wisdom are for God’s Church today. Think about what he is telling the early New Testament believers, and think about your own faith. God gave the early church the disciples and apostles, like Paul, to teach believers in Christ to live out their faith daily. Paul and his team worked hard and persevered much to bring believers the truth about God and His Son.

Who do you know that works hard at getting the Gospel out to others? When they speak to you, how do you respond?

Paul tells the Church to open their hearts to what they are telling them and teaching them. He reminds them that their motives are godly as they speak truth. It is good to remember that before he became a believer himself, Paul was a dedicated Jew who followed God’s law. He believed in God. Then Jesus got his attention as he was going around throwing the very people he is now ministering to in jail for believing Jesus; read Acts 9! Paul hated Jesus followers.

People had a hard time believing that Paul had a change of heart. This caused them to have reservations about him. They questioned his motives. You could say, they judged him without trying to understand the bigger picture. God had worked in Paul’s heart, unbeknownst to them. They had to trust God when they listened to Paul.

Today, believers are called to be the same way. We are not to judge prematurely. God is working in people’s lives and we have to trust God with the fact that another believer is authentic. If he isn’t, we will see the hypocrisy for we know God’s Word well enough to know the difference.

Verses 3-4 of chapter 7 reveal Paul’s hope for his fellow believers. He loves Jesus which trickles down to loving other believers. What Jesus has done for him, he now shares with others. He is willing to share at the cost of his own comfort. From other scriptures, we know that he was beaten and imprisoned for speaking about the love of his life. Even in dire circumstances like a filthy prison cell, Paul kept his focus on Christ and penned many of his letters keeping other believers encouraged.

Paul understood the big picture of God.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Paul shares how to see the big picture. He tells of pertinent truths that aid in understanding God on a deeper level. A believer must live differently than an unbeliever. God sets you apart when Jesus resides within your repentant heart. When you set yourself apart, then God will welcome you.

You learn three truths that help in having faith like Paul. 1. Do not team up with unbelievers. The righteous cannot partner with wickedness. Light cannot live with darkness. 2. There is no harmony between Christ and the devil. Behind the scenes in the spiritual world, there is a war waging on. 3. There is no union between God’s temple (which is every believer) and idols.

“For we are the temple of the living God. As God said, ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.'”16

Ask God to help you understand more clearly these three truths. They will help in keeping your focus on Jesus. They will help you to remain dependent on Him for you realize you can’t compete or defeat the will of God on your own. They will help align the right priorities in your life so you can glorify God and be used by Him.

To see the big picture changes your faith. Your faith will grow roots deep with God, and your lifestyle becomes one of holiness, simplicity, and love for others. May today you see the big picture more clearly than you ever have before.

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